Tuberous Begonia propagation

Sun, 05 May 2013 10:34:11 PDT

Most of my experience is with tuberous species rather than hybrids. Almost
all my repotting and dividing is done when plants are in early active
growth or just before waking from dormancy. This way roots can be checked
and signs of rot can be detected, and they can be watered in and monitored
for response. It's perfectly ok to divide your pots now  but I recommend
tearing the plants apart rather than cutting. A lot of the fine roots are
probably dead but any larger roots should be conserved. Pot up in moistened
soil mix and allow to sit a few days before watering so that broken roots
can heal.

The website you link recommends digging and storing the tubers out of their
pots. This is still common advice for many bulbs and I believe it stems
largely from following commercial practices. However, for the hobbyist
growing in pots the best way to keep bulbs or tubers in dormancy is to
leave them in their original soil and containers. Here they are better
protected from the elements (including drying out) and from pests and
diseases. Obviously this saves quite a bit of labor as well. In many cases,
including tuberous begonias, tubers can be left to grow in the same pot and
soil for several years before repotting is needed. With a dry dormancy the
soil is only being "used" half the year so it lasts much longer, especially
with the incorporation of sand. The goal of the hobbyist is keeping a good
thing going rather than production.




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