Categories
BLOG

begonias from seed

How to grow begonias from seed in winter

BEGONIAS are among the few plants you can grow from seed in winter, when thoughts of their totally tropical frothy flowers and shiny green leaves should brighten up the darkest day.

GETTY – PICTURE POSED BY MODEL

Begonias are one of the few flowers that will grow from seeds during the cruel winter months

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

Your first challenge will be handling the seeds: begonia seeds are as small as dust so instead of tipping them straight into the palm of your hand you should tear off the top of the packet and add a little dry sand – the finer the better.

You’ll have most success if you use a heated propagator

Shake the packet about to mix the seed and sand (while keeping the top closed with your finger and thumb) and then they are ready to sow.

Fill some module trays to the top with seed compost and firm it down with a wooden tamper.

Water the compost carefully before you sow the seeds (or you will wash them away), then sprinkle the seed and sand mix sparingly over the compost.

There is no need to cover them with more compost, or even vermiculite, because they are so small they won’t get enough light to germinate if they are covered.

However, you can put a piece of glass over the top if you have any handy (old glass bathroom shelves or the glass from a picture frame would work), then you need to keep them warm and humid so the seed can germinate.

You’ll have most success if you use a heated propagator (Christmas is coming…), but the traditional clear plastic bag over the top secured with an elastic band is acceptable – although then you’ll have to sow the seeds in small pots.

Related articles

  • How to plant tulips for a long flowering season
  • How to protect your garden from windy weather
  • Turf war! Weedy invaders becoming bigger and tougher

If you don’t have a propagator find a warm spot for your seeds, perhaps on a windowsill over a radiator or in the airing cupboard every night, and hopefully they will start to germinate after four or five weeks.

They start as pinpricks of green, but if you keep the seedlings warm and light they will continue to grow until they are big enough to be transferred to small pots or individual modules.

At this stage they don’t need a lid or bag to maintain humidity, or they might rot away, but they will still need warmth until they can be put outside in a coldframe after the risk of frost is over – about May time.

Leave them in this sheltered position, or in an unheated greenhouse, until June when you can plant them in your borders or patio pots.

BEGONIAS are among the few plants you can grow from seed in winter, when thoughts of their totally tropical frothy flowers and shiny green leaves should brighten up the darkest day.

How to Retrieve Seed From Begonia Plant

Related Articles

You can grow begonia outdoors or indoors as houseplants. The attractive plants are often grown for their ornamental leaves or colorful blooms. Begonias grow in all U.S Department of Agriculture hardiness plant zones when treated as an annual or grown indoors. The flowers are most often grown in pots or hanging baskets placed in areas with filtered shade. Begonias have both male and female flowers on the same plant; the female flowers have a seed capsule at the base, while male flowers do not.

Look for seedpods once begonia flowers shrivel and dry. The seedpods are located behind the female flower; female flowers have a swollen ovary at the base of the flower and do not contain yellow stamens.

Clip the seedpods off the plant when they begin to look dry, but harvest the seedpods before they are fully dry and split open, dispersing seeds.

Open the seedpods over a piece of white paper, such as typing paper, and empty the seedpods.

Use an empty pill bottle or other small plastic container to store deeds until dry. Fold the white paper and use it to funnel the seeds into the container. It generally takes a week or so for the seeds to dry.

Pour dried seeds out and onto typing paper or other white paper. Using a second sheet of white paper, gently tilt the paper containing seeds and chaff over the other sheet of paper. The tiny seeds will roll off, leaving the chaff behind. If no seeds roll off, it may be all chaff rather than viable seeds.

Pour seeds from the sheet of paper into an envelope, tape shut, add the date and mark it so that you know what type of seed the envelope contains.

How to Retrieve Seed From Begonia Plant. You can grow begonia outdoors or indoors as houseplants. The attractive plants are often grown for their ornamental leaves or colorful blooms. Begonias grow in all U.S Department of Agriculture hardiness plant zones when treated as an annual or grown indoors. The flowers are …