What to do with leggy tuberous begonias

dkotchey(z5)April 22, 2005

I started some tuberous begonias inside and a couple of them look leggy. I think I started them a bit too early and I had them in a bright (some sun) window rather than under lights. I just placed them under lights in hopes it will control the legginess. Can I do anything to make them bushier? I'm afraid to break off any stems or "pinch" them because I'm not sure if this will help.

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kdjoergensen

Do not pinch them. Instead stake them.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 11:41AM
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dkotchey(z5)

OK, Thanks. Do you think they will "bush out" when I bring them outside?

Also, 2 of them are starting the flower - is it ok to let them bloom before putting them outside?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 7:55PM
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kdjoergensen

They wont bush out this year. Next year they will do better. It is ok to let them flower indoors, but remember to deadhead after flowering, so they will continue to flower outdoors.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 8:36PM
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sacerdos(7VA)

I would not let them flower now.I would remove the buds and let the energy go to establishing a larger plant even though the spindliness would not be corrected this year.Some tubers produce weak plants.Last year I had 21 plants in pots and one was evry spindly eventhought the others were not.This year the same tuber poduced a weak spindly plant and this is a named variety costing 75 bucks.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2005 at 9:04PM
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Motezuma(z5 WV)

Sacerdos, Thanks! That makes up my mind not to buy any of those expensive ones. I was considering it...

-Mo (WV)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2005 at 8:06PM
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kdjoergensen

Even spindly begonia plants can flower as long as you stake them properly.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2005 at 9:13PM
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sacerdos(7VA)

I would not give up on named varieties simply because of one lemon.All of my begonias are ither from B&L (via white flower farm) or Antonellis.Most are from B&L and I am willing to suffer the defective tuber than get cheap ones.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2005 at 9:42AM
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cantstopgardening(Zone 4/5 WI)

Thanks from me too! I have four Non-stop begonias that I brought in for the winter, to grow as houseplants, and one nearly died, the other three are very leggy. This fall, I will let the tubors go dormant, I think.

So, for this summer, I should stake about every other leaf section (boy, I need to learn the terminology! please excuse me,) tying securely to the stake, with not too much wiggle room? Is that correct? Would pantyhose make good ties, or would they be too loose?

This is my first experience with tuberous begonias, and I am so thrilled they have survived the winter. Usually, to become a houseplant under my care is a death sentence. lol!!

I'm going to start re-introducing them to the outdoors any day now. I'll start with a very protected spot, especially since I don't have the room to stake them upright in the house. They are currently on a three-shelf plant stand, under a flourescent light, next to an east window. Our house has three foot overhangs, and a huge spruce outside that window. It was the best I could do.

Sorry to go on so long. Thanks again for all the help. I have been lurking here for some time, trying to figure it all out. I am amazed by all of the wonderful folks, who have such beautiful plants, and are so knowledgeable.

Jean

    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 11:46PM
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Motezuma(z5 WV)

Sacerdos, I love WFF, and was thinking of getting a peony tree. For the money, B&L seem way overpriced. Is there something I'm missing about these begonias? A peony tree and a begonia tuber cost the same money...

Can ya' feel what I'm getting at?

-Mo (WV)

    Bookmark   May 12, 2005 at 12:51PM
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billdavid1955

I have 3 pots - one tuber in ea. They have just broken the soil surface. I want to put them in hanging baskets on my front porch but its too early. Should i keep them in a north window where they are now? Or should i put them under lights until 1st week of May (our usual safe date).?? Id rather they didnt go leggy.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 10:17AM
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