Help with Escargot Begonia

echinaceamaniac(7)May 19, 2009

I have one of these. It's in a small pot. It keeps losing leaves and it's really annoying the heck out of me. The leaves will get dry around the edges. I remove this dead part and it just keeps spreading. It puts up new leaves. They eventually do the same thing. What gives? Is it that the humidity is too low? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have figured out how to root the leaves in water at least. Every time a leaf gets to looking bad I stick it in water and new baby plantlets appear on the stem. I will have no trouble keeping one alive, but how do I make this thing happy? I had no idea they were this finicky.

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I put it in a container today to try and increase the humidity. I hope these don't have to be pampered like this all the time because I hate plants like that!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 8:48AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

What kind of potting medium are you using?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 9:33AM
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It's still in the medium it came in. It looks like normal potting soil to me. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 10:57AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I don't grow this, but first thing I'd try is a pebble tray underneath the plant. (A small dish of small rocks, water to overflow into the rocks & the pot sits ON TOP OF, not in, the wet rocks which helps w/ the humidity).

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 1:46PM
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This plant is a mess. It's beautiful, but this is just annoying. I thought begonias were easy to grow. The leaves just gradually corrode around the edges. I've tried more humidity today and it seems to speed up the corrosion around the edges. Yikes!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 12:24AM
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I wish we could get some HELP ! I'm on my 3rd one. Think I'll try the plastic cover but don't know where to find one tall enough.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 9:31PM
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Well, for what it's worth - and I must disclose I've killed 2, and my Mom, with a super-green thumb has killed 1 - here's my experience:

They don't like it too cold. They don't like it too dry, but aren't really into misting. Their fine, fine Begonia roots don't like to dry out, but they're easy to suffocate & rot out.

You might try sticking one (some?) of your rooted plantlet/leaves into a faster potting medium, but one that stays moist(er) for a little longer. There are several threads here referencing a "gritty" potting mix... hold on to your shorts when you read, but there's some very good info. Moister is a relative term in this context!
If you're using any fertilizer, you may need to give the pot a really good flush.

Were I to try this plant again - and it IS a beauty when happy, how can anyone not be totally slayed by that fantastic curl?! - I would pot a little on the tight side in a medium of bark + baked diatomaceous earth + pumice + leached coir. The coir & the baked DE will hold moisture a little longer. It would likely still need drinks a few times a week.

But, I'm just guessing here & probably won't sentence a 3rd to death.

On the other hand, my B. semperflorens (wax begonia - not nearly as showy, but a survivor) has done fine in the same potting soil + plastic pot for years & years. And Mom has some other kind of Rex (red, with tall, thick & upright stems) that is also doing fine long-term in soil. Go figure.

Here is a link that might be useful: some info that might help... or not, but from a good blog

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 11:35PM
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Hi echinaceamaniac...your problem is fungus. Buy a good fungicide and spray the entire plant, including tops and bottoms of all leaves, stems, trunk. I tossed mine away as I got sick of the constant fungal starts at the margins of the leaves and will eventually cover the entire leaf....spraying helps immensely, but, it requires frequent spraying, removal of all affected leaves. A gorgeous begonia, but a real headache. Many begoniacs believe that a "warning" label should be attached to this begonia, due to its tendency for fungal infections. In this case, higher humidity would only worsen the situation, as would covering the plant. I have 102 different begonias...but, B. escargot is no longer one of them. Best wishes, Patrick

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 11:59PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I am so happy to finally understand why I had such problems with this one. I will give up now. It was good for two years this year it has been a big puzzle.

If it does not want to play with me it can play in the snow see how it likes that.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 9:00PM
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Escargot is one of the most beautiful Begonias around, but difficult during winter.
They need medium light, a lot of humidity and fresh, circulating air.

This winter, I let the soil dry too much, more than usual, so it lost many leaves..

It's true Begonias prefer warm/humid air, but when my Begonias were in the LR, 'warmer, and has a humidifer' they didn't look right. I moved them back to a cold, less humid room, all but the Escargot looks better. Not 100% but better.

One more thing. Choose a good-size, healthy Begonia..they're not the easiest plants to grow, 'especially for those of us who live in cold climates,' so it's best starting out with a healthy specimen.
Don't get me wrong, I buy half-dead, .99 plants, with intent to bring them back to health, but some plants should start out in excellent health and looks. Toni

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 9:33PM
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My 2 cents worth, if you like that big leaf curl try B. 'Northern Lights', it is not humidity sensitive and spent the winter in my heated kitchen, grown in the open, looks great, I'm very pleased with it.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 10:06AM
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I was wondering how i can get a stater from a mature escargot plant. What do i need to do
thank U

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 9:06PM
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