How to Root Begonias


There are more than 1,000 species of begonias. These plants are native to India and other tropical countries. Begonias are commonly used as bedding, container and basket plants. They are chosen for their attractive flowers and foliage variety. Begonias are easy to root and propagate. Roots are grown from stem cuttings creating a clone of the parent plant. Begonias are one the few plants that can be rooted in plain tap water.

Step 1

Wash a clear glass container with hot soapy water. Rinse it with 1 part bleach and 9 parts water to thoroughly clean the container.

Step 2

Fill the container three-quarters of the way with tap water. Let the water warm up to room temperature in order to be less stressful on the cutting.

Step 3

Cut a 4- to 6-inch-long end of a vigorous, healthy stem with a clean, sharp knife. Make the cut just below a leaf node.

Step 4

Strip off any extra leaves on the bottom of the stem cutting. Leave only the top most leaf.

Step 5

Place the cutting in the water and set it in a bright location out of direct sunlight. Change the water every two to three days to keep it fresh and aerated.

Step 6

Check for root growth in seven to 14 days. Watch the end of the stem for black slime. If this appears, cut off the end of the stem and try rooting again.

Step 7

Transfer to an individual pot once roots fill the glass container. Use a rich, moist potting soil for transplanting the new begonia.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep a close eye on your new begonia once you have transplanted it. Sometimes, plants that have rooted in water have a hard time establishing in soil. Keep the soil moist after transplanting until the begonia starts to show new growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Clear glass container
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Bleach
  • Sharp knife
  • Begonia plant


  • Propagating Foliage and Flowering Plants
  • Home Propagation of Houseplants
  • Wax begonia
Keywords: begonia, root begonia, water rooting

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.