Crispy Leaves on Wax Begonias

Asked June 7, 2018, 1:56 PM EDT

I have recently planted wax begonias in pots. I used Miracle Gro potting soil mix, and the plants are in clay pots. I know that these plants are susceptible to overwatering, so the soil is damp, but not wet. Also, I have avoided putting them in too much sun. But the outer edges of some leaves are drying out . . . they look scorched, and this condition moves in from the outside of the leaf to the center. Not all leaves are affected, but enough that I am worried. What could be causing this trouble, and what can I do?

Cass County Michigan

3 Responses

It is probably transplant shock. If the plants were not living outside when you purchased them they should be in the shade for a few days gradually lengthening the time they are exposed to sun. Although these plants tolerate sun it is my experience they do best with some shade in the hottest part of the day. Also, if your clay pots are new and have not been completely soaked for 24 hours in water the clay can wick the moisture away from the soil and it will be a season long struggle to keep them adequately irrigated. Hopefully the pots are also a good size to allow the roots to grow.

Oops . . . I don't know why I said they were clay pots. Actually, they are plastic (made to look like terra cotta) and yes, they are large enough, I'm sure. In fact, the soil is still a little moist on top and it's been a week since I planted them. I hope it is transplant shock, because then they should rebound, right? I was afraid the Miracle Gro might be too strong for them. Do you think that is possible?

If you planted them a week ago and the soil is still moist, do the pots have drainage holes? Drainage is essential for plants in pots. As long as you didn’t add anything else to the Miracle Gro the soil should be ok. You may want to take the plants out and see what is going on with the roots. It could be that excessive moisture has stopped any further root development.