Begonia problem


Hello Toronto Master Gardeners,
I’ve had a beautiful begonia for about 8 years.
Never had any issues until one day this winter, when I noticed it losing a lot of leaves. I figured perhaps a draft from the window we hadn’t noticed caused some damage, but it hasn’t gotten better. I removed all the dried parts and repotted the healthiest parts in new soil.
I’m very worried about it, it keeps losing leaves and all the new growth seems to perish fairly quickly. How can I promote growth? What are the best conditions for it?

Thank you for all your help as always!


Hi Lorena – While I can’t tell for sure from your photo, you don’t mention that your plant shows signs of disease or evidence of insects. So it seems likely that the issue is environmental. Begonias thrive in bright light away from direct sunlight.  They should be watered only when the surface of the soil is dry to the touch.  Too much moisture can cause roots to rot.

Your begonia did well for some time so what has changed?  Is the begonia in a new location perhaps with too much direct light?  Have you been watering more frequently to encourage new growth?  Some leaf drop is normal but can be alarming and it’s easy to over water to compensate.  In general, houseplants should be watered less frequently during the winter as there is generally less growth during this time.  As the season changes, watering can increase.

I’m not sure how long since you pruned and re-potted your begonia but it will certainly take it awhile to recover.  My advice is to give it time.  Make sure its light requirements are met and avoid over watering.

I’ve attached a link below to our ‘Growing Begonias Indoors’ guide so you can read more about begonia care.

Growing Begonias Indoors