Double Begonia Plant Care – How to Grow Begonia Semperflorens

The Double Begonia is also called the Begonia Semperflorens. It is a tuberous begonia that is often found if colorful flower garden. That’s because it produces lots of amazing blooms.

The reason it is called double begonia is that it features two sets of petals.

The plant is considered an annual outdoors. And it flowers best in warm temperature provided you give it proper care.

How do you care for the Double Begonia? The plant needs bright, indirect light to support the growth of its flowers.

It does not need a lot of water and prefers well-draining soil to avoid overwatering or waterlogging. High humidity and regular fertilizer during the warmer months will likewise allow it produce more blooms.

Double Begonia Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Double Begonia needs sufficient lighting to produce its flowers. But it cannot tolerate too much light. So, you need to be aware of these two things.

The plant thrives in morning sun and afternoon shade.

This concept applies both indoors and outdoors.

Indoors, this makes an east facing window ideal. On the other hand, you want to be wary of a south facing window which gets the brunt of the strong, harsh mid-day sun.

If you want to keep the plant in that side of the house, make sure it is distanced at least 3 feet from the window.

Or you can use shade cloth or filter the light coming in using sheer curtains.

Outdoors, choose an area where it can receive plenty of morning sun. But it needs to get shade from the afternoon rays.

That’s because the plant can tolerate about 1-2 hours of strong direct sunlight a day. Anything more that that can eventually scorch its leaves.

On the other hand, try to avoid low light.

While this environment can work for many plants, it is not ideal for the Double Begonia.

Note that the plant will survive in shade and low light. But you’ll seldom see it flower. If they happen to, you’ll see fewer blooms and smaller ones at that.

So, while the plant can tolerate low light, this environment prevents the Double Begonia from its true potential.

 

Temperature

The Double Begonia enjoys moderate to warm temperatures. Its ideal temperature range is between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

And it can easily take warmer weather as well.

Note that the hotter it gets, the more hydration it will need. Also, in this condition it is important to keep it protected from very harsh sunlight.

The plant’s ability to withstand this temperature range is because it is native to tropical and subtropical regions.

Therefore, warm weather and heat are something that it is used to.

But the opposite is not true.

That’s because the tropics don’t have winters. November through December in these areas get to moderate temperature at best. In fact, some ways are still quite warm.

This is why many people travel to the tropical during winter to escape the snow and vacation in the beach weather.

As such, the Double Begonia has low tolerance to the cold.

It is a tender plant that cannot tolerate temperatures under 50 degrees Fahrenheit for long periods of time.

As such, it is important to bring it back indoors before the winter arrives if you like giving it some time outdoors during summer.

For this reason, begonias including Double Begonias are annuals.

When kept outside, they will bloom during the warm months and die come winter.

The only way they become perennials is if you keep them as a houseplant. They are able to get through the winter indoors because things stay warm and cozy in homes.

 

Humidity

The Double Begonia prefers high humidity, ideally between, 50% and 80%.

This preference comes from its being a tropical plant. In those regions of the world, humidity tends to stay between 60% to 75% on most days.

It can go down to about 50% during the dry months of summer.

But that’s just about as low as its gets. There are some days when humidity can to drop to 46%. But it will be back up over 50% the next.

During the rainy days, humidity easily reaches 85% to 92% depending how much moisture there is in the air and when it is raining.

That said, a humidity of at least 50% isn’t something that many homes can achieve or maintain.

So, if humidity in your home happens to be below what the plant needs, you can mist it a few times a week.

Alternatively, you an set up a pebble tray or get a humidifier.

 

Related

 

How Often to Water Double Begonia

The Double Begonia needs to be watered regularly to stay healthy and grow optimally.

It does not like drying out. Nor can it tolerate excess moisture.

Therefore, avoid both of these extremes.

However, of the two you want to be more careful of more water. That’s because too much water can put the plant at risk of root rot.

On the other hand, don’t the soil completely dry out or stay dry for long periods of time.

The Double Begonia is not drought tolerant.

This is why the best way to know when to water the Double Begonia is to allow the top layer of soil to dry between watering.

You can stick your finger into the soil and feel for how moist of wet the soil is.

If that top layer is not completely dry, don’t water the plant. Just wait.

Only water when the top later feels dry.

Doing so will allow some of the soil to dry before you add water. And it does so, you can able to avoid overwatering the plant.

The second part of water is to make sure to water deeply.

This means soaking the root ball until it is completely saturated. Then allow the soil to drains completely.

Also, avoid watering over the plant and getting all the leaves and flowers wet.

Instead, try to water directly onto the soil.

This reduces the chances of bacterial and fungal infections.

 

Double Begonia Potting Soil

The Double Begonia needs well-draining soil that is rich in organic content and slightly acidic.

Good drainage is very important to prevent overwatering and waterlogged soil.

This is needed because of the plant’s susceptibility to overwatering.

As such, you never want to use any kind of soil that retains a good amount of water. This will leave the roots sitting in too much water for long periods of time.

Similarly, because is it not drought tolerant and does not like to dry out, don’t use very sandy soils that will drain too much moisture.

Contrary to its name, well-draining soil does not mean it is all about drainage.

