Begonia Seeds: Extraction and Propagation Explained

Begonia seeds come from Flower
Begonia Plant Flower (Source: HGIC)

Begonias are a well-known genus of flowering plants loved by plant enthusiasts all over the world.

With more than 2000 species under its wing, Begonia is famous for its beautiful flowers and equally enthralling foliage.

Another thing that the Begonias offer you is quality seeds. The seeds are easy to germinate and grow.

Generally, to extract seeds from the Begonia plant, let the flowers die off and reveal the seed pods. The seeds vary from brown to black. Plant the seeds in a pot with seed mix and vermiculite to propagate.

Begonia Seeds
Begonia Seeds (Source: American Begonia Society)

Growing Begonia from seeds can seriously take a toll on you. But, if you are dedicated enough, you can grow yourself a Begonia.

Look below for the steps you need to follow to extract and propagate the Begonia seeds.

Begonia Seeds Overview

Begonia plant is a loved ornamental pot plant; you may even have one in your home.

The main attraction of Begonia is its flowers which consist of petals, sepals, pistils, and a stamen. They also provide you with a sweet fragrance.

Begonia Seeds Types
Begonia Seeds Types (Source: Research Gate)

The tales of Begonia do not end there; it also produces seeds that can be useful to grow more Begonia plants.

Let’s look at the basic overview of Begonia seeds.

ColorReddish-brown to black color
Size4-15 * 2-9 mm
ShapeGlobular or Ellipsoidal
Blossoming SeasonSpring to Fall
BlossomDifferent colored single or double flowers
PatternGrowth from a creeping rhizome
Harvest SeasonLate Summer or Autumn
Growing TimeFor indoors: Any preferred time
For outdoors: 12-16 weeks before planting out
Conducive Temperature75°F (23.8°C) - 80°F (26.6°C)
Germination Time2-3 weeks

You can keep the freshly gathered seeds in a ziplock bag for future use. Do not store them for too long, or they may not come true.

Did you know? Begonia plant is closely related to pumpkins, cucumbers, and melons.

How do you Get Begonia Seeds?

Almost all flowering plants in the plant kingdom produce viable seeds. Begonia hails from that company as well.

Generally, it will take 3-4 months for the Begonia plant to mature and bloom its first flower.

Once a flower blooms, it lives up to six months. You can collect the necessary seeds after the flower dies and dries up.

Begonia Parviflora
Begonia Parviflora (Source: Flickr)

So, the flower blooming is a primary sign that the plant is about to produce seeds.

You do not need to do anything extravagant to make the seeds. The flower does it by itself at the end of its flowering season.

You can store the fibrous and rhizomatous Begonia flower inside while keeping the tuberous Begonia flower outside during the seed formation process.

To extract seeds from the flower, you must gather certain tools and equipment. Look for them below.

Essential EquipmentsSpecifications
KnifeFor carving out the seeds
Gardening GlovesTo protect the hands
MaskHelpful if you have allergies
GogglesTo protect the eyes
Ziploc BagTo place the seeds

Without being said, you need to disinfect the equipment above to make sure your plant doesn’t get infected in any way.

Steps to Extract the Seeds from the Begonia Plant

After the flower dries up, you need to follow certain procedures to extract the seed from them.

  • The flower dries up after its flowering season; look for the seed pod. You will find it right behind the female flower.
  • Separate the pod from the flower before it is completely dry.
Seed Pods Begonia
Seed Pods Begonia (Source: Reddit)
  • Place a seed pod in your hand and split the seed pod open with your thumbs, and empty the seeds onto the paper. 
  • Open the seedpods and drop the seeds on a white sheet of paper, so they are completely visible.
  • Put the seeds in a zip lock bag and store them for nearly a week.
  • After the seeds dry, take a white paper and pour the seeds from the zip lock onto the paper. Take a second paper and gently tilt the first paper to separate the seeds and their husk.
  • Put the seeds away in some envelope and mark them “Begonia seeds” for future use.

Begonia Seeds for Sale

Getting Begonia seeds from the flower can be more complicated than you imagine. Sometimes it is easier to buy the seeds online.

