recently moved to the Marlborough Sounds and for the first time
my begonias have very little foliage. However, they are coming into
flower bud. Can you tell me what fertiliser they might need, and
what position is best for them? They are presently in pots, new
potting mix, and are in full sun.
will defoliate for several reasons stress caused by lack
of water, over-watering, excessive root disturbance when repotting,
too much fertiliser, or mildew (downy or powdery) which begonias
are susceptible to.
If it is mildew, spray
with Bravo or Greenguard at 14-day intervals until plants show improvement.
Make sure there is good air circulating through the plants as mildews
enjoy humid conditions.
Water plants in the morning
rather than at night. If it is watering, adjust watering according
to the weather conditions.
If too much fertiliser
is the problem, water the plant to leach out any excess for at least
half an hour. Being in a pot, plants will react quickly to over
applications of fertiliser.
Are these bedding begonias
or tuberous begonias? Bedding begonias will grow happily in full
sun or light shade; tuberous begonias like bright light, but not
direct sunlight, and are best in light shade although there
are now tuberous varieties (Begonia solenia) that will grow
happily in full sun.
Osmocote is the best
fertisliser to use for plants in containers. Use at the recommended
rate. However, if the plants have been recently repotted into new
potting mix, they will not require feeding for at least three months.
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH