Your Begonia is dying after repotting because of transplant shock. Plants experience transplant shock when the roots get damaged during the process. As a result of this, leaves wilt and get discolored. To prevent this, be gentle when repotting your Begonia.
Begonia is grown for its beautiful flowers. The genus has more than 2,000 species of perennial plants. Some species are grown indoors in cooler climates.
Begonia plants grow as perennials in warmer climates. The plants are grown in almost all the places as annuals.
Begonia wilting after repotting
Your Begonia is wilting after repotting because of transplant shock. Transplant shock is seen in plants whose roots are damaged.
Wilting is seen usually after 24-48 hours of repotting your Begonia. Begonia doesn’t handle transplanting well.
Begonias can wilt dramatically after repotting. Repotting stresses the plant, so keeping it shaded for a while is crucial.
You don’t need to worry if only one leaf wilts, it’s probably due to root damage. You need to worry only if the whole plant is drooping.
There’s a more chance of Transplant shock if you repot your Begonia to a much bigger pot than it was previously in.
Most Rhizomatous and Rex Begonia plants don’t like to be repotted with bare rooting. They don’t like it even if you slightly disturb the roots.
They prefer to be tented after you move them to a bigger pot.
Can Begonias be transplanted?
Yes, Begonias can be transplanted. You need to be extra careful when moving your Begonia to a bigger pot as they don’t like being moved.
You need to transplant your Begonia in the fall to give it some time to recover. It’s not always a good idea to transplant Begonias.
Begonia likes to be somewhat root-bound. So, it doesn’t like to be moved to another pot.
New Begonias can also be transplanted in the fall. By doing this, you’ll give the plants enough time to develop roots.
How to prevent Transplant shock in Begonia
Below are a few instructions to prevent Transplant shock in Begonia.
- Don’t damage the roots when you take the plant out of the original pot. Try to cause as minimal disturbance in the roots as possible.
- Try to keep as many roots intact as possible to prevent trasnplant shock.
- Water your Begonia throughly after transplanting. This gives your plant the strength to revive itself.
- Always make sure the rootball stays moist while transplanting.
- After repotting your Begonia, keep the soil/potting mix evenly moist. Keep the plant in a dappled shade location for a while.
- Don’t fertilize your Begonia until it starts to grow actively again.
Setting up a humidity dome for Begonia
- Most Rhizotomous and Rex Begonias don’t like to be repotted. They expect you to provide them with a humidity dome/humidity tent.
- One can create a humidity dome/tent using a clear plastic bag. This is like creating a mini greenhouse around your Begonia plant.
- This setup increases the humidity around your Begonia, helps the plant recover quickly.
- Set the humidity dome only if you have already placed the plant in dappled shade. Setting this up in sunlight harms the plant.
- Before setting up the humidity dome, make sure that the soil/potting mix is barely moist. If the soil is soggy/waterlogged, it encourages root rot.
How to treat Transplant shock in Begonia
There aren’t any guidelines to treat transplant shock, but below are few ways to treat the condition.
Trim your Begonia
Trimming Begonia helps the plant to focus its efforts on producing roots. If you grow your plant as a perennial, cut back one-third of it.
If you grow your Begonia as a bush, cut back one-third of it. If your plant has just one stem, cut half of each leaf.
Always trim the leaves using sterilized pair of pruning shears.
Add sugar to the potting mix
I’ve seen that adding sugar solution to the potting mix at the time of transplanting reduces the chances of transplant shock.
Get some plain sugar from the grocery store. Make a weak sugar and water solution. You may wanna add this solution to the pot when you transplant your Begonia.
This helps prevent transplant shock in many plants as far as I know. It doesn’t harm the plant in any way. So, do try it!
Tip: If the roots are removed, remove the top growth/foliage too.
Keeping the Begonia roots moist
Keep the Begonia rootball moist even when you’re transplanting the plant. You can prevent the chances of transplant shock dramatically if you do this.
Try to keep the soil/potting mix moist. Water only when the top two inches of the soil goes dry. Make sure the soil has good drainage.
You don’t want your Begonia to sit in waterlogged conditions for a long time, it causes root rot.
Know when to transplant
You can safely transplant your Begonia at the end of the fall season or the beginning of the spring season.
Don’t transplant your Begonia in summer/warmer days. This only hurts your plant. If possible, transplant late in the afternoon.
Wait for a while!
Sometimes you just need to give your Begonia a few days to recover. If there’s minimal damage, the plant recovers on its own.
Care for your plant normally while it recovers. After a while you should see new growth, if not, see what’s wrong and fix accordingly.
Happy Growing 🙂