How to Store Tuberous Begonias for the Winter and Restart in the Spring

Updated on October 24, 2016
Orange Tuberous Begonia
Orange Tuberous Begonia | Source

Let me begin by saying I am a perennial kind of gardener. I love when my Day Lilies, Tiger Lilies and Hostas just pop up every year. A funny thing happened on Mother's Day. My sister gave me a gorgeous potted tuberous Begonia that grew and bloomed all summer. I've never been so fascinated by a plant. Nor have I been able to keep one alive let alone watch it thrive! It has the most gorgeous orange blooms! My goal is to keep this "annual" flower safely stored for the Winter and restart it in the Spring.

The Tuberous Begonia

The Tuberous Begonia is an annual plant and its scientific name is begonia tuberhybrida. This will tell you it is grown from a tuber and its many varieties are hybrids which means they are a result of cross breeding.

  • The Tuberous Begonia flowers come in many shapes, sizes and colors.
  • They can stand upright or be used in hanging baskets.
  • They can have frilled or plain petals or rose shaped blooms.
  • Three blooms develop on each stem.
  • The male flowers are usually double petaled and can be quite large and beautiful.
  • The two outer blooms are usually female. They are smaller but still quite beautiful and are single petaled with a light green seed capsule behind the petals.

Tuberous Begonias are quite easy to take care of. They endure the elements of wind and rain and greatly enhance your garden from June through October.

Their Winter dormant period is determined by day length and weather in cold climates and day length in warmer climates. They need to follow their natural cycle and the following information will let you help them to do that.

Tuberous Begonia Double Petaled Male Flower
Tuberous Begonia Double Petaled Male Flower
Tuberous Begonia Female Single Petaled Flower
Tuberous Begonia Female Single Petaled Flower | Source
Tuberous Begonia Female Bloom with a 3 Winged Seed Capsule
Tuberous Begonia Female Bloom with a 3 Winged Seed Capsule | Source

Winter Storage

When To Start

In Northern Climates where it freezes the tuberous begonia must be dug up and the tubers stored indoors for the Winter. This should be done after the first light frost.

In Southern Climates where it rarely or never freezes tuberous begonias will go dormant on their own. They do this according to the length of the day. This usually occurs in October or November. Stop watering them when they start to yellow and their leaves drop.

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. The problem is they are more likely to rot if they remain buried in soil. You may be more successful if you dig them up, dry them out and store them.

What To Do

In Northern Climates

  • Dig up the entire plant and its tuber.
  • Gently remove all soil and loose roots
  • Lay the entire plant in a warm, dry area for several days to thoroughly dry it out
  • Once it is dry it is easy to remove the stems

In Southern Climates the biggest difficulty is to keep them out of the rain. You will need to keep them dry so it is best to dig them up as mentioned above.

Storing The Tubers

Place each tuber in a separate paper bag and place them in a cardboard box for storage. This will allow the tubers to breathe and will prevent rotting and pests. As long as they are separated a problem that occurs for one tuber will not affect them all.

I only had one tuber and I placed it on a newspaper on a shelf in a dark, dry storage room in the basement. The dirt and leaves fell away as it dried out. My Tuber is now sprouting buds!!

 March-My Tuber now has Sprouts!!
March-My Tuber now has Sprouts!! | Source
Begonia Tubers with Sprouts
Begonia Tubers with Sprouts

Spring Restart

Get started in February or March. It's Important That The Sprouts Appear Before Planting!

  • Fill a nursery flat or another shallow container with planting medium. Well rotted leaf mulch is recommended. Just make sure the medium is loose, well drained and does not contain fertilizer or manure.
  • Loosen the soil and space the sprouted tubers evenly 4-6 inches apart in flat. The indented side of the tuber should be facing up! The roots develop from the top and the sides. Don't completely bury the tuber. Just cover lightly with the planting medium.
  • Water lightly but thoroughly. The tubers should never be in standing water.
  • Place flat in a warm place with filtered sunlight, partial shade.
  • Keep them indoors until the weather warms during the day. You can then place them outside in partial shade. The hotter the climate the more shade they will prefer.
  • Water only when soil begins to show dryness. You can water more as the plants develop.
  • Keep in the tubers in flats until the roots are well developed. You can transplant them in pots or flower beds when there is 4-5 inches of growth.

How To Plant The Tubers

Tuberous Begonias are easy to grow. They can survive in many types of soil. The most important thing is perfect drainage. Do not use a "potting mix". You can use a good potting soil from a nursery and it should contain humus.

If you would like to make your own soil the best mix would be:

  • 4 parts well decayed mulch
  • 1 part garden loam
  • 1 part course sand

If you are planting the tubers outdoors prepare the garden soil. Large amounts of peat moss are not recommended except in sandy soils. Clay soil drains poorly so add humus, sand or both.

Questions & Answers

  • Can I store begonias that have been grown from seeds?

    I had tuberous begonias and was able to dry and replant the tubers. If you planted your begonias from seeds, the female Begonia plants have seed pods at the base of the flower. The pod can be removed when it appears to be dried or drying up. The seeds can be removed and dried and saved in a container or envelope for replanting.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • pedrn44 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 months ago from Greenfield, Wisconsin

      I did not split mine. You would have to be careful with the root structure and as you can see there are many sprouts in each tuber that could be damaged. Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      Alan Price 

      9 months ago

      Can the stored corms be split to produce more plants?

    • pedrn44 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Greenfield, Wisconsin

      Thanks, tillsontitan. I tried to winter over a poinsettia and forgot all about it once it was in my closet. This will be a new attempt for me and I hope it works! Thanks for your great comment and votes:)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      7 years ago from New York

      Beautiful begonia photos and very informative. Your information leaves nothing to the imagination, you've covered everything you promise in your title! I'm a garden lover but can't find the time to winter over my plants and wind up buying new ones the next spring. Voted up and useful.

    • pedrn44 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Greenfield, Wisconsin

      you write the best comments sunshine:) I have never had a green thumb either but this plant inspired me. In Florida you would only have to move them inside perhaps and put them out in the Spring. I am going to give it my best...storing them and all that...our winters are fierce. Ugh!! We'll see what happens. Thanks so much for your votes and your encouragement to keep on keeping on.


    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      7 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Hi pedrn! What an amazingly beautiful hub! I've never had a green thumb but I've tried many, many times. Your photos make me want to give some love to planting again, one day. We have been trying to grow pumpkins for 3 years now. So far it hasn't worked. My hubby doesn't think they are going to work again. Maybe it's the Florida soil and not just me. Yep, that sounds good to me. Haha! Voted across the board :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)