The Q&A Archives: Helping Begonia Tubers to "Wake Up"

Question: I have followed the standard advice for tuberous begonias but still have a hard time "waking up" the tubers in springtime. In fact, sometimes I see no evidence of new growth until mid-July--and if I revive growth then, the tuber doesn't bloom until maybe September--when it's almost time to induce dormancy. Then the tuber is even later "waking up" the following season. Is there any safe way to get them going a little earlier so the blooming season can be longer? Karen Lynch Glen Ridge, NJ

Answer: To help "wake up" tuberous begonias this winter and get a jump on the growing season try this technique. Place the tubers upside down (hollow side down) in slightly moist peat moss, where most of the tuber is still above ground. The temperatures in theroom need to be 70-80F and the humidity high. After one week start inspecting the tubers to see if the buds are developing. When the buds are 1/2" long, turn the tubers over and pot them in individual pots with their tops just covered. Keep it warm and humid and the plants will start growing. I hope this helps.

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