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How to Propagate Begonias in Water in 3 Steps

How to Propagate Begonias in Water in 3 Steps

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So, you want to propagate your own plants, but don’t want to have to begin from seed? Then why not use cuttings?

You just have to put them into the water and watch them grow, don’t you?

Well, it’s not quite that simple, but it is doable. Especially if you choose to grow begonias.

How to propagate Begonias in water?

Cut a section of an established stem 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) in diameter on a growing plant using clean pruning shears. The cut must be at 45 degrees and made about 3 inches (7.5 cm) below a growth bud, 2 inches (5 cm) above another growth bud, and at least 12 inches (30.5 cm) above the bottom cut, placing them in water until roots sprout. Transfer the cuttings once the roots are established.

Propagating Begonias in Water

One of the easiest and most efficient ways to propagate plants in your home is to do so in water. This involves taking a cutting and keeping it in a jar of water until it begins to sprout roots.

When the roots are quite established, you can plant the cutting out into a pot, a border, or even a garden.

You can also choose to keep growing the plant in water, as long as you make sure that there are sufficient nutrients available to it.

One of the things you will need to look out for during this process is the quality of municipal water.

If you have a borehole or access to another source of water, then it may be less important to check the quality.

There are also nutrient solutions available that you could dissolve into the water to encourage root growth. Check the instructions carefully before mixing the solution, though.

1. Obtaining the Begonia Cuttings

A cutting is not simply a piece of a plant that has been cut off. It needs to be taken carefully from a stem and needs to shows evidence of budding.

A Begonia cutting must be at least ½ inch (1.5cm) in diameter. It must be green and show that it is growing.

The stem must also have either actual buds or bud nodes, that show it will grow in the future.

You may be able to buy cuttings from your local nursery, or garden shop, but it’s also easy to take your own. Make the cutting using a sharp, clean pair of pruning shears, or a secateur.

You can purchase these from your local nursery, or garden shop.

You can take the cuttings from your garden plants so that you can propagate them further, or you can take them from elsewhere.

By using plants from somewhere else, you will be able to introduce some different and interesting varieties of Begonia into your garden.

Cut the stalk you have selected about three inches (7-8 cm) below a growth bud and then about 2 inches (5cm) above a growth bud that is at least 12 inches (30 cm) above the bottom cut.

Each cut should take a 45-degree angle.

It’s crucial to take note of which part of the cutting’s the top and the bottom. If you put the wrong end into the water, there can be no growth.

2. Putting the Cuttings in the Water

Begonias such as the Begonia rex like warmer, preferably humid, weather, so it is important to keep the cuttings moist by putting them into a plastic bag immediately.

This will keep the begonias moist until you decide they’re ready for placing in the water.

For this process, you should use glass jars, so that you can observe the growth of the roots. You can use any container, though.

You can put more than one cutting into each container, to begin with, but I recommend using one container per cutting because you don’t want the roots to become entangled.

If you don’t have enough jars for this in the beginning, then put the cuttings together, but separate them when the roots start showing.

The containers should be relatively small so that there will not be too much water for the cutting to take root in.

You want to make sure that the natural growth hormones released by the roots don’t become too diluted.

3. Planting Out the Cuttings

When the roots of the cuttings are quite well grown, you’ll be able to plant them out into pots, or your garden beds.

Use one pot per cutting, or plant them with some space from each other in the bed. Remember that the plants will spread as they grow.

Planting any new plant means that you will have to prepare the pot, or dig a hole in a bed and prepare it adequately. This step ensures that the soil is of the quality the plant will need.

If you plant them into a pot, then use a mixture of compost and potting soil. If you plant them into your garden, make sure that you mix compost into the soil when you fill in the holes the cuttings have been put into.

Begonias need sunlight, but not harsh, so they thrive best in filtered light, or indirect sunlight. I recommend that you don’t plant them in full shade.

If you grow them inside, then make sure they do get some sunlight through a window.

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Propagate Begonias in Water

Do I need special equipment to propagate begonias from a cutting?

To grow a begonia from a cutting, you will really only need a pair of strong pruning shears, or a secateur, and a jar with water. Put the cuttings into the jar, until they grow roots. After that, you can already plant them out.

Do I need to keep the Begonia cuttings inside?

Begonias like warmer, preferably humid weather, so it would be best to keep the cuttings inside when you are waiting for them to grow roots.


If you are looking for a beautiful, hardy, and popular plant to grow from a cutting, then Begonias are the obvious choice.

As long as the cuttings are fresh, kept moist, and put into water the right way up, then they will form roots relatively soon and you will be able to plant them into pots, or your garden beds.