The Q&A Archives: Dividing Tuberous Begonias

Question: I tried your method of cutting begonia tubers into pieces with at least two sprouts each but when I started them indoors the tubers seemed to have rotted. First the sprouts died and when I dug them up to see what was wrong the pieces of tubers were very soft and had a kind of pink ooze coming from them. What did I do wrong?

Answer: It sounds as if they have become infected with some type of bacteria or fungus. Open wounds allow easy entry for disease. Did you use sterile tools and a soilless potting mix, as well as dust the cuts with a fungicide before planting? It's also a good idea to let the cuts callus in the open air for at least several hours or a day after dusting with fungicide before planting. This helps seal the cut. Finally, the tuber must have some existing roots as a rootless section can not produce new roots and will just die. I hope this info helps.

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