Not every begonia is hardy and copes well with the cold season. We give tips on how to successfully overwinter begonias. In winter, when it’s freezing cold and a finger and toe freeze off, nothing beats a cozy place by the warm stove and a cup of hot cocoa. Begonias ( Begonia ) look very similar. Depending on the species, they do not necessarily need it warm and their need for drinks also decreases noticeably over the winter, but it should definitely be frost-free to the taste of the exotic plants. We have summarized for you below how you can successfully overwinter your begonias.
In this country, begonias are often only grown as an annual or even sold as annual plants. However, this is a shame, because the plants are by no means annual in their homeland. The only problem in Central Europe is the cold winter, which most begonias cannot tolerate. But this can be easily remedied if you give your begonias a place in a frost-free place over the winter.
When does the begonia get too cold?
Most begonias are not used to low temperatures in their homeland. Plants don’t like even low temperatures so much, but when the temperatures drop below 0 ° C and the first frost settles, then the substance is at work. The plant tissue dies and it is not uncommon for this to be the end of the whole plant.
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Successfully overwintering begonias
The overwintering of begonia differs a little from species to species. Begonias that can also be planted outdoors like to have it a little cooler over the winter. Ice begonias ( Begonia semperflorens ), for example, are extremely happy with a bright staircase at around 16 ° C. You can also cut back the plants in autumn and overwinter in a frost-free cellar or garage with very little watering. From March, however, you should bring the pots out into the light and slowly start watering again.
The large group of tuberous begonias ( Begonia x tuberhybrida ) overwinters similar to dahlias. It forms underground tubers into which it retreats after the first frost. In autumn, cut the above-ground parts of the plant back to a few centimeters and dig out the tubers. You can now overwinter these in the dark at around 10 ° C. So that the tubers do not dry out over the winter, you should put them in a cloth bag or something similar. It is also possible to overwinter them in the almost dry earth. Watering is then not necessary and will only be necessary again when you can already see new shoots in spring. If you have overwintered the tubers, you can plant them directly in the garden after the ice saints in May. The hollow in the tuber should definitely lookup.
Hibernate begonias outside
Only very few species of begonia can be overwintered outside, and only to a limited extent. In order for them to actually sprout again in the following spring, they need thick frost protection made of brushwood, leaves, or mulch. Even then, overwintering is not guaranteed. Especially in regions with a harsh climate and low winter temperatures, so-called hardy begonias should also be brought into the house after the first light frost.
Hibernate begonias indoors
The heat-loving elatior begonias ( Begonia x hiemalis ) are often kept as indoor plants all year round and for this reason, do not have to be overwintered. The same applies to other pure room begonias such as the trout begonia ( Begonia maculata ) or the eyelash begonia ( Begonia bowerae ).
Really hardy begonias are not yet known. Nevertheless, two species, in particular, are so named: the Japanese slate ( Begonia grandis ) and Begonia panchtharensis . Both species come from mountainous regions in Asia but are only partially hardy. You can find out more about hardy begonias here in our special article on the subject.
Tips for overwintering begonias:
- Only a few frost-tolerant species can hibernate outside and with frost protection
- Pure indoor begonias can easily be overwintered in the apartment
- Outdoor begonias should be brought in over the winter and overwintered indoors in a cool and frost-free place
- Tuberous begonias are cut back in autumn and overwintered in a dry, dark, and cool place – either as a bare tuber or in dry soil