Growing sprouts from tubers

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

When tubers first start growing in the spring there are many sprouts coming out of the tubers. I want to take some of those off to allow just a couple to be nice strong branches to grow and bloom. But, I don't want to just throw those sprouts away. There must be a way to root and grow those into new plants.

Can anyone tell me how to root them without their rotting instead?

Rochester, NY(Zone 5b)

Not sure exactly which tuberous begonias you are talking about but I overwinter my Boliviensis tubers and I had a a 3 inch sprout break off and I just stuck it in the soil next to the tuber and it appears to be rooting as it is continuing to grow. My guess is when they are that small and very much in growth mode, they root very easily.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Thank you. I put some hydrated polymers in some potting mix and then placed about 8 of those sprouts in it. So far they look pretty good, but I guess they would not be called plants,just rooted sprouts, if in fact they do root. I didn't want them to be too wet to rot so am trying it this way.

Alum Bridge, WV

Rooting spouts is the method used to propagate named varieties of tuberous Begonias, those guys which cost up to $50 each. So yes, it can be done.

I use my regular potting mix and a plastic box, shoe box sold in the Dollar Stores. Keep the mix, not wet, and the lid closed, and the box under moderate light. A tuber is usually formed at the base of the cutting in 2-3 months but the rooted plant may or may not bloom. The tuber needs to enlarge

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Well, these aren't that expensive, but it will be fun trying it. I hydrated some polymers to use on other plants and tossed several handfuls in the potting mix so it would stay damp. I will have to find something better tho. Something with a lid it sounds like. I started them almost a week ago and they still look good so I guess the way I started them was ok so far.

It will be fun but I will try to get a better container.

Calgary, Canada

And does the original tuber grow another sprout where the first was taken for rooting?
When I brought them out of storage-----some have long white sprouts--------
which I am sure will break off when I try to pot them on.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Well, I don't break any off that I actually want a branch out of. But last year my tubers grew many sprouts. I think if you want a nicer plant you need to take all but 4 or so off so you get nice strong branches. Just my opinion. I really do not know. But I have left several on before and they get so big and heavy and pushing each other out of the way and the flowers can't even get out from under and between the leaves. So, I think the best time to take them off is at this point when they are fairly small sprouts

Vadis, so then what happens to that sprout when it grows a tuber? I emailed the Canadian Begonia Society one year and asked the question about them, and also about cutting the tubers like a potato.

The nicest fellow answered me. And he said that was the best way to start new plants, with the sprouts. He said he would never advise cutting a tuber like you would a potato because you would probably lose the whole thing. Rot.

Alum Bridge, WV

Most often the small sprout (two inches or so) will form a callus and then a tuber and the plant should be encouraged to continue growing so that the tuber enlarges perhaps up to half an inch and brown in color. Larger sprouts are less predictable in my experience.

If the sprout with the small tuber goes dormant let the tuber cure in place, keeping it rather dry. After a few weeks replant it and hope for the tuber to come back to life (they usually do).

This is how I do it - I'm sure there are other methods. Experiment on your own using this as a starting point. I use potting mix and some people use sand. Others use bottom heat.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Well, this tuber only has 3 sprouts so I don't think I want to break any off to try it. If I thought more would grow I would. What do you think?

Calgary, Canada

Thanks for that---I won't try it this year as none have more than 4 sprouts, but another year they might.

Calgary, Canada

I have broken some of those long sprouts off at about two inches from the tuber.
Some were rooting over into the next pot?
I'll see what happens.
I am not going to try rooting the parts I broke off as I just do not have room for them.

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