East of Scotland Begonia Society


        Tuberous begonias do not come true from seed therefore the only way to propagate named varieties is by taking cuttings. There are three common ways of propagation.

1. Basal or Base cuttings.

2. Stem cuttings

3. Leaf cuttings


Basal or Base cuttings

          Older tubers will very probably produce young growths in excess of those needed to produce the required plant. These extra growths can be used as cuttings and are removed when about three inches high. They can either be carefully cut off or pushed off with the fingers. Either way a small bud will be seen at the base, this eye should be retained as it is preferred method of most growers for the formation of a successful young tuber which will start away next year. Trim carefully and insert in a two inch pot filled with the same compost as the tuber was started in. The cut surface of the tuber should be dusted with yellow sulphur( To prevent any Disease attacking the wound).

Here you can see basal cuttings ready to be taken


         These cuttings will probably produce the best tubers as they have a longer growth period. Early in the season a propagator will be required, but be careful to give some air otherwise damping off may take place. Rooting will take about four weeks but some cuttings take much longer to strike.

Stem Cuttings   

                   When more cuttings are required from a scarce variety then cuttings can be taken from the side shoots on the main stem. These are quite a bit more difficult to obtain as great care is required to cut them cleanly so as not to damage the plant. Careful examination at the base of the potential cutting, before starting, will reveal a wafer thin bract which covers a bud which must be carefully preserved. The first cut is made parallel to the main stem and the second cut parallel to the leaf stem so that a wedge shaped base is produced. After trimming off all bracts the cutting is treated in the same way as a basal cutting. Again the wounds on the parent plant should be treated with yellow sulphur. As a general rule, because the stem cuttings are taken later in the season, no heat should be required for growth to take place. These plants from which stem cuttings are taken are not much use for showing as a pot plant because of the scars on the main stem and should be used for cut blooms only. Both types of cuttings should be potted on to no more than a four inch pot as required and after growth has reached about six inches high the plants should have the growing tip nipped out. This is so that as much growth as possible can go to the new tuber. The plants should be kept growing as long as practical until late November or early December. These small tubers are best left in their pots until ready to start into growth next season because if taken out they tend to shrivel and will not start.

Leaf Cuttings

This method is the most modern method and is being used by an ever increasing number of growers throughout the country.We will add to this section later

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