There are several varieties of begonias, and there are a number of possible reasons for their leaves falling off. If you find yourself with this issue and you aren’t quite sure how to identify the cause, this article will help you greatly.
It will address the most common causes for a begonia dropping leaves so that you can find the best solution (or solutions) for preventing this from occurring.
Keep in mind that there are other possible reasons that are not included in this article, so if the causes you read about here are not the issue, then you may need to look for alternative solutions.
1 – Lack of Moisture in Air
Since begonias are tropical plants, they need a good deal of humidity to really thrive. If your begonias are in a pot inside your home, the dry environment could be causing your begonia’s leaves to fall off, especially if it is winter.
Winter is already the driest season, but on top of that, using the furnace in your home can also remove moisture from the air.
If you suspect that this is the issue, it is a smart idea to purchase a humidifier and place it near your begonia. This will provide it with that extra humidity it requires for optimum health.
Another option is regularly spritzing the plant with water using a spray bottle. You can also create or buy a miniature greenhouse in which to hold your begonia. This will act as its own little humid biome where your begonia can flourish and hold on to all of its leaves.
2 – Worm Invasion
It is possible that your begonia is dropping leaves due to an infestation of worms. The most common type to attack this plant is the cutworm. These pests will cause your begonia’s leaves to dry out, eventually falling off as a result.
To figure out if this is the issue, examine your begonia around the dusk hours. This is the time of day when the cutworms are most active, so their presence should be obvious.
There are a few ways to get rid of these worms that do not involve the use of harsh chemicals. You should attempt to utilize these methods before you go the other route.
To prevent an invasion to begin with, it is smart to use mulch around your begonias and other plants. You should use components in your mulch that will harm the worms and block their movement, such as crushed egg shells.
You should also make it a habit to till or dig into your soil in both the early spring and fall. This will uncover any worm eggs or larvae, thus making them exposed to the elements and killing them.
To kill worms that are already existing on your begonia, you can pick off and crush worms and larvae during the nighttime.
3 – Incorrect Amount of Sunlight
Another potential reason for dropping begonia leaves is that your plant is not getting adequate sunlight or it is getting too much light. With that being said, begonias need light like any other plant, but they do not require copious amounts of it.
If you notice that your begonia leaves look burnt, they are probably getting too much direct sunlight for too much time throughout the day.
For a begonia that is kept indoors inside a pot, you should move it near a window that gets less direct light coming through it. The best sides of your house for your begonia are the east, west, and south.
A begonia that is outside should be planted in partial shade to flourish.
The type of begonia you have determines the specifics in regard to how much light it needs to thrive, so this is something to consider as well.
4 – Recent Stress
If you have repotted your begonia recently, it can cause the plant some stress. This stress it endures can lead to your begonia dropping leaves.
You can help your plant avoid this stress, however, by repotting it properly. First of all, only switch your begonia to a new pot if it is absolutely vital. There is no sense in possibly harming your plant without a good reason.
Second, you should pick a slightly larger pot for your begonia’s new home so it has plenty of room to grow bigger without being restricted by its container. This is only necessary if your plant actually needs extra space at the time you re-pot it.
You should also pick out a pot that has a hole on the bottom for good drainage. This will prevent the plant from getting inundated, which is especially important for begonias since they get watered quite often.
The third piece of information regarding repotting your begonia, and possibly the most important, concerns the seasons. If you re-pot your begonia during the winter or summer, it can result in the loss of leaves.
You should try to only re-pot your plant in the spring, though autumn is also an acceptable season for repotting plants due to the mild temperatures.
5 – Improper Watering
The final common reason for your begonia dropping leaves is watering your begonia unevenly, too much, or not enough.
Begonias are a bit tricky when it comes to watering them. To have a flourishing begonia, you must use your finger or a soil moisture meter every day to check if it needs to be watered.
This can seem a bit tedious, but it only takes a few seconds and can have a huge impact on your begonia’s health. Thus, this is not a step to be overlooked as it can very well solve your issue with dropping leaves.
When you do water your begonia, you should make the soil wet without being saturated. You should also water it evenly.
You will probably need to water it every day, which is why using a pot that will drain excess water well is vital.
If you notice your begonia’s leaves rotting before they fall, it can be a sign that you are overwatering the plant.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.