Starting begonia tubers

I’m not very successful at keeping begonia tubers from year to year. It’s partly ignorance I suspect, but also, I don’t really have an ideal place to keep them ie., nowhere cool but frost-free. I’ve no greenhouse, no conservatory, no unheated spare room, and the loft doesn’t seem suitable because they manage to rot off when I put them there. The best I can do seems to be a cold cupboard (against an external wall in my kitchen) but it’s probably a bit too warm there. Hey ho.

Still, I’ve succeeded in keeping 4 alive from the 6 that I saved last year, so that’s not too bad: now the only problem is how to get them back into growth because I’m not too hot at that either, lol!

I’ve been inspecting them periodically for the last couple of months looking for signs of new shoots and was delighted when the first smattering finally appeared a few days ago. This is my signal to remove them from their paper bags and place them, hollow side up, in shallow trays of moist compost, like so:



and so:



(they’re a bit tricky to see so I outlined them in yellow dots!) There are no drainage holes because the tubers won’t be staying long – just until they are obviously into good growth, then I’ll plant them into individual plant pots with proper drainage. Both trays will be covered with clear plastic and placed on a north facing windowsill which should provide decent light and hopefully won’t be too cold.

In a few weeks I should have 4 nice, strongly-shooting plants to pot up – with any luck!


Posted on March 9, 2014, in Techniques and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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