Tuberouse Begonia's

jennypat Zone 3b NW MN(Zone 3b NW MN)September 10, 2007

This year was the first time I had some of these. And I love them! Now that it is getting close to frost I am wondering how to over winter these.

Do I take a cutting, root it and plant it in a pot to keep in a window over winter?

DO I let them die back then dig out the tuber and over winter that?

Or, can I bring them inside, and keep them in a sunny window all winter.

In case of the last question, 2 of them are in a large container with other plants, do I dig them out, and repot them?

I know there is a begonia forum here on GW, but thought I would ask other Minnesotans first!


Jenny P

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I used to overwinter them by storing the plant in my dark, cool basement, keeping them (mostly) dry, and then reviving them in their pots in March by moving to the light and normal watering. The plant slooowwwwlllyyy creeps back to life in late April. I move outside in late May.

But the plants are so inexpensive now and there are so many choices in the local nurseries, I just toss the plant into the compost pile and buy new ones in the spring.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 5:19PM
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north40(z3 MN)

Hi Jenny! I've been digging mine out the past few years. I just save the bulb part of the plant (before a hard frost kills them) and store it in my cool basement over the winter. By March I usually see some growth on the bulb so I pot them up, water and set them in a sunny east window in the basement. They do take a while to get big but starting them in March/April should assure a fair size by the time they're ready to plant in the garden. You might want to label them as to the color so you know where you want to plant them next spring. Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 7:37AM
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jennypat Zone 3b NW MN(Zone 3b NW MN)

You said before a hard frost kills the plant. Does that mean, I dig the plant about now, cut the top part off? Or do I dig it, and just let the whole thing dry?

I know they are fairly inexpensive to buy. But it seems like I always spend to much in the spring! So, I am looking for ways to cut that down. And I love the colors I picked up this year!!

Jenny P

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 12:47PM
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I am always rushed in the fall, trying to keep things outside until the last minute, then scrambling to clean up and de-bug the plants coming back in for the winter. The standard procedure is to cut off the branches and lift out the corm (root bulb) and dry it before storing it in a cool place.

A few years ago, I left my begonias outside til they were near wilted by a frost, (but not frozen in the pot.) I cut off all the stems and put the pots in direct sun to dry and seal the cuts. Shortly thereafter, I stacked the pots 3 high and put them in my basement where I forgot about them. The next spring when I found them, they had all started sending up shoots from the dried up pots. So I've been doing it that way every since. The trick is to get them up into good light when they first start sending up new shoots, or you end up with weak stringy long stems that will break when they go outside. I have had some in the same pots for three years, just adding a little more good potting soil to the top, and using weak fertilizer in the water a few times a month. It probably would be good to repot them to freshen the soil, but mine bloom well anyway. I have seven that I have kept alive from year to year, and they are huge corms that blossom heavily all summer.

I don't know about keeping them going in the house during the winter. I suspsect they might need a rest period. You could try one and see how long it keeps looking good, and then dry it out a little later.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 12:13PM
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