BEGONIA SOCIETY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Web: www.begoniaswa.org e-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Info. Sheet 3
How often shall I water my Begonias? A question so often asked and there is no simple answer.
Like all other plants Begonias are watered when they need it. Fortunately a plant’s need for water
can be assessed by sight or touch unlike problems with P.H. or toxic soil. A caring, observant
grower will soon learn to recognise the signs.
There are many conditions which will affect the amount of water a plant requires and how
frequently it is required - temperature, humidity, size of plant in proportion to pot size, wind, type
of pot (plastic, ceramic, clay), quality of soil.
With low temperatures &/or high humidity the plant will not need to transpire as much moisture to
cool and moisten its foliage. In hot or very dry windy conditions the plants will give off and so use
much more moisture.
A vigorous plant with a healthy root system will soon fill the soil with roots. Less soil to hold
moisture and more moisture needed to service the growing plant. The solution is to place the plant
in a larger pot or water more frequently.
When a plant is potted on and so has extra soil or a seedling or freshly rooted cutting is potted up
less frequent watering is needed because there is surplus soil to hold the moisture. As the plant
grows and the roots fill the pot watering will have to be increased.
The type of container used will make a big difference. Plastic or ceramic pots lose water from the
surface soil only, through evaporation and of course that which the roots take up, where as clay pots
lose water through the porous clay. Wonderful for keeping the soil and roots cool but demanding in
our hot, dry summers. The same applies to hanging containers where fibre liners are used. I use
fibre liners because I think they look good and allow good air flow to soil and roots but once the
roots have filled the soil they will need extra water. Certainly in