My basket begonias, bought as plants, have been superb this year and are still producing a few flowers. Can I keep them for next year? If so, please tell me what to do! Here is a pic taken mid August.
Have they grown a corm ? check at the base its quite noticeable. If so lift before the first frost and store. I store mine with my dahlias in sand last year but going to try old dryish compost this year.
If they haven't grown a corm yet, I suppose you could keep them ticking over through winter in a warm enough place. It probably easier to buy fresh plants though.
I lifted mine ten days ago,cut back the top growth,cleaned most of the damp compost off the base and then left to dry on the greenhouse bench.
Today i snapped off the remaining short stems and am storing them in trays just sat on newspaper,I have done this for several years with no problems, some of the corms are over thirty years old and were my fathers.
Colin, this sounds so easy and obviously works well for you! Does it depend on having fairly mild winter temperatures? I live in North Yorkshire and don't have a greenhouse, just a shed.
when cleaning off keep an eye out for holes in the base of the corm, as vine weevil grubs love begonia corms
also take care next year - I overwintered mine last year, planted up again when new growth appeared on the top, and put the pots out in the garden. Unfortunately I watered them well and stood the pots on plastic trays as I was going to be away for a month. It rained considerably during that time so the poor corms sat soaked through and just rotted away. I won't make that mistake again.
I bought them as plants last year. I thought I would try to store them, but I forget about them and let them dry out so they were all shrivelled. I just bought new ones cheaply from an online plug plant company and they did very well so I shan't bother storing the corms in future, just buy plug plants.
I too live in North Yorks, when the corms are dry I store them in an upstairs cool storeroom which is part of the loft, along with apples & onions
Thanks people - you are a mine of information!
Verdun, should I just sit them on newspaper or wrap them in it?