There are many types of begonias, and they are all great plants. Leaf begonias convince with their great leaves, they don’t need flowers to score. Scented begonias are also mostly kept as indoor plants. They smell of citrus. Ice begonias enrich shade beds. Tuberous begonias (Begonia tuberhybrida) impress with their abundance of flowers, their great colors and large flowers. In addition, there are plants that thrive excellently and produce many flowers even in poor lighting conditions. Tuberous begonias belong to the slate family. They are mainly used for planting balcony boxes and planters. There are also tuberous begonias for hanging boxes, in which the mostly smaller flowers appear in large numbers and hang down.


Tuberous begonias originally come from the Peruvian Andes, Bolivia and Ecuador. What is special about them are their tubers, their survival organs. They can easily be overwintered. The flowers cannot be left outside, they cannot withstand frost. So you keep the tubers and grow a new plant for the next year. The asymmetrical, large leaves are typical of the tuberous begonia. The flower colors range from white, through yellow and orange to red and pink. There are filled or unfilled varieties.


A distinction is made between: large-flowered, medium-flowered and small-flowered tuberous begonias as well as pendulum and hanging begonias. There are also unfilled, semi-double and double flowers.

  • B. Summerwings ™ – hybrids, hanging begonia. ‘Rose’ in pink and ‘White’ in white – also tolerate the sun well, small flowers, but tons of them
  • B. Primara ‘Light Pink Tones’ – early flowering and double pink variety
  • B. BelleconiaTM ‘Ivory’ – robust, pendulous, ivory-colored hanging begonia
  • B. cultivars ‘Illumination Apricot’ – yellow hanging begonia with apricot-colored undersides of flowers
  • B. Illumination® ‘Golden Picotee’ – apricot-colored double flowers with dark red edges, long elegant shoots, hanging begonia
  • B. Nonstop® ‘Yellow’ – huge, filled, yellow flower plates – F1 hybrids, are also available in other colors
  • B. gigantea ” Marmorata ” – a huge, double and multi-colored (orange, white) flowering variety
  • B. ‘Crispa Marginata’ – large-flowered garden begonia with yellow flowers with a red border
  • Bertinie begonia (peasant begonia) – slightly hanging flowers in different colors, very vigorous, good for beds and large planters

Tuberous begonia care

Tuberous begonias are ideal for partially shaded or even more shady places. Since there aren’t many flowering plants for this, begonias are probably so popular. But they also convince with their beautiful flowers. In terms of care, they are not exactly entry-level plants. They have their quirks and wishes and you have to know them. Otherwise powdery mildew or worse gray mold often occurs and, depending on how early in the year it appears, it can gather a complete balcony box with begonias.


Tuberous begonias belong to the penumbra or shadow family. New breeds, on the other hand, are already well suited for the sun. But it shouldn’t get too hot for them either. They are not sun worshipers. If the location is not ideal, disease and rot can result. Too much and too strong wind tears the large flowers apart.

  • Penumbra
  • Don’t like direct sun
  • Morning and evening sun are tolerated, however
  • Hybrid breeds get along pretty well with suns
  • Sheltered from the wind

Plant substrate

The plant substrate should be permeable and rich in nutrients. Like other flowering plants, the tuberous begonia needs a lot of nutrients. However, excess water must also be able to run off, because permanently wet feet can cause the tuber to rot. That is why a permeable substrate is important. Clay is not very suitable. It must be mixed with sand.

  • Well permeable to water
  • Nutrient-rich
  • Locker
  • A mixture of humus soil and sand 1: 1 is beneficial


There is not much to consider with plants. It is only when the tubers are driven forward that they must not be covered with earth. It is better to just put it down on the ground, like in a small hollow. Only when roots have formed is more soil on it and when leaves show up, the tuber can be completely covered. There doesn’t have to be a lot of earth on top.

  • Drive the tubers into pots in a warm, light place from mid-March
  • Do not completely cover tubers that have not yet sprout with soil, only halfway or a little more at first.
  • From mid-May, around the ice saints, the plants can go outside
  • Drainage at the bottom of the pot makes sense.
  • I think the balcony planters from Lechuzza with an irrigation system are ideal. I’ve been using them since they’ve been around and I’m totally satisfied. If you are not at home for a few days and can water, you don’t have to ask anyone to water. In normal weather, the boxes can handle themselves for about 1 week, in sun and heat a good 3 days.

Watering and fertilizing

Too much water is much more harmful to tuberous begonias than too little. But that does not mean that you can let the bale dry out. That’s not a good thing either. If, on the other hand, you forget to water for a day, it doesn’t matter, unless the heat is very high.

