When to plant begonia tubers - the perfect time to add these dainty perennials to your garden

Bring your cottage garden to life

begonia tubers in pots
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you’re wondering when to plant begonia tubers, you’ll be happy to know that you have some flexibility in terms of when you can plant these dainty perennials. But you still need to make sure that the timing is right for these beautiful flowers to bloom. 

While some may say that begonias are a tad old-fashioned, there’s no denying that these classic flowers are a welcome addition to any hanging basket or garden border ideas. In fact, they’re perfect for those looking to bring their cottage garden ideas to life. 

However, to reap the rewards of begonias, you first need to plant them, and with the help of experts in the field (or should we say the garden), we’ve got all of the information you could need on when to plant begonia tubers. 

When to plant begonia tubers

‘Begonias are great for beginner gardeners and those with more experience, giving beautiful splashes of colour in your garden throughout the summer,’ explains Mollie Higginson, Sales Manager at New Leaf Plants and Founding Member of the Young People in Horticulture Association.

Begonia flowers bloom between July and October, so planting begonia tubers follows the same timeframe as planting summer bulbs. Of course, there is a slight difference; summer bulbs are bulbs, while begonias are planted as tubers. 

begonia tubers in pots

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Steve Chilton, garden expert at LeisureBench, suggests, ‘March-April time is the perfect time to plant Begonia tubers in pots, as the soil is just starting to warm up. Make sure that you don't plant them too early on in the year when it still isn't warm enough for them even to be inside, as they won't grow properly.’

Thankfully, this gives you a fairly large window to tick this task off your list of jobs to do in the garden in April. This large window can also give you the chance to keep an eye on the weather.

As begonia tubers are vulnerable to frost, you should always wait until the last frost of the year before planting your begonia tubers. This is especially true if you plan to plant them straight into the ground. 

begonia tubers in pots

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If that means waiting until the end of April to plant begonia tubers, that’s what you should do. But if we have a warm March, you can get this job out of the way earlier. However, most experts would suggest planting your begonia tubers into pots before transplanting them into the ground.

Kate Turner, Gardening Guru at Miracle-Gro, advises, ‘The best way to give them a head start is to plant them in pots. Fill with a good Multi-purpose Peat Free compost, such as Miracle-Gro, in March/April and leave them in a frost-free greenhouse or cool conservatory/windowsill until May.’

begonia tubers in pots

(Image credit: Getty Images)

‘Then, you can transplant them out of their pots into the garden. That can either be in the bed, border or a larger decorative container. Be sure to plant them with the hollow side facing upwards and not too deeply. Don’t let them get waterlogged, either.’

When this is done, you should be able to leave them to their own devices for a while. Just remember to look into overwintering begonias before the weather turns again to keep them flourishing. 

Headshot of gardening expert Steve Chilton
Steve Chilton

Steve is a passionate and knowledgeable garden expert with several years of experience within the field and has developed strong expertise for all things nature and plants. Steve is a keen educator and loves to share this knowledge with others. He strives to simplify complex garden practices and encourage eco-friendly gardening.


What month do you plant begonia bulbs?

To add begonias to your garden, you should plant the tubers. Aim to do this anytime between March and April, when the risk of frost has gone and you’re confident that the weather will consistently get warmer. Because of this, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the weather forecast and choose the exact time accordingly. 

Can you plant begonia tubers straight into the ground?

Although experts would advise planting begonia tubers in pots first, you can choose to plant begonia tubers straight into the ground if you really want to. However, you need to be careful. If you’re doing this, it’s best to wait until the end of April to ensure that the cold and wet weather has passed. 

You should also make sure that you have completely covered the tuber with soil, as it needs to be protected from the elements during this crucial process. If in doubt, plant your begonia tubers in pots first. 

What is the best way to plant begonia tubers?

To plant begonia tubers, fill a pot with soil and dig a hole around 2.5cm deep. Then, plant the tuber hollow-side up. Ideally, you should then keep the pot somewhere that’s relatively warm, such as a greenhouse or cold frame.

By May, you should see that the leaves are starting to grow. When you see these, you can transplant them into the garden. 

Now you know when to plant begonia tubers, it’s time to start checking the weather forecast. 

Lauren Bradbury

Lauren Bradbury is a freelance writer and major homes enthusiast. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Chichester in 2016, before dipping her toe into the world of content writing. After years of agency work, writing everything from real-life stories to holiday round-ups, she decided to take the plunge and become a full-time freelancer in the online magazine world. Since then, she has become a regular contributor for Real Homes and Ideal Home, and become even more obsessed with everything interior and garden related. As a result, she’s in the process of transforming her old Victorian terraced house into an eclectic and modern home that hits visitors with personality as soon as they walk through the door.