Instead, this kind of soil is known to hold some water and quickly remove excess moisture from the soil. This is why it works very well for the Double Begonia.

In doing so, it keeps the soil moist so the roots stay hydrated and don’t dry out.

But at the same time, it is quickly get rid of excess water than can lead to root rot.

The simplest way to achieve this is to combine:

  • 1 part potting soil
  • 1 part peat moss
  • 1 part perlite

This will give allow the soil to hold water to keep the roots well-hydrated. And the perlite provides good drainage to prevent overwatering or waterlogging.

If you prefer buying your soil commercial, you can go with African Violet Mix.

This will allow the plant to get all the things it needs to thrive.

 

Fertilizer

To allow the Double Begonia to grow and bloom, fertilizer is very important.

It will need regular feeding.

But the most important thing about fertilizer is knowing how much to use, how often to apply and when to apply.

That’s because there are many no-no’s you want to avoid.

The reason is that commercial fertilizers contain salt. Salt is something plants don’t like. And if enough of it builds up in the soil, it becomes toxic to the plant.

The problem is, whenever you feed the plant, you’re not only giving it more nutrients but you are also giving it more salt.

This is by feeding it more than it needs is bad.

The result is not only excess minerals in the soil but also lots of salt that builds up.

When this happens fertilizer burn can occur which damages the roots.

For the Double Begonia, you can use a balanced liquid fertilizer. A 10-10-10 formulation works well.

And don’t forget to dilute it to half strength if you’re applying it to a potted plant indoors. If you’re applying to an outdoor plant growing in the ground, use full strength.

A full strength dose is too much for potted plants because the soil is limited and the fertilizer won’t be going or spreading anywhere else.

Feed the plant once a month during its growing season which are spring and summer.

You don’t need to feed the plant during fall or winter as they will take a breather during the cold months.

In addition to these, never fertilizer the plant when the soil is dry. It needs to be moist. This way, the fertilizer concentration won’t be too high.

Also, when applying fertilizer don’t pour or spray it directly onto the stems or base of the plant. Instead, apply on the soil around the base.

Direct application is too potent that it will damage the plant.

 

Pruning

The Double Begonia is known for its low maintenance. This means it does not need a lot of pruning despite the fact that it can get bushy.

That’s because the leaves and flowers grow closely to one another.

And they do in a very neat and orderly manner.

This means that the only pruning you’ll need to do is to remove any discolored, dead, old or damaged leaves. Also get rid of any diseased leaves.

If the plant gets leggy, then prune the affective areas to allow them to regrow.

Similarly, it does not need deadheading as its spend flowers will eventually fall ff on their own. However, you can remove them before this happens as well it you want to keep your Double Begonia looking bright and pretty always.

 

How to Propagate Double Begonia

The Double Begonia is easy to propagate. And two common ways of doing this is via stem cuttings and leaf cuttings.

Of course, you can likewise divide the plant or propagate it from seed.

The simplest of these are stem and leaf cuttings. Both work quite well with good success rates.

The best time to propagate the Double Begonia is during spring to early summer. Also, the plant needs to be healthy.

Don’t propagate an unhealthy or stressed plant.

Here’s how to propagate Double Begonia from stem cuttings.

  • Take a healthy stem cutting from the other plant. Make sure cutting has at least 1-2 nodes, a few leaves and no flowers. You want at least 3-4 inch cuttings or longer.
  • Use a sterile cutting too and cut just below a node.
  • Remove lower the leaves but leave the upper leaves intact.
  • Next, prepare a pot and fill it will well-draining soil. Then plant the cuttings in the pots.
  • Water the soil to keep it moist. And leaves the plant in bright, indirect light.

It will take about 4 weeks for enough roots to start growing.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Double Begonia

You only need to repot Double Begonias that are in containers.

There’s not need to do this for those planted in he garden. However, if your garden plant does not have space it starts to outgrow its original spot, you may need to prune it or transplant it.

Note that Double Begonias don’t like being moved.

And they enjoy being slightly root bound.

This means there is no hurry to repot. Instead, always wait until you start seeing roots poke out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.

This is the sing to look for.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

Sadly, yes. Double Begonias are toxic to people, cats and dogs. But they only become poisonous the moment they are ingested.

Once the outer tissues of the plant are broken, the calcium oxalate crystals become activated in the mouth.

These are like very tiny needles that will pierce your touch and mouth areas.

If you swallow parts of the plant including its leaves, you’ll likewise feed the side effects in your esophagus and stomach area as the oxalates reach there.

 

Double Begonia Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Double Begonia is resistant to pests. But it is not immune to them.

This means that while it is unlikely that pests will successfully attack it, there’s always the possibility.

Therefore, you always need to check the plant’s leaves for damage or any signs of pests.

Mealybugs are a common pest that likes the Double Begonia.

And you can treat it with neem oil or insecticidal soap.

 

Diseases

As with other begonia varieties, the Double Begonia is susceptible to powdery mildew and root rot.

Root rot is by far the more dangerous of the two as it can kill your plant if you discovered early enough to treated properly.

While less deadly, powdery mildew can mess up the overall look of your plant.

That’s because powdery mildew will cover the leaves with a white, powdery layer.

This fungal infection also spreads very quickly so you need to take action.

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