No matter the particular species, all begonias require care during the winter as they cannot withstand cold temperatures. It is not necessary to winter begonias in all regions, but if you live in a cold climate or are even unsure if your begonias need to be wintered, it is best to provide them with extra care during the winter months. Read below for tips on how to properly overwinter your begonias.
Begonias need to be dug up and stored indoors in any region which suffers cold winters or the possibility of multiple frosts. You can dig up your begonias in fall once their foliage has faded, placing them on newspaper and leaving them outside to dry for about a week. Once they are dry, you can remove excess foliage and shake away the soil.
Prior to storing your begonias, you will want to dust them with sulfur powder to prevent fungal problems, such as powdery mildew. Once you apply this treatment, you can wrap individual begonia tubers in paper bags or line them with newspaper. Place all of the tubers in a cardboard box and store the box in a cool, dry, dark location, such as a basement.
If your begonias are in containers, you will still need to overwinter them. As long as you can keep the begonias dry, they can be left in their containers. Simply relocate the potted begonias to an area similar to where you would keep begonias grown in the ground. The pot can be kept upright or slightly tipped.
Wax begonias require different care than traditional begonias. They should continue to grow indoors throughout the winter, so you will have to dig them from the ground and pot them. If the wax begonias are already potted, you can simply relocate them indoors. Be sure to treat your wax begonias for pests before bringing them inside. Gently wash them with bleach-free dish soap. Keep wax begonias near a window that receives plenty of light at first, and then relocate them as they adjust to their new environment. Humidity can be increased, but watering should be decreased until warm temperatures return.