How to Grow Begonia Tubers


Begonias grow well in garden beds and borders as well as in containers. The red, pink, orange and white blooms come in single- and double-flower varieties. Begonias bloom in shade where other flowers don't usually thrive and bring color to the garden through summer until the first frost. They are grown from tuberous root sections and can be propagated through root cuttings. Start the tubers indoors in late winter or early spring.

Step 1

Fill a seed-starting flat with vermiculite. Moisten the vermiculite thoroughly before planting, but don't let it get saturated.

Step 2

Inspect each tuber for signs of rot or soft spots and throw out those that are affected. Find the top of the tuber, which has a hollow in the center.

Step 3

Push the tubers into the soil with the hollow on top. Cover lightly with vermiculite. Space the tubers 2 inches apart.

Step 4

Place the flat in a 70-degree F. room with indirect sunlight for the seeds to sprout. Keep the vermiculite moist but avoid getting water in the hollow sections of the tubers.

Step 5

Transplant the tubers into 6-inch pots or into garden beds once the stems reach 1-inch tall. This takes approximately one month. Transplant the plants outdoors only if the danger of frost has passed. Otherwise, repot them.

Step 6

Fill pots with a potting mixture or choose a well-drained bed in partial sunlight. Plant the tubers with the stems above ground and the tops even with the soil surface.

Tips and Warnings

  • Allow foliage to die off naturally in the fall, otherwise the plant will not store enough nutrients for blooming the next year. Avoid overwatering, which leads to rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed trays
  • Vermiculite
  • Pots
  • Potting soil


  • University of Minnesota Extension
Keywords: growing begonias, tuberous root planting, perennial flowers

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.