You can visit the following online sites to buy some Begonia seeds.

SitesShipping Details
Green Seed GardenShipping in 2-3 business days
Park SeedShipping in 5-7 business days
AmazonTakes 4-5 days to deliver
WalmartShipping in 2 business days
Harris SeedsShips immediately

Do Begonias Come from Seeds or Bulbs?

Some Begonia plants can be grown via seeds and some from the bulbs produced by the plant. Some plants grow both bulbs and seeds.

Begonias provide you the flexibility of growing them by either bulbs or seeds. 

Generally, growing Begonia from seeds is comparatively more complex and yields smaller than those produced from bulbs.

Begonia Grown from Seeds
Begonia Grown from Seeds (Source: Reddit)

You cannot take the seed from the flower and propagate them instantly. Before diving into the process, dry the seeds and separate the outer husk.

You can also cultivate Begonia seeds in greenhouse. For that, you need to plant them in soilless compost  in 3-inch pots. 

Also, you do not need to propagate them instantly. The seeds can be viable for up to 10 years if you store them in a cool refrigerator.

Steps to Propagate Begonia via Seeds

You can grow a variety of Begonias from seed.

Begin with wax begonias, Dragon wing begonias, Angel wing begonias, cascading begonias, or tuberous begonias when starting begonias from seed for the first time.

You need to follow step by step procedure to propagate your Begonia via seeds. 

First, you must gather dry seed, seed blend, germination tray, and plastic needed for propagation.

Let’s take a look at the process in detail below.

Step 1: Get the Seeds Ready

  • Take the required amount of seeds out from the envelope.
  • Soak the seeds for a few hours before planting them.
  • If the seeds are fresh, you do not need to soak them in water.

Step 2: Planting in the Germination tray

  • Disinfect the germination tray properly. The plants are susceptible to fungal diseases such as damping off and botrytis.
  • You will also need new sterile potting soil specially formulated for seed starting. 
  • Fill the germination tray with a seed blend.
  • Sprinkle the seeds on the tray and press with a thumb.
  • Do not press the seeds too much. Try to keep some distance between the seeds.
  • Spray the surface with lukewarm water.
  • Then place the seed container in a clear plastic bag or mini-greenhouse to maintain the high humidity required for germination.
Sprouting seed
Sprouting seed (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Step 3: Care for the Seeds During the Germination

If you provide good care to the seeds, they may germinate faster. Follow the steps below to ensure proper germination.

  • Water the seeds with a mister once a day to moisten the soil. Do not leave the potting soil soggy.
  • Cover the tray with a transparent plastic sheet to maintain the humidity.
  • Keep the tray 2 to 3 inches under grow lights for 14-18 hours daily.
  • The seeds require warmth, so you may need to keep a heating pad under the tray.
Heating Pad
Heating Pad (Source: Ali Express)
  • Make sure to maintain the temperature range of 75°F to 80°F to boost the germination speed.
  • Begonia seeds do not need any fertilization during the process. The seed blend will provide enough nutrients.

Note: After about five weeks, the begonias will be ready to transplant.

After you see your Begonia develop its leaf, it is time to transplant them into its new pot. Use your fingers to lift the plant off the tray gently.

I transplant my seedlings into 6-inch pots once they have outgrown their tiny cells and developed their fifth leaf.

Plant the plant in a small plastic pot and continue keeping them under grow lights for extended hours.

You can begin acclimating the seedlings to outdoor conditions and planting them in the garden once the outside temperatures have warmed up and nights remain above 50°F (10°C).

Most begonias prefer partial shade, but some can handle full sun or shade.

seedling sprouting
Seed Sprouting (Source: Unsplash)

Gradually increase the time they stay outdoors for 2-3 weeks until they are ready to stay outside most of the time.

After that, care for your plant like you would care for your normal Begonia.


Begonia plants produce beautiful flowers that, in turn, give you seeds. The seeds are easy to take care of and very useful.

You don’t need to work too hard to make the seeds into a plant. Just make sure you provide the seeds with the care it requires.

Good luck with your plant!

Want to read more about Begonia plants? Read our articles on Beefsteak Begonia, Poisonous to Pets?

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