  • Water regularly but moderately
  • Sensitive to waterlogging
  • The top layer of soil should always be dry well before water comes up
  • Do not let the plant balls dry out completely
  • Never put water in a planter or saucer, and it is best not to use it at all!
  • Do not pour over the leaves and flowers!
  • Water less from the end of August so that the leaves have withered by autumn
  • Fertilize every 14 days during the growing season with liquid fertilizer for flowering plants

To cut

You don’t have to cut a lot with a tuberous begonia. Cleaning out is much more important. The end of the cut is when the tuber has been removed from the ground and the leaves and stems have dried. Then you cut the “green stuff” down to a few centimeters. Nothing more is necessary.

  • Always clean – remove dead and yellow leaves and dead flowers immediately
  • Trimming prevents diseases and promotes new pile
  • Also look deep between the leaves to catch all withered, diseased or damaged leaves and shoots.


Tuberous begonias are not hardy. Just a few minus degrees are enough to kill them. Therefore, at the end of September, watering is completely stopped, the soil and the plant are allowed to dry out and the tuber is then removed from the soil. It is overwintered in the house (alternatively in a garage or similar, but frost-free).

  • Dig up tubers before the first frost. You can do this as soon as the leaves have wilted.
  • Cut off hand high.
  • After drying, free the tuber from soil and plant residues.
  • Check for rot and pests
  • Remove infected parts of the plant
  • Lay in dry sand
  • Dry and frost-free (5 to 7 ° C)
  • Cool and dark


Propagation can be done by sowing, dividing and cuttings. Dividing tubers is quite effective and easy. Sowing, on the other hand, is difficult and rather something for experts. If you want to do the work, description follows. Cuttings also work quite well when done neatly.

Divide the tubers

  • Share in spring
  • First determine the shoot eyes. To do this, the tuber must be completely clean, so clean it with a soft brush if necessary.
  • If the eyes can’t be seen, let the tuber sit in the warm until the buds grow thick.
  • Strong parent tubers are simply quartered, sixths or eighth.
  • It is important that every piece needs an “eye”.
  • The interfaces are then rolled in coal dust to close the wounds.
  • Now the pieces are placed in a substrate of sand and earth (1: 2) and lightly covered with it.
  • Always pour very little.
  • Only increase the casting performance when leaves show up.
  • If flowers appear on the young shoots in March or April, it is better to snap them off. The plant should put its strength into the formation of shoots. There is still enough time to bloom afterwards.

begonia seeds are extremely small. You have to be careful not to sow too many together. If you sow in December, the plants will flower from around May.

  • Light germs
  • A high level of humidity is important
  • Temperatures above 23 ° C for germination
  • Temperatures between 20 and 21 ° C for further cultivation
  • Bright, but without direct sunlight
  • Sufficient light must be available for at least 12 hours. 14 hours is even better. Since this is not available at this time of year, additional lamps must be used.
  • 40 to 60 watts per m² are sufficient, which is around 200 to 300 lux at plant height.
  • Since the sowing was usually too dense (there is no other way) it has to be pricked out.
  • Poorly fertilized soil is used as a substrate.
  • The temperature can be reduced to 16 ° C.


  • Cuttings are cut at the beginning of the growing season, from spring to early summer.
  • They take root both in a glass of water and directly in the ground.
  • When enough roots have formed, you can plant directly in potting soil.

Diseases and pests

The plants are somewhat susceptible to fungal diseases. They are particularly troubled by powdery mildew and gray mold. This mainly happens when the plants are too moist. There isn’t much you can do about damp weather, but at least you have to make sure that the earth isn’t too wet. Downy mildew is not that tragic. Something should be done against powdery mildew. In any case, the infected parts of the plant must be removed, otherwise the whole box or the traffic light will soon be infected. It is best to spray with a mixture of water and milk, one part whole milk and nine parts water.

  • Pests are less common.
  • Aphids do happen before, but they don’t do much damage. It is best to wash off or spray with a detergent solution right at the beginning of the infestation
  • Leaves are worse. They can completely destroy a begonia. Remove the affected leaves and wash the whole plant with a mixture of detergent and water, but very carefully.
  • Thrips – spray off with lukewarm water
  • Soft skin mites – shower the underside of the leaf vigorously, first pack the pot and soil in a watertight manner

I have known tuberous begonias for as long as I can remember. I’ve always liked you. I especially like the new breeds. They are more robust, can handle the sun well and bloom tirelessly. I especially like the hybrids with the many small flowers or the multi-colored tuberous begonias. Actually, the plants are no more maintenance-intensive than other balcony and tub plants. You have to water and fertilize them regularly, remove faded and diseased parts and take the tubers out of the box before winter. It’s really not much. As a thank you, you get beautiful flowering plants that will last until the first frost.

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