Tuberous Begonia Cuttings - Knowledgebase Question

Brewster, NY
Avatar for DanMaio
Question by DanMaio
June 12, 1999
I was reading a gardening book recently that mentioned that there were several methods to create cuttings for tuberous begonias. This caught my attention immediantly because I have two tuberous begonias that are beautiful and I enjoy very much. One method described detaching a leaf and cutting several of its thicker veins. Then you are to put the leaf on top of soil. It says a baby plant will develop where all the cuts were made. I have tried on several occasions but with no luck. As my begonias are beginning to run out of leaves I have become desperate. Are there any alternative methods to making these cuttings or am I doing this one wrong? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Oh, and with any directions please go into detail because, although I am sad to say, I am a novice when it comes to gardening.

Thank you very much for your time,


Answer from NGA
June 12, 1999
We're all novices when we start out, and experimentation is how we learn! But I will say that it's time to let the begonias recover from their leaf losses. A more reliable way to increase your begoinas is through division of the tubers.

Since tuberous begonias are tender bulbs, you should "lift" them this fall and store them inside for the winter. Leave the plants in the ground until the leaves and stems wither and fall off. Dig the tubers, allow them to dry off in the shade, and brush the dirt from them. Then store them in dry peat moss in an onion bag for the winter. In the spring, new little buds will sprout, indicating that it's time to replant. Then you can divide the tuber by cutting it into pieces, each with at least two buds, and then replant.

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