Care of Tuberous Begonias


Begonias are considered bulbs, but they are actually tubers. According to the University of Minnesota, begonias are native to South America and Africa, and they come in a variety of colors like red, yellow, orange, white and pink. They produce flowers all season and can grow from 8 to 24 inches in height. Begonias grow well in the ground or in a container. Some varieties of begonia are hardy between USDA zones 6 and 10.

Step 1

Choose a place in your garden for the tuberous begonias. They need well drained soil and shade in which to thrive. Add 4 to 5 inches of compost to the soil and work it in to a depth of 8 to 10 inches. Add 1 to 2 tbsp. of 10-10-10 fertilizer to the soil before you plant, and work it in to a depth of 4 to 5 inches.

Step 2

Dig a hole as deep as the tuber and two times as wide. Press the begonia tuber into the soil until it is just below the soil line and fill the hole with soil. Make sure the pointed end is sticking up.

Step 3

Water tuberous begonias well until the soil is moist but not soaking. Allow the soil to dry out slightly on top between each watering.

Step 4

Add 1 to 2 tbsp. of 10-10-10 fertilizer once a month to the soil around the tuberous begonias. Water the soil well after you apply the fertilizer.

Step 5

Dig up the tuberous begonias right before the first frost. Cut back the foliage, leaving only 1 to 2 inches. Dry the tubers in a dark room for one to three days and pack them in a box with vermiculite.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Compost
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Box
  • Vermiculite


  • University of Minnesota: Tuberous Begonias
  • University of Vermont: Begonias
  • Clemson University: Begonia
  • Pacific Horticulture: A Bounty of (Hardier) Begonias
Keywords: tuberous begonia care, begonia tuber care, begonia care

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.