Begonia plants are a popular choice for garden borders and hanging baskets. Readily available at garden centers and plant nurseries, begonias are often among the first flowers added to newly revitalized flower beds. Highly praised for their varying colors and textures, both tuberous and seed grown begonias offer growers a plethora of colorful flowers and waxy multi-colored foliage.
With these attributes in mind, it is easy to see why many growers may have cause for alarm when their previously healthy begonia plants begin to show signs of distress, such as leaf spots on begonia.
What Causes Begonia Leaf Spot?
Leaf spots of begonia are caused by a pathogen called Xanthomonas. Among the first signs and symptoms that growers may notice when dealing with leaf spot on begonia is the appearance of darkened spots or “water soaked” leaves. As the disease progresses, leaf spot can continue to spread throughout the host plant and to other begonia plants near it. If severe, the begonia plant will eventually die.
Leaf spot on begonias is a disease which is most commonly spread by infected plant matter. Begonias with leaf spot are often introduced into the existing flower bed, thus causing problems in the garden.
Treating Begonia Bacterial Leaf Spot
The best way to maintain a healthy planting of begonias is to monitor and check the overall health of the flowers before planting them into the garden. Closely examine the leaves of the begonia plants. The first signs of begonia leaf spot may often be present on the underside of the plants’ foliage.
Buying from a reputable source will help to decrease the likelihood that the begonia plants have come into contact with this bacterial issue.
In some cases, presence of the bacteria may not be immediately apparent. If begonia leaf spot does become an issue in the flower bed, growers can help combat it by removing and destroying infected plants.
Always make certain to thoroughly clean any garden tools which have been used to handle the begonias with leaf spot, as these can spread the disease too. As with many plants, it is best to avoid overhead watering, as this process can also encourage the transport of the disease to other begonia plantings.