how to winterize potted begonias

December 25, 2020 - Less than a minute read

Like most bulbs, tuberous begonias need a period of dormancy – … Because they’ll simply go dormant for the winter. It's important not to damage or nick the tuber. In cold-winter climate areas, many container-grown perennials, trees, and shrubs can’t be left out in the elements — even if the same plants growing in the ground are perfectly hardy. This means you need to begin in fall by reducing the water to the plants until the tops have died back and the soil is completely dry. By crossing the winter-flowering Begonia socotrana with the tuberous kinds, a race of Begonias has been obtained which begins to flower in October and continues until the end of January. Water sparingly (or not at all) until spring. Just find a spot in your basement or garage that doesn’t get below 45 degrees, and your ferns should overwinter beautifully. Note: If your begonias were potted and not in beds, you can put the pots in an indoor place where the tubers won't get wet. Even in relatively warmer climates, however, it is often still advisable to dig up your begonias and store them for the winter. Fertilizing Guidelines Fertilizing a hanging begonia every other time you give it water helps keep the plant growing and flowering during it active season, usually from spring until early fall. The tuber may continue to send out new growth during the winter, but this growth will end up being spindly and weak. Some experts recommend trimming the long-hanging fronds before you bring ferns indoors, but that isn’t necessary with this method. Trim stalks and flowers, leaving about 5 inches of stem on the tuber. Instead, you must bring the begonias in to a protected area to over-winter them. Store potted begonias in a cool dark room, or a room that gets low light. Cut back most of the top of the plant, leaving the ball of roots and soil intact. My husband bought me another four plants at a local nursery and I planted them in the same area. Take the following steps to save your potted tuberous begonia tubers: Remove plant from pot before hard frosts occur. The tubers can be saved over the winter and planted again the next spring for another year of showy color. Do not over water though, or the tubers could rot! Q: I planted 'Dragon Begonias' this year on the advice of a friend after complaining that NOTHING would flower in my shady yard. Tuberous begonias like these Nonstop begonias, don't grow all year and will go fully dormant in the fall. The tuberous Begonia group REQUIRES winter dormancy. When you choose perennials for containers, you need to consider their climate adaptability. Lift the tuber gently with a trowel or two spoons. During summer, it may have expanded, so investigate carefully. Potted Begonia waking up in late winter (Photo by Dugald Cameron) It seems a shame, but tuberous begonias are often flowering at their best in late summer, just when it’s time to bring them indoors. A tender perennial, begonia does not survive over winter in areas prone to freezing temperatures. I bought a dozen plants mail order, put them in the ground in early spring and by Mother's day, all but one were thriving. The problem is that they are more likely to rot if they remain buried in soil. A: Storing tuberous begonias is not difficult. Check locally to find out exactly which plants survive outdoors all year […] Whether grown indoors or in the garden, a begonia slows its growth during winter when it rests, so cut back watering during the winter months. The tuber is usually found where the stems meet the ground. Once the plant has gone completely dormant most gardeners remove the tuber from the soil. Begonias add color to shaded areas of the garden where other flowers refuse to bloom. Q: How can I carry tuberous begonias over the winter? 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