I winter about 8 big Potted begonias in my heated garage every winter. When they dry back and drop foliage I just stack the pots in a corner until now. I start giving them a little water as the bids emerge. Some of these are 20 years old. They get huge in the summer and push loads of flowers. My question is should I be cutting back the soil around the root balls to add new soil?
Crow Wing County Minnesota
Thanks for the question! If they’ve been around for 20 years, I almost want to tell you, don’t fix what isn’t broken! On the other hand, newer soil or soil amendments may ensure that your begonias continue to remain as vigorous as ever in the years to come. Typically, at some point in a potted plant’s life, they’ll see a need for a soil amendment.
I’d recommend cutting back and adding new soil to only a couple of your plants first to see how they react, marking the plants that were amended so you’ll know which ones to tackle next year if you see success. Also keep in mind that after you prune back the roots, the begonias may take a while to get going again as they grow back their roots.