Though these annual flowers can be grown outside, many people choose to grow begonias as houseplants, where they will bloom year round. Begonias feature beautiful green foliage and flowers that are waxy in appearance. Easily maintained and available in a wide variety of colors, begonias are great for the beginning gardener. Here are the care requirements necessary for growing begonias indoors.
Because begonias prefer fast-draining soil, it's best not to grow them in average potting soil. For best results, mix one part perlite and two parts peat moss for a nutrient-rich, porous mixture. Choose a container that is only slightly larger than your begonia's root ball for planting; if planted in containers that are much larger, it's easier for begonias to become waterlogged. After planting, set your begonia planters on a tray lined with pebbles and shallow water, which will increase the humidity levels around the plants. As native tropicals, begonias need more humidity than the average home provides, even though they don't like their soil to be too wet.
Keep your begonias in a bright, sunny window. If your begonia has red leaves, it will be able to withstand higher light levels than those with green leaves. Begonias with green foliage only need filtered sunlight. They should be watered thoroughly only after the top layer of soil in the pot becomes dry. Overwatering will cause begonias to develop root rot and disease. In order to encourage full, bushy growth, you should regularly pinch off side shoots, which will cause the plant to grow leggy and widespread. During active months of growth in the spring and summer, begonias can be fertilized with a diluted liquid solution up to once a week. In the dormant months of fall and winter, it's best to fertilize begonias only once a month.
You will love having your begonias indoors so you can enjoy them no matter what the weather is outside.