Angel wing begonia care begins with a little understanding about the background and features of this beautiful houseplant.
Angel wing begonia or Begonia coccinea is a perennial species of flowering plants from the large family with 2000+ hybrids known as Begoniaceae.
This hybrid originates from South America, i.e. the sub-tropical and tropical climates.
It has several varieties with glossy leaves growing on cane stems and a variety of colorful flowers, which makes it a popular indoor plant.
Its flowers that appear in summer are really stunning- they grow in different colors, including orange, red, pink, and white.
The plant’s beautiful speckled or streaked foliage is all-year long and brings a unique atmosphere to your indoor space, whether at home or at the office.
It’s relatively easy to take care for if you know what it needs to grow happy and healthy. This is why it could be a good choice for the less experienced indoor gardeners.
The plant blooms in clusters of flowers if you place it in the best location- a bright, but indirect light.
If you select it as one of your indoor plants, location and proper fertilization can make all the difference when it comes to angel wing begonia care.
Since the plant can grow up to 4 feet or more, it’s important to remember to prune it regularly.
However, if you have pets, make sure your begonias are out of their reach-according to the ASPCA, they’re toxic to both cats and dogs.
The common name is inspired by the plant’s foliage, shaped like angel’s wings.
How to Care for an Angel Wing Begonia
In its natural habitat, this plant grows covered under bigger plants and trees so it doesn’t want too much direct sunlight.
In fact, it will do best in areas that are bright, yet not directly exposed to the sunlight.
If you have an area that’s partially shaded with bright indirect sun, this would be perfect.
In winter, place it where it could get morning light, without afternoon sun which is the strongest. If you decide to keep it outside in the summer, make sure it doesn’t get exposed to direct sunlight.
This plant does well indoors because it can grow healthily in a temperature range between 60 and 75 degrees F. Keep it away from cold drafts near windows or entries, as well as from heat sources like stoves or heating panels.
Bring it inside when the temperatures drop below 55 degrees F to prevent frost.
Water & Humidity
This plant will only need water on a daily basis in summer. Although it loves constant moisture, it doesn’t thrive in soggy soil, which can actually harm it.
Ensure the top layer of soil is only slightly moist when you touch it, so that you don’t end up overwatering it.
To reduce the risk of root rot, drain out surplus water and prevent the plant from sitting in surplus water.
In winter, daily watering won’t be necessary, but still maintain a moist soil. Wait for the top layer of the soil to dry between waterings.
Since it loves a fair share of humidity, mist around the plant area-but avoid watering the leaves because it can cause them to develop patches or spots. To increase humidity, rest the plant on a wet pebble tray.
This plant will do just fine in a potting mix for African violet.
Or, you can use another soilless potting mix that’s well draining to prevent root rot.
Begin fertilizing it in the spring and do it until the fall season. Do it when the soil is damp, around every 2 weeks.
Opt for a potassium diluted fertilizer in a 5-10-5 ratio. This will make sure the leaves and flowers look and grow healthy.
This is a plant that seems to thrive when it’s a bit pot-bound.
However, once it exhausts the current pot or if you notice the pot tipping over, choose a slightly bigger one and new fresh soil. Pull it gently from the current pot.
Remove as much as soil around the roots and check them if they’re healthy.
Set it well into the new soil. Do the repotting in early spring and avoid doing it in bloom-this can stop the process!
Angel Wing Begonia Propagation
Angel wing and other cane-type begonias can be shared through cuttings.
When you see a new growth in the spring, remove a 2 to 3-inch leaf tip cutting without blooms and insert it into soil.
Keep it moist and warm until you notice new growth. You can use a rooting hormone for a higher chance of root setting; however, it’s not pivotal.
Best Angel Wing Begonia Varieties
This begonia has apricot-colored flowers and they’re amongst the largest of begonias and blooms all summer.
Because of the strong bloom, most of its foliage can hardly be seen underneath it.
This variety has expressive flowers which can grow up to 5 inches in width. It’s a great choice for hanging baskets as the flowers will drop down dramatically.
Interestingly, it has flowers with smaller double blooms that are surrounded by four bigger petals, making the bloom quite impressive.
Million Kisses Elegance
This variety has minimal flowers, which isn’t common with begonias.
They’re pale pink and bloom heavily on the arching stems, making the plant an elegant addition to spaces.
Other Angel wing Begonia Care Tips
To make sure your angel wing grows healthy and forms well, prune back its stems and cut the tips that are going too high.
This won’t just ensure the plant looks beautiful, but it will also help it grow rounder and motivate new growth.
Trouble Shooting- Common Issues
Problem: flowers are fading
Cause: Not enough water; dry air, low light; very warm room.
Solution: In a process of elimination, try to correct the conditions that aren’t being met and check for progress.
For example, increase the watering, especially if it’s summer or boost the humidity through misting.
Problem: wilting and dropping leaves
Cause: Overwatering or underwatering; dry air; pest damage; excessive brightness.
Solution: Again, through the process of elimination, try to find and resolve the underlying condition.
Problem: pest infestation, most commonly aphids and spider mites
Cause: Dry conditions.
Solution: These insects thrive in dry areas- make sure you up the humidity of the plant-misting and regular watering are two great ways to achieve this.
Problem: Angel wing begonia leaves curling
Cause: Light is too strong
Solution: Move your plant away from light that is too strong or direct to where it can receive bright indirect light.
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