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How to Preserve a Tuberous Begonia

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How to Preserve a Tuberous Begonia

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Overview

Tuberous begonias, native to South America and Africa, produce rose-like single, double, plain or ruffled blooms in shades of white, pink, red, salmon, orange and yellow. Begonias grow to a height of 10 to 12 inches and sport 6-inch-wide flowers. Thriving in shade locations, tuberous begonias do well in containers, beds and hanging baskets, adding vibrant color and charm to any garden setting. While seed or division can propagate begonias, root cuttings offer the best rate of success.

Step 1

Leave begonias in the ground until the first light frost of the season in colder climates. This kills off foliage and forces the tuber into dormancy for the winter.

Step 2

Stop watering begonias as soon as the leaves and stem begin to yellow and fall off in warmer, southerly climates.

Step 3

Dig up the entire plant, including the tuber, around the perimeter of the foliage.

Step 4

Remove all soil surrounding the tuber and any loose or broken roots.

Step 5

Remove any rotted areas or pest destruction by cutting away the damaged area with a sharp knife. If you do have to cut the tuber, use a small paint brush to dust the cut area with fungal powder to protect it from disease.

Step 6

Lay out the begonia plants in a warm, dry location to dry out. Drying plants should be moved indoors at night when freezing temperatures are expected.

Step 7

Cut foliage back to 1 inch above the tuber.

Step 8

Place each tuber in an individual bag and cover with sawdust or peat moss.

Step 9

Store tubers in a cardboard box in a location that maintains at least 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tips and Warnings

  • Begonias grown in warmer climates should be dug up and stored over winter months to prevent rot caused by water exposure during dormancy.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden spade
  • Sharp knife
  • Fungal powder
  • Small paint brush
  • Paper bags
  • Peat moss or sawdust
  • Cardboard box

References

  • Brad's Begonia World: Winter Storage
  • The Flower Bulb: Tuberous Begonias (Begonia)
  • University of Minnesota Extension Service Yard and Garden Brief: Tuberous Begonias
Keywords: preserving begonia tubers, begonia winter dormancy, digging up begonias, preserve tuberous begonia

About this Author

Deborah Waltenburg has been a freelance writer since 2002. In addition to her work for Demand Studios, Waltenburg has written for websites such as Freelance Writerville and Constant Content, and has worked as a ghostwriter for travel/tourism websites and numerous financial/debt reduction blogs.