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How to Winter Begonias


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Begonias are flowering perennials native to tropical and subtropical regions, where you can leave them outside all year. They love moderate heat, indirect sun and humidity. If you live in a colder climate and you plant your begonia in the ground, you’ll need to dig it up and take it indoors in the winter to protect it from the freezing weather. Otherwise, you’ll have to treat it as an annual and plant a new one come spring because last year’s will have died.

Difficulty:
Moderate

Instructions

things you’ll need:
  • Spade
  • Shears
  • Vermiculite or peat moss
  • Newspaper
  • Bag
    1. Cut the stems at the ground line in late fall after the leaves have died back and the plant has stopped blooming. Dig the roots attached to the tubers without disturbing the soil clinging to them.
    2. Place the tubers on newspaper in a dry place away from sunlight for one to three weeks, until excess moisture has evaporated. Shake off the soil and trim any stems.
    3. Store the tubers in a bag with vermiculite or peat moss to keep them from losing more moisture. Put the bag in a darkened room that stays at about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Every couple of weeks, check the tubers for soft spots–a sign of fungal infection. Discard any affected parts.

Tips & Warnings

  • In the spring, after the risk of frost has passed, replant the tubers outside for another season.

  • If winterizing begonias sounds like too much work, plant them in pots you can take indoors when the weather changes.

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