Problem overwintering tuberous begonias

Albany, ME(Zone 4b)

I have about 3 dozen tuberous begonias in clay pots. For several years I have overwintered them by bringing the pots indoors and ceasing watering in late September. This year, however, 4 of them have begun to sprout now, in spite of no water. One of those four has sent up two very spindly shoots.

What should I do? Throw in the towel, start watering them and treat them like house plants til the summer? Snip off shoots as they appear (3 are now only buds breaking the earth)? Let them wither or thrive without watering?


Calgary, Canada

I have just brought the tubers out of hiding.
Several already have white shoots,
even though the tubers are dried into hard little nuggets.
I am just giving them water and hoping for the best.

Albany, ME(Zone 4b)

Well, I treated the sprouting ones like houseplants. Their now between 3 and 12 inches tall. I started watering all of them at the beginning of this month. All but 10 have sprouted.

Perham, MN(Zone 3b)

LAS, how did your begonias do last year? Just wondering how that turned out. Have you always brought the pots into the house? How warm is it? And how's it going this year?


Albany, ME(Zone 4b)

Last year it worked great. About 6 out of 30 started sprouting too soon, like in Feb or March. This year we broke the tops off before carting them home from Maine to Boston, and in early January we had about 12 sprouting. I chalk that up to breaking the tops off and starting their dormancy early. Six is about the number that broke off accidentally the year before. Next year we're going to prune them back to about 8 inches, hoping to keep them alive and preventing breakoffs at tuber level on the trip home.

The hall they're in is probably in the 60's most of the time, sometimes lower. There's no heat there except what drifts up the stairs or out of our bedroom.

Perham, MN(Zone 3b)

60's, eh? Hmmm.... Sounds like maybe I better bring mine in from the insulated shop in the garage. You really think March is too soon for sprouting? I'm thinking I really hope I can get them going by then. I'd like to have them flowering before it gets really hot outside. And it seems to me there's almost no such thing as too long a flowering time! Thanks for the update --

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