Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

How To Grow Begonias Indoors During the Winter

Blooming, fibrous-rooted begonia in pot.

Fibrous-rooted begonias are easy to bring indoors and grow during the winter.

I have some beautiful wax and angel type begonias in pots. Can I bring them inside for the winter? How do I care for them? -Robert

Both wax begonias and angel wing begonias are fibrous-rooted, which means they have a basic, familiar looking stringy root ball. These are the begonias commonly sold in hanging baskets and as bedding plants. Fibrous-rooted begonias make great house plants over the winter, as do the rhizomatous types (such as Rex begonias), which are grown primarily for their foliage.

All you really need is a little space and a bright window, and these types of begonias will continue to grow (and possibly even bloom!) year-round.

Bewildered by Begonias?

To know how to care for your begonia over the winter, you really need to know what kind of begonia you’re growing. Fibrous and rhizomatous begonias are easy to grow as house plants, but tuberous begonias need to be stored as bulbs over the winter, and hardy begonias should just be left outside. If you aren’t sure what kind of begonia you have, check out our article on How To Grow Different Varieties of Begonias.

How To Overwinter Fibrous and Rhizomatous Begonias

Follow these tips for overwintering fibrous and rhizomatous begonias indoors.

  • Timing Is Important: Bring your begonias inside before the first frost, or they may be lost for good. Also, to reduce temperature and humidity shock, take advantage of that wonderful early fall season (when neither the heat nor air conditioning is running nonstop) to get your plants acclimated to the indoors.
  • Leave in Pots: To save the work (and plant stress) of potting your bedding begonias, try nestling them in the ground in pots that are easy to lift out in the fall.
  • Flowering begonia

  • Repot if Necessary: Spring is the traditional season for repotting begonias, but if yours are so rootbound that they’re struggling, go ahead and move them to a bigger pot before bringing them indoors for the winter.
  • Trim Back: Lightly pinch or trim back leggy begonias to shape them up. If you’re digging up bedding plants or repotting a rootbound plant, cut back the tops to about the same size as the root ball.
  • Inspect Carefully: Don’t bring pests or diseases indoors! Throw away any begonias that look diseased or infested, and treat minor problems before bringing them inside.
  • Light: Bright filtered light is ideal, with perhaps some winter sun from an east-facing window. Blooming types of begonias like more sun than foliage types. Even though the light is dimmer indoors, be careful of too much sun exposure, especially if your begonias are used to growing in the shade.
  • Begonia flower

  • Water: Keep begonias evenly moist, neither soggy nor dried out. Begonias don’t like “wet feet,” so empty the drainage tray or decorative planter after watering, so that they don’t sit in a puddle.
  • Fertilizer: Feed your begonias lightly throughout the winter. These types don’t go dormant, but they will slow down some over the winter. A good rule is to feed them more when they’re growing, and less when they slow down.
  • Temperature: Keep your begonias between 65° to 73° F during the day, and no colder than 55° F at night. Be aware of drafts and freezing window glass that might damage foliage.
  • Add Humidity: A pebble tray will help give your begonias extra humidity to cope with the change in environment. If you’re overwintering Rex begonias, they might need misting or a little help from a humidifier.
  • Adjustment Period: Some begonias respond to the shock of moving indoors by dropping and regrowing some or all of their leaves. Don’t worry, just pinch back leggy stems and keep on taking care of your begonia until it grows new leaves.


Further Information

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8 Comments on “How To Grow Begonias Indoors During the Winter”

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  1. Malou Roth Says:
    August 26th, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    This advice was exactly what I was looking for. Very helpful.
    My begonias did well this summer. Lots of rain and sun I guess. I hate to see the potted plants die in the fall so I will follow this advice.
    Thanks a million

  2. Beverly Lonski Says:
    November 29th, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    My bathroom has no windows. Are there plants that can actually survive without light?

  3. diane conrad Says:
    November 29th, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    What about impatients? Brought some in this year.

  4. Radika Kedia Says:
    December 15th, 2014 at 10:11 pm


  5. Karen Wzorek Says:
    September 22nd, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Thank you for the winter advise to prolong my beautiful yellow begonia. Hopefully i will enjoy it this winter too inside more.

  6. yvonne moram Says:
    September 26th, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Thank you for your much apprecated advice. If i put my beddng beonias in an unheated green house but cover them with fleece might they suvive? I do have a small parafeen heater and candels, which I use with terracote pots and this keeps frost away. Please reply and many thanks
    yvonne moram

  7. Marlene Bennett Says:
    October 4th, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I have 2 hanging baskets of the Encanto Waterfall Begonia that still have beautiful flowers on them. Live on the east coast so brought them in today. How can I keep them over the winter? Where should I place them, watering etc….

  8. Millie Hicks Says:
    October 27th, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    This information was very helpful. I also brought my beautiful watering can filled with wax begonias and Angel wing begonias
    inside because I didn’t want to lose them! I purchased this arrangement at a garden shop in early summer here in the Rochester New York area and it was such an enjoyable thing to display on my patio table!
    Another question is, will the begonias outside come back up in the spring?
    Thank you so much

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