This one Tuberous Begnoia refuses to go dormant?

jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)December 31, 2013

There are three Tuberous Begnoias in the pot. They are orange and of hanging basket type. Two seem to be sleeping but one has never stopped. The small leaves have grown larger. They are retrieved indoors in late October after a first light frost. The pictures below are taken today December 31, 2013. I am guessing that it will never go fully dormant this winter. Does this mean the other two bulbs have died?

This picture was taken late summer 2013, before the dormancy.

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Curious that it is hanging on. It looks as though it is stretching and searching for more light, the soil looks damp enough to help keep it going. Hard to say what has become of the other tubers.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2014 at 9:55AM
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Edie(5 NY (Finger Lakes))

Have you tried gently poking around in the pot to find the other tubers? If they're still firm, they probably got the memo and went dormant. Be careful if you try this; there may be sprouts beneath the soil surface and they break easily. Has the pot been rotated? Maybe the one begonia stayed awake because of the light from the window. I've got a few that died back and then resprouted. I think they weren't sure if it was time to sleep yet.

I agree that the soil does look damp in your photos. Are you watering? I don't water mature tuberous begonias this time of year. Most of mine are now bare, dry tubers. I left first-year seedlings potted, but let the medium dry out completely.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 10:08PM
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jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)

Thank you for the answers woebegonia MT edie_h 5aNY above. I actually am keeping the soil dry. I spray the surface with water and that is it :)

I plan to dig out the 3 tubers next February to see if they are still viable. I am not sure if the roots are completely done at this time. I know 1 is okay but I am not sure about the other two. Let me know if this is the proper timing to check.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 7:55PM
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When you want to do this depends on your growing environment and where you live. If you think they are fully dormant you can check them anytime you think you need to do so. A nursery in our area sells the Calif. tubers in early April, the little 'eyes' are usually starting to appear. I have a couple in my refrigerator I haven't bothered to check yet.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 8:49AM
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jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)

Posted by woebegonia MT (My Page) on Tue, Jan 7, 14 at 8:49

The temperature of the location is about 66 degree. After reading your method, I might just dig them out, wrap them in moist moss and place them in the refrigerator?

I previously thought the refrigerator is not airy enough. Do yours start to have new pink shoots in the fridge ... or after they are out in room temperature?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 10:16AM
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I think moist moss might induce rot, mine are in dry sawdust . If I had enough dry, old, used potting soil I might use that too. I just checked them, dipped them in warm water so I can see better what is going on. Of the two hanging types, one has the eyes showing. T he other two look more firm but are showing nothing, they are just the pot types and I think I will dry them and put them back in the sawdust. Since one of the hangers has started, I think I will put them over the lamp ballasts and see what might continue to develop. A lot of people keep them in the pots after they go dormant and store them in a basement or someplace cool, but my/our basement has always been too warm for tuberhybrida although the species tuberous seem to make it okay there.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 1:31PM
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jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)

Posted by woebegonia MT (My Page) on Wed, Jan 1, 14 at 9:55

Posted by edie_h 5aNY

Thank you both for your correct direction.

I dug mine out. There were three large bulbs. One completely rotted. The second is exactly half rotted - the other half is firm and vigorous. The third one is fine with small eaves. The good ones have many pink eyes growing out.

I feel so sad because one of them has gone for good. Sigh. This is the one that has rotted completely:

Now, for the half rotted one, I placed it immediately, just under the surface of very loose and slightly moist soil in a medium clay pot. I placed it at a location that is cool but never freezes. I hope it survives. I did not spray any cinnamon because the shape of the bulb appears to be irregular, It is hard to tell old stems, dirt and the tuber. Please let me know if this might still rot or how to prevent further decaying.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 7:52PM
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The two hanging ones in the fridge did have pink eyes so I have potted them into damp soil about half up the size of the tuber and put them under lights. The others I am putting on wet paper towels and under lights; the towels dry rapidly but I wet them only once every 24 hours and keep an eyeon them.I think it is a mistake to put a rotting tuber under the soil and in moist soil as well, but I could be wrong,we learn by doing, so let us know what happens.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 9:28AM
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juju, you need to lift half-rotted tuber out and let it dry overnight and then brush off the soil carefully: old tooth brush works well. remove old stems if any and cut off the rotting part of tuber until the tissue is firm and white and there are no dark rotted spots anywhere. let it dry so that the surface is not damp - for another day or so. then put in on the surface of a slightly moist sphagnum moss (almost dry) and put it somewhere warmer and wait to see if it produces a bud. only then plant it - examine it again to make sure the rot has not started again. you can dust with cinnamon, but only the cut white part, after it is dry.
can you post a picture of it?

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 1:54PM
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jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)

Posted by petrushka z7b (My Page) on Thu, Jan 23, 14 at 13:54

Posted by woebegonia MT (My Page) on Wed, Jan 22, 14 at 9:28

Posted by edie_h 5aNY (Finger Lakes) (My Page) on Thu, Jan 2, 14 at 22:08

Thank you all so much. The remaining two bulbs are firm. I now realize that the bulbs rotted during the growing season.

I placed some fresh horse manure at the bottom of the pot. And I placed the bulbs side ways. It turned out that the horse manure burnt the bulbs if they got too close. The bottom half of the bulb simply disappeared. That is the power of raw fertilizer :-)

I also recall that the one that completely rotted, its branches actually were blown off by a strong wind. Because the other two sharing the pot are growing okay, I could not have dug it out. So, I had to continue to water. It turned out that the one blown off by wind disappeared completely.

This post was edited by jujujojo on Mon, Feb 3, 14 at 19:44

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 7:42PM
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jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)

The two both survived to this year with one germinating much earlier than the other:

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 12:40AM
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Good job!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 10:55AM
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jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)

Posted by woebegonia MT (My Page) on Mon, Jun 23, 14 at 10:55


    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 4:10PM
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jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)

This is the survivor of squirrel attack. Squirrels bite and drink the watery stems. The plant is sitting in a large plastic bag now.

This is the same plant as in the first post in winter. The colour is really lovely.

The one on the right has light white and purple bloom. But the squirrel attacked it several times. Eventually all the shoots were bitten off. I think it has died now.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 8:12PM
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Well, I've seen worse, like mine after a gusty wind roars up unexpectedly.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 12:13PM
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jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)

Posted by woebegonia MT (My Page) on Wed, Aug 20, 14 at 12:13

If you read my other thread, the squirrels killed 5 out of 7 tuberous begonia I bought this spring. It seems tuberous begonia has a weakness, if the shoots are bitten off twice in growing season, the plant dies.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 12:21AM
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I thought you were referring to the shape of the plant, a strong wind blew one of my hangers almost out of the pot.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 10:14AM
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