Repotting an Overgrown Begonia - Page 1

A begonia that we have had for several years as a house plant in winter and outdoor plant in summer is in need of serious repotting and care.

overgrown potted begonia

Several years ago this begonia was given to my mother in law, now deceased. It has obviously come to us and we use it as ahouse plant during the winter months and put it out on the patio for the summer. Once again it has greatly overgrown its pot. We have no need for lots of begonias as houseplants so it should go back into this pot, which means dividing it and replanting. However, it has never stopped blooming since we got it, so a couple of blooms need to be left with it as it restablishes itself. Note the small begonia beside it.

begonia from stem cutting

This is a better picture of the smaller begonia. I took this as a cutting from the larger a couple of months ago and it is doing beautifully. In fact, I have taken blooms off it as I want it and a couple of others I started for spring stock and I want plants, not blooms.

begonia spreading in its pot

A close up shows that this one has already started to spread in its pot. I may have to repot to a larger pot before spring.

 cutting back the begonia

I begin the process of repotting by cutting back the plant. This both makes it more manageable and allows a better look at what is going on.

removing the garden begonia from its pot

Next I rap the bottom of the pot on the bench a couple of times to loosten it up and then the plant is tipped into the tray to be processed. People tend to be worried about doing this but it is for the good of the plant and we notice that the roots hold the growing material quite well into a ball which protects them at this stage.

 Getting the pot ready for planting

Meanwhile the pot is cleaned and refilled with potting material. I like a peat based product with long term, slow release fertilizer added. If there is any suspicion of desease in the parent plant the pot should be sterilized by washing with a chlorine solution of a tablespoon of bleach in a quart of water.