Leggy Tuberous begonias, what to do?

linnea56(z5 IL)June 14, 2012

I started my tuberous begonias as usual indoors, in April. They were a couple of inches tall, well leafed. Then I took a surprise trip and never got them outdoors to harden off and get more sun. Normally I put them out as soon as they have a couple of leaves. When I came back they were very leggy, with a lot of space between the leaves. I think the leggy begonias are at risk of the whole stem falling off as soon as it gets enough weight on it, especially when it starts flowering.

Do these respond to cutting back? Will the branch out from a node? Thanks!

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This is a problem. If you cut them back you can root the pieces and grow them on but I doubt there will be time for them to bloom yet this year. Try it and see, you don't have much to lose. I think they may branch from the base rather than from a node. There are a lot of experienced tuberhybrida growers out there,I wish they would comment on this because this is a tough problem. Ifyou stake them and let them grow,they may topple.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 10:27AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Thanks. I hope a tuberhybrida expert does weigh in. When I'm on these forums it seems like mostly cane people here. Though my knowledge of classes is sketchy...

I've never tried rooting the pieces. Can you tell me how? I saw this morning one 4 inch long stem had broken off at the base and was just laying there wilting.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:56AM
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One method is to put it in a zip bag with a little water. When it looks firm, drain the water and add lightly moist sphagmum moss to the bag, place the base of the cutting in or on the moss and hang it in a warm place. YOu can add commercial rooting powder to the base of the cutting if you like. Make sure there is a node near the base, cut it if you have to. I was able to carry a cutting of one tuberhybrida all thru fall, winter and spring - however they get so large I would cut it back, and root that cutting as well, I ended up with four cuttings all rooted and growing. I will try and take a picture later this summer, assuming they are all worth looking at by then!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 2:49PM
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