Tuberous Begonia Advice

I've got some really nice tuberous begonias growing in my garden right now, and I'd love to see them survive the winter. Do they make good houseplants, or should I just store their tuber over the winter? At what point should I lift them from their home in the garden? Before the first freeze?
Thanks.
-Fleemo
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Before the first freeze. They do make good house plants if you can give them good lighting and cool temperatures. Best under lights for 16 hours. Or you can save the tubers in the bottom shelf of your fridge, until spring.
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Easiest to store the tubers over winter and replant in spring. Pull the plants from their pots or the ground now and allow them to dry a couple of days. Once the stems look dry and less fleshy, cut them off and discard, clean the remaining tuber and store (stem side up) in a shallow tray filled with dry peat moss in a cool dark place - basement, garage, etc. In late March/early April or whenever your temps warm up, bring into the light, water lightly and once you see growth buds developing, pot up and enjoy for the next season.
pam -gardengal
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Is the idea to envelope the tuber completely in peat moss, or set the tuber in a shallow layer of peat moss that will soak up any moisture?
I'm guessing this same technique works for dahlia tubers.
-F
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Dahlia tubers need *some* moisture when overwintered - begonia tubers prefer to remain dry. I omitted the drying part before storing in a shallow tray of peat moss :( Just nestle the tubers into the peat - they don't need to be buried. In your location, I'd leave dahlias in the ground overwinter (I do up here in zone 8, PNW), but the begonias will need additional care.
pam - gardengal
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I have one that I brought in last winter and put it out again this spring. I put it in a storage room in my walkout basement in front of a N.W. window. I cleaned it up as it died off. I only watered it maybe 3 times during the entire winter. I put it out this spring and it was beautiful. I have it in my diningroom now because it was still blooming when I brought it in and I wanted to enjoy it. But the flowers are all gone now and it is just struggling to produce new leaves so I am putting it "to sleep" in the storage room in the basement tomorrow. I don't dig it up. It stays in the pot it has always been in. Sue in Mi. (Zone 5).
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Fleemo,
During the summer 2002, I made many cuttings of my tuberous begonias. Some died, but many produced beautiful plants that I planted this last spring in the garden.
I kept them under lights until they were a good size plants. I had flowers all winter from those cuttings. All the plants did not flowered all the time. But I have seen 7 flowering at the same time. I had 4 different colors. The flowers were a bit smaller and paler than in the garden. It was still nice though.
I could not take cuttings during this summer for a reason that it will be too long to explain. I did it 2 weeks ago. Maybe it was too late and they were getting weaker, but my cuttings are not very healthy. Some may survive but many are dying right now. It is sad.
Franoise.

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Tuberous begonias make nice house plants. dig them up and pot them into a large enough pot with peatlite mix. Water well keep in North window.

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Thanks for the advice here folks. Perhaps I'll try both methods -- pot up some of them and store the rest over the winter. I also think I'll try taking some cuttings from these lovely flowers, give myself even more next Spring!
By the way, I've found begonias and maiden hair fern to be a delightful plant combination. Give it a shot.
-Fleemo
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