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How to Divide Wax Begonias

By M.H. Dyer ; Updated September 21, 2017
Divide wax begonias anytime the plant becomes crowded.

With its thick, ruffled leaves and delicate hanging blossoms, wax begonia (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum), thrives in the flower bed or border where the blooms can take center stage all summer long. Wax begonia is considered to be an annual, but it won’t survive freezing weather. To enjoy wax begonia year round, plant it in a pot or hanging container and bring the wax begonia indoors when the weather turns chilly in autumn. Wax begonias are easily propagated by division, and in a very short time, you can have new wax begonias to plant or share at very little cost.

Fill a 4-inch container with commercial potting mixture. Spray the mixture with water until it’s damp clear through, but not dripping.

Use a garden fork to dig a healthy wax begonia plant. Insert the garden fork about 6 inches from the plant so the roots won’t be damaged by the fork. Dig straight down and rock the fork back and forth to loosen the roots, then lift the wax begonia carefully from the soil. If your wax begonia is planted in a container, turn the container over and tap the side to loosen the roots. Slide the wax begonia carefully from the container.

Shake the wax begonia to remove the excess soil so that you can see the natural divisions at the base of the plant. Locate a section with healthy roots, then use a sharp knife to sever the section from the main plant. Make the cut just above a leaf node, which is where a leaf or bud grows from the stem.

Dip the cut end of the wax begonia section in rooting hormone and plant the section in the potting mixture. Mist the soil lightly to settle the soil around the roots.

 

Things You Will Need

  • 4-inch planting container
  • Garden fork
  • Sharp knife
  • Powdered rooting hormone

Tip

  • Place the wax begonia in a warm place where it will be exposed to filtered or indirect light. Keep the potting mixture damp, but be careful not to overwater, as wax begonias are susceptible to root rot. The wax begonia should root in three to six weeks, which will be indicated by the appearance of new growth.

About the Author

 

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.