Problem with begonias and the gritty mix

odyssey3(7 noVA)May 5, 2013

I've been working on repotting my houseplants into the gritty mix. So far, bulbs like hippeastrum, a jade plant and several aglaonemas have have had no problems with repotting into the gritty mix. My begonias have been another story. I had two 4" pots healthy canes (foliosa and dade) that were seriously drooping by the next morning after repotting. They have almost completely defoliated. I am cutting back dead tips, but each day it seems there are new dead tips. I also repotted two 8" thriving mallet begonias (maurice amey and don miller) with the same drooping by morning, but no leaf loss. The leaves seem to be getting thinner in addition. I am pretty bummed about this. Has anyone had success repotting thinner leaved plants? Any tips for helping mine recover? Should I prune any drooping stems?

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why would you put a begonia in a gritty mix?

shouldn't begonias be in a more moist soil? You don't expect begonias to grow in sand. just like you wouldn't put an African Violet in sand. Some plants take fine to grit - and others really do need dirt.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 11:52AM
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odyssey3(7 noVA)

Well, the gritty mix is not sand. I wouldn't put any plant into sand. The gritty mix can hold a lot of moisture.

I should also mention that last year I put two tiny begonia starts in the gritty mix and they are fine. My problem now is with transplanting established begonias.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 11:57AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

IME with Begonias, they can have harder adjustments than a lot of other plants to disturbance, but worth it soon after. The tips might falter, but there's usually 2-3 new stems that sprout lower down to take place of the one lost. Did you do any trimming of the roots?

I wonder if your mix was very dry and just needed a better initial drink? If you did this outside to a plant that had not been out yet, it's possible the leaves are burned. Begonia leaves can just kind of melt if they are burned, with seemingly no brown crispy phase at all sometimes. Same thing with frost bite, or just a wild sudden variance in temp. Just about anything can mess up those with really delicate leaves, but it's usually just the leaves. One of those plants that can drop/re-grow leaves quite easily.

Can you show a pic or two?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 12:55PM
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odyssey3(7 noVA)

I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow purple. I am actually a lot less concerned about the two bigger ones. They seem a bit less droopy. The smaller ones on the other hand...:(

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 10:41PM
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