How to Save a Tuberous Begonia
The tuberous begonia derives its name from the fact that it grows from a bulb-like structure known as a tuber. The tubers require a period of dormancy over the winter, yet rot if allowed to freeze and thaw. Therefore, growers save their tuberous begonias by digging them up and storing them over the winter.
things you’ll need:
- Sharp scissors or pruning shears
- Small paintbrush
- Fungicide powder
- Sawdust or peat moss
- Box or other container
- Withhold fertilizer and decrease watering to half what you normally provide in the fall. The tuberous begonia leaves will wilt and turn yellow, and then brown.
- Wait until after the first hard frost to cut the stem to the surface of the soil and gently remove the tuber from the soil.
- Lay the tuber on newspapers to dry in a cool (50 degrees Fahrenheit), draft-free area for three weeks.
- Brush the soil from the tuber and cut of the stem and trim the roots to the tuber. Do not cut into the tuber.
- Use a small paintbrush to dust all surfaces of the tuber with a powdered fungicide.
- Place a 2- to 3-inch layer of dry peat moss or sawdust on the bottom of a box and lay the tuber on top. If saving more than one tuberous begonia tuber, place them in a single layer and do not allow them to touch one another.
- Do not cover the box and leave it in an area with a temperature that remains within 2 or 3 degrees above or below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.