Saving begonia tubers

started_with_bean(Zone 5--MA)October 1, 2009

I've stopped watering my 2 tuber begonias. Question is, should I cut them down, and then let them die back on their own before digging out of the pot? Am I too late, since it's gonna get cold tonight? Or do I just let nature take its course? Wait until just before hard frost to dig out?

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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

I've always just let the first frost take the top growth back, cut it off clean above the soil line, bring the pots into the garage and let them dry out. I had better success just storing the pots in the basement rather than digging the tubers out. I occasionally give the dormant pots a dribble of water about once a month in the winter to keep them from getting totally dessicated. They normally begin sprouting, in the dark no less, in mid March, I bring them out under lights and resume watering, being careful not to over water them.

Deanne

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 11:29AM
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started_with_bean(Zone 5--MA)

Thanks! I like the idea of just leaving them in the pot; saves a lot of hassle and worry.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 1:52PM
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runktrun(z7a MA)

bean starter,
I agree that leaving them in the pot can be a simple successful way of wintering them over. I thought however I should mention that not everyoneÂs basement or garage is the same. My basement for example has an oil burner that tends to keep it rather warm (high 60s) and damp, I have repeatedly been unsuccessful over wintering tubers as they want cool (50Âs), dry, and dark. Cloud9 made a suggestion about using a picnic cooler for winter storage which I am going to try on the steps of my bulkhead area. I would suggest that you be open to experimenting and fingers crossed youÂll meet your tubers requirements this winter. Katy

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 2:10PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Yes indeed, my basement storage area stays under 50 degrees. I use this area to store all my dormant fuchsias, brugmansias, banana, dahlia tubers, colocasia, lantana, etc. etc....

Deanne

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 10:25PM
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sedum37(Z5 MA)

Deanne I too can vouch for the save in the pot method and store in cool basement.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 6:42PM
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