CORVALLIS - Many people enjoy the lush blossoms of tuberous begonias in pots on patios and as outdoor hanging plants. There's no need to throw them away when cold weather hits and the tops die. The tubers can be saved over the winter and planted again the next spring for another year of showy color.
Take the following steps to save your potted tuberous begonia tubers:
Remove plant from pot before hard frosts occur. Cut back most of the top of the plant, leaving the ball of roots and soil intact.
Place in a dry, cool storage area (a basement or garage) and allow the tubers to cure for several weeks.
After curing, shake off the soil and remove the remaining stalks and roots. Any stalk or root left has the potential to rot and spread to the tuber. Put them on screen trays or pack them in dry peat, sawdust, sand or other insulating material.
Store tubers in a dry, dark, cool (above freezing) area.
In the spring, start begonia plants by placing the tubers on damp peat moss in a warm environment. When roots and tops have started, plant them in pots in rich, well drained potting soil. Bring outdoors when all danger of frost is past.