Question of the Week – Number One: September 23, 2021

Wax begonias get a second burst of energy as temperatures cool. We hate to pull them out as pansies need to be planted, so we consider potting them up as houseplants. Is that a good plan, though?

“Can I dig and pot my wax begonias so I can grow them indoors over the winter?”

I have thought that same thought scores of times. But then I realized it was a whole lot easier just to buy new, vigorous plants come spring.

There are exceptions, however, and I’ve lived every one of them:

If you have a plant that has special meaning to you. Perhaps it was given to you as a gift for a birthday or holiday…

…then you might want to pot it up and save it, but trim it way back as you do. Or take cuttings and root them to save over the winter.

Continued Below

If you have an unusual variety that you’ve had trouble finding. Perhaps it’s a variegated form, or some fancy new hybrid. Then you might want to save it.

If you have a greenhouse or sunroom with ample space for a wax begonia, then you might want to have it for some wintertime color. I get that, and I’ve kept them for that very reason.

I have made room for this large pot and its begonia to go into my greenhouse this winter. I can’t stand to watch it freeze. But it will be out here until there is danger of frost.

Finally, if you’re growing them in large pots, so therefore, if you’re able to move them into the greenhouse or house without disturbing their roots, it’s a no-brainer. Trim them back to keep them compact and put them in sunny spots so they won’t stretch and get leggy. You’ll be able to keep them for many more months.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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