How to Germinate Begonias

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Tuberous begonia varieties grow well from seed, but the plants are slow developing. If you want your begonias ready to bloom by summer you must start the seeds in December to give the plants the time they need to mature. These begonias are tender perennials that cannot tolerate frost, so they are either grown as annuals or dug and stored inside for winter. They bloom for most of the summer, providing color to shaded areas in the garden.



things you’ll need:
  • Seedling tray
  • Potting soil
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Plastic wrap or glass
    1. Fill a seed-starting tray with a fine-textured potting mixture. Water the mixture until it is evenly moist throughout.
    2. Sow the begonia seeds on the soil surface, spacing them 2 to 3 inches apart in all directions. Lightly press the seeds so that they are in full contact with the soil.
    3. Cover the seeds with a ¼-inch layer of finely shredded sphagnum peat moss. Mist the moss with water until it is moistened.
    4. Cover the top of the tray with clear plastic wrap or set a pane of glass on top. The plastic or glass helps retain the moisture in the soil during germination.
    5. Set the tray in a warm room where the soil can maintain a temperature of approximately 70 degrees F. Seeds germinate within 10 days if the soil is at the proper temperature, or in up to three weeks if the temperature is cooler.

Tips & Warnings

  • Once the seedlings have a second set of leaves, transplant them into individual pots until you are ready to plant them outside.

  • Set the tray on a seedling heat mat to ensure the proper soil temperature is maintained during germination.

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