Do You Have To Deadhead Begonias?

Pruning and deadheading begonia is recommended to promote a bushier plant with more flowers. Also, prune if your plant becomes leggy. This will help the plant grow in a way that looks healthier and will encourage it to use its energy to make more flowers.

Begonias are popular flowering plants that come in over 1,800 varieties. With their brightly colored and abundant blooms, it’s no wonder they are a favorite for gardens and containers As a begonia owner, you may be wondering – do I need to deadhead my begonias? The simple answer is no, you don’t have to deadhead most begonia varieties However, deadheading can encourage more blooms and improve the look of your plants.

What Is Deadheading?

Deadheading refers to the process of removing spent flowers from plants. When the petals wilt, fade or fall off, the plants put energy into forming seeds instead of producing more flowers. By deadheading, you remove the faded blooms so the plant concentrates on making new buds instead.

Deadheading improves the appearance of plants by getting rid of unsightly dying blooms. It also prolongs the flowering period. While you don’t have to deadhead begonias, doing so can maximize their floral display.

Do All Begonias Need Deadheading?

Most begonias do not require deadheading. The main exception is begonia x tuberhybrida, the tuberous begonia. Tuberous begonias tend to bloom longer when old blossoms are removed. Other begonias like wax, angel wing, rhizomatous, and rex begonias will bloom freely without deadheading.

Here are some specifics on whether common begonia varieties need deadheading

  • Tuberous begonias – Benefit from deadheading
  • Wax begonias – Usually don’t require deadheading
  • Dragon wing begonias – Don’t need deadheading
  • Rex begonias – Don’t need deadheading
  • Rhizomatous begonias – Deadheading not necessary
  • Semperflorens begonias – Don’t require deadheading
  • Trailing/cascade begonias – Deadheading not needed

So for most begonias, deadheading is optional. But it can encourage reblooming in some varieties like tuberous begonias. Even if deadheading isn’t required, it can still improve the look of the plant by removing faded flowers.

Benefits of Deadheading Begonias

Here are some of the benefits you can gain from deadheading begonia plants:

  • Encourages more blooms – Removing spent flowers tells the plant to produce more buds. This extends the flowering period.

  • Improves appearance – Getting rid of droopy, browning flowers gives your begonias a neater, tidier look.

  • Prevents disease – Old blooms can harbor botrytis and other fungal diseases. Deadheading minimizes this risk.

  • Promotes bushiness – Snipping off flowers encourages the plant to branch out with new growth.

  • Maximizes plant energy – With no seeds to make, the plant puts energy into buds and foliage instead.

  • Deadheading makes caring for begonias quick and easy. It takes just a few minutes to walk around snapping or pinching off old flowers as needed. For tuberous begonias, deadhead weekly. For other types, deadhead as the flowers fade.

How to Deadhead Begonias

Deadheading begonias is a simple process. Here are some tips:

  • Use clean, sharp pruners or scissors to remove spent flowers. Avoid tearing the stems.

  • Snip the flower stem 1/4 inch below the faded bloom. Be careful not to cut too low or you’ll remove new buds.

  • Pinching off flowers by hand works for smaller, delicate begonias. Grasp the stem between your thumb and forefinger.

  • Check plants regularly and deadhead frequently to encourage repeat blooming.

  • Remove all flower debris from around the begonias to minimize disease.

  • Consider cutting back whole stems by 1/3 if they are leggy or unsightly. New growth will fill in.

  • Stake or cage tall begonias before deadheading so they don’t topple over.

Take care when cutting back begonias. Pruning too severely can reduce flowering. But judicious deadheading will keep your plants blooming beautifully all season long.

Do You Have to Deadhead Begonias – The Bottom Line

Most begonias do not require deadheading to bloom well. Tuberous begonias are the main exception – they tend to flower longer when old blooms are removed. For other begonia varieties, deadheading is optional.

While not strictly necessary, deadheading offers benefits like more flowers, a tidier appearance, and healthier plants. It’s a simple task that takes just minutes. For the fullest, most prolific floral display, get in the habit of snapping or cutting off spent begonia blossoms regularly. Keep those gorgeous blooms coming!

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Pruning and deadheading begonia is recommended to promote a bushier plant with more flowers. Also, prune if your plant becomes leggy. This will help the plant grow in a way that looks healthier and will encourage it to use its energy to make more flowers.

When to Prune Begonias

Cut back the tips of the branches of your begonias every two to four weeks or when the plants start to get leggy. The plant will produce new branches from the pinched point. Additional stems provide more opportunities for the begonia to create flowers.

Tuberous begonias die back every year. The tubers can be dug up and stored for replanting the following year. Begonias that grow from rhizomes keep their leaves all year and can be brought inside as houseplants when it gets cold.

Regularly cutting off the dead flowers will keep your plant looking neat and will keep rotting flowers from attracting disease.

How to deadhead begonias


How do you keep begonias blooming?

Begonias bloom continuously from their first flowering until the first frost. Give them adequate water, some shade, and regular fertilizer to keep them blooming. Deadhead the blooms to encourage more.

Do begonias like sun or shade?

Begonias are tolerant of a range of light conditions, from full sun to shade. In colder climates, plants can tolerate more light. In warm regions, they need protection from hot afternoon sun to prevent leaf scald. Varieties with darker foliage can withstand more light than those with green leaves.

Do begonias need deadheading?

They also flourish indoors, so there really is an option for everyone. Another reason begonias are so favoured among gardeners is that they are so easy to care for. These plants need very little attention, however, one thing you must not forget about is deadheading. Why Deadhead Begonias?

How do you know if a begonia is dead?

Examine your begonias every couple of days, looking out for wilted, discoloured or dead flowers. Once you notice flowers that need to be deadheaded, don your gardening gloves and, if you wish to use them, grab a pair of secateurs. Take hold of the stem about 1.5cm down from the flower.

Should begonias be cut back?

Cut back begonias to keep them looking tidy and covered with blossoms. Removing dead flowers reduces the chance of infection from diseases if the fallen flowers remain on the ground or the container soil surface. Cutting back leggy growth on overgrown begonia stems rejuvenates the plant into producing new healthy growth. Remove dead flowers.

How do you kill a Begonia plant?

Deadhead the begonias. Over time, you’ll notice that the flowers on the begonia plant will begin to brown and die. At this point, you should do a process known as ‘deadheading’. This involved cutting or pulling off the dead flower head, so as to promote new growth and divert nutrients to other parts of the plant.

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