How Overwintering Begonias Works

Last Updated on November 13, 2020 by cmoarz

Overwintering Begonia
Overwintering Begonia Pin

Like many types of plants, if not most, A begonia can’t survive over winter or a strong frost. It’s important to take appropriate steps to overwinter your begonias until the warmer weather has returned. Luckily for us, it’s not a difficult thing to do and can be accomplished in just a few minutes.

How to overwinter begonias

Tuberous begonias, as it is also know, takes a few steps to prepare for winter. Since these flowers are so sensitive to frost and cold, they should be stored indoor’s during the wintering process.

To do this, Simply dig them up from your garden bed. If they are in a container, you can simply bring that inside the house or climate controlled shed.

In either scenario, you must make sure there are no pests or diseases on the flower. Any damaged leaves should be pruned away before storage. This is due to the stress response initiated by plants that have been uprooted or moved into a new environment (like indoors), which can leave them even more susceptible to pests.

Think of it like their immune system being shot for the season.

Mist the area every few days with a spray bottle to keep it humid if you find they are drying out too much. But this isn’t very effective, and you should get a humidifier or an evaporation tray instead.

It’s pretty hard to keep the air from drying out in winter due to our heaters, and doubly so because you can’t put begonias in a dark closed up spot as they still rely upon the sun or other artificial light. However, if you have artificial light a closet option might work best for you.

Of course, depending on the variety of begonia, these instructions may varry.

Should I deadhead begonias before overwinter storage?

Unlike many other perennials, this isn’t necessary for begonias. Begonias have their own cleaning system where they will drop dead, wilted, or old flowers on their own.

It should be noted that doing so yourself if you are impatient should not hurt the plant, and might even be encouraged depending on what your end goal is. Do you want more stems and eventually more foliage and flowers? Then it is recommended to do so, but not necessary.

Can I just leave it in my house? Can begonias live indoors?

While some species will do better than others indoors, for the most part yes! Begonias make wonderful house plants. So if you brought them in for winter and simply too lazy to bring them outside, Feel free to set them up indoors.

Fibrous species will do extremely well inside a home. Almost like they were built for it. Meanwhile, Tuberous varieties will have a much tougher time acclimating to the environment. However that’s not to say it isn’t possible.

So, if you want a challenge, try growing them indoors. If not, Probably best to get up off your lazy ass and put them back outside. (hehe)

Do begonias like full sun?

No, they hate it. They burn very easily and it’s just not good for them. These plants prefer a nice shady spot to live their lives. At least 4-6 hours worth of none direct sunlight per day, the rest from filtered light.

The best way to do this is to line up more sun hearty plants in between the begonia and the light source, as this will be a far more natural light filter that they are used to dealing with.

How long do begonias live for?

Assuming you’ve been overwintering them properly, and taken care of them properly, a begonia is expected to survive for at least 3 years. Obviously, this is going to vary for different species and environments.

What is the best time to plant begonias?

When is it time to replant your overwintered begonias? Spring! Late spring to be exact. Depending on the species, such as a tuber, you should start them indoors at least 8 weeks before late spring planting.

How often do begonias need to be watered?

Simply put, don’t let the soil dry out. Don’t over water either. If you plunge your finger into the dirt and it’s dry up to your first knuckle, it is dry and need a quick spritzing.

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Image sources: “Yellow Begonia” by Tatters ✾ is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 “Non-Stop Begonia” by daryl_mitchell is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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