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Botanical name: Begonia coccinea
Common names: Angel Wing Begonia, Scarlet Begonia
Begonia coccinea commonly called Angel Wing Begonia or Scarlet Begonia is an evergreen shrubby plant which bears large, glossy, red-margined leaves. The leaves are 'angel wing' shaped and hence the common name.
This evergreen flowering Begonia has the advantage of keeping its beautiful 'Angel Wing' leaves through out the year.
Begonia coccinea is one of the popular cane-stemmed Begonias and is easy to grow and propagate.
Angel Wing Begonia can reach the height of 6 ft or more if left unpruned.
The waxy flowers in Begonia coccinea are large clusters which hang from the stems. The flowers come in red, white, orange and pink.
Begonia coccinea (Angel Wing Begonia) is native to the Atlantic Forest of Brazil, distributed in Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo.
Would you like to add this beauty to your collection? Buy Begonia Plants online from Etsy.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Begonia coccinea (Angel Wing Begonia) thrives in bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight, average warmth, consistently moist, rich, well-drained soil and weekly feeding during the growing season.
Angel Wing Begonia requires regular pruning to keep it neat, to reduce pest infestations and to rejuvenate growth. Repotting is needed when it becomes extremely pot-bound as it grows best when slightly root-bound. Read on for a detailed account on the best growing conditions and how to achieve them.
Begonia coccinea (Angel Wing Begonia) grows best in bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight to avoid scorching the leaves.
Inadequate light will result in a leggy plant and reduced flowering while too intense light causes the leaves to curl and turn brown.
Scarlet Begonia will also grow under a grow light where the natural lighting is not sufficient.
For optimum growth of Begonia coccinea, keep the soil moist during the growing period but allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
Decrease watering during the cold months as growth is minimal but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
Make sure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease.
The best temperature for growing Begonia coccinea indoors is an average warmth with a minimum 150C. Keep it away from cold draughts to prevent sudden changes in temperature.
Average room humidity is adequate for Begonia coccinea but where the room temperatures are too high which cause the air to be too dry, increase humidity by setting the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.
Do not mist the plant as wetting the leaves may lead to fungal infestations. Occasionally clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and discourage pest infestations.
Feed Begonia coccinea with a balanced, liquid fertilizer weekly during the growing period for lush growth.
To promote blooming, apply a phosphorous-rich fertilizer weekly when the buds begin to form.
Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time, therefore, the plant does not need it.
Repot Begonia coccinea at the beginning of the growing period only if the plant has become extremely pot-bound or is too large for the pot as it prefers to be slightly root-bound.
Use a pot 1 size larger than the current one. Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to avoid soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of the plant.
Do not repot a flowering Scarlet Begonia as the shock of repotting will cut short the flowering.
The best soil for Begonia coccinea should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.
Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal. Buy quality Potting Mix for Scarlet Begonia online from Etsy.
Pruning Begonia coccinea is easy. Remove the dead flowers, yellow and dead leaves to keep the plant neat and tidy. Do not pinch the growing buds.
Cut back the bare stems at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth.
The foliage emanating from pruning can be used to propagate new Scarlet Begonia plants.
Begonia coccinea can be propagated from stem-tip cuttings at the beginning of the growing period. The stem cuttings root easily, therefore, there is no need for a rooting hormone.
Take a 3-4 in. stem-tip cutting from a healthy Begonia coccinea plant. Ensure each cutting has at least 2-3 leaf nodes as this where new growth will come from. Strip off the lower leaves.
Insert the Scarlet Begonia cuttings in moist, free-draining potting mix and place the set up in a warm, brightly lit place away from direct sunlight.
Keep the soil moist until new growth emerges. Allow the new Begonia coccinea to be well established before transplanting after which you can begin routine care.
Photo Credit: Proven Winners
Begonia coccinea (Angel Wing Begonia) problems indoors are due to cultural faults and they include yellow leaves, brown leaf tips, rotting, plant death, flowerbud drop, pests and diseases among others. Continue reading for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.
Yellow leaves in Begonia coccinea are due to two possible reasons. One possible cause of yellow leaves is too little light.
Move the Begonia coccinea to a brighter spot as it prefers bright, indirect light or instal a grow light if the natural lighting is not adequate
The second possible cause of yellow leaves in Scarlet Begonia is too little or too much water.
Maintain the soil moist at all times during the growing season but never soggy and slightly moist in the cold period but never allow the soil to dry out completely.
There are three possible causes of leaf drop (loss of leaves) in Begonia coccinea. The first possible cause of leaf drop is too little light.
Position the Begonia coccinea in a brighter place where it will receive bright, indirect light or instal a grow light if the natural light is not enough.
The second possible cause of leaf drop in Scarlet Begonia is too much heat from hot drafts or too hot direct sunlight.
The best temperature for Begonia coccinea is an average room temperature, that is, a temperature that is comfortable for you is ideal for the plant.
Therefore, keep the plant away from cold and hot drafts to maintain the optimum temperature for it to thrive.
The third possible cause of leaf drop in the Angel Wing Begonia is too much water in the soil (soggy soil).
Ascertain that the soil is free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy (too wet).
There are two possible causes of flowerbud drop in Begonia coccinea. One possible cause is dry air, in other words, too low air humidity.
To elevate humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or grow the plant in a bathroom and other moist areas in the home is the light is adequate.
Do not mist the leaves to avoid fungal disease infestations. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
The second possible cause of flowerbud drop in Scarlet Begonia is underwatering. Maintain the soil moist at all times and never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.
If the air humidity is too low, Begonia coccinea will respond with brown leaf tips.
Increase the humidity by setting the pot on wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier but do not mist the leaves as it can result in disease infestations.
The reason for pale, rotting leaves in Begonia coccinea is soggy (overwet) soil which is due to poor soil drainage. Maintain the soil moist but not soggy.
Ensure that the soil is free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy. Also reduce watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.
White powdery spots in Begonia coccinea is an indication of infestation by powdery mildew which is promoted by overwet conditions coupled with poor air circulation.
Isolate the affected plant, cut off diseased leaves and treat appropriately. Avoid damp conditions and low temperatures and improve air circulation. Read on how to treat powdery mildew in houseplants.
Brown blotches which turn grey and moldy in Begonia coccinea is an indication of botrytis disease which is enhanced by overdamp conditions coupled with poor air circulation.
Isolate the affected Angel Wing Begonia, cut off the diseased parts and treat appropriately. Avoid low light and overdamp conditions and improve ventilation. Read on how to treat botrytis disease in houseplants.
There are three possible reasons for plant collapse or death in Begonia coccinea. One possible reason is stem-rot disease due to soggy soil which is a result of poor soil drainage.
Isolated the affected plant to minimize spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the stem-rot disease.
Always make sure that the soil is free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.
The second possible reason for plant collapse in Begonia coccinea is Nematodes (Root Knot Eelworm) which are characterized by swollen bumps on roots.
The third possible reason for plant collapse in Angel Wing Begonia is Vine Weevil which is characterized by tunnels in the rhizomes.
The other common pests in Begonia coccinea are Aphids and Spider Mites. Isolate the affected the plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it with Neem oil to get rid of the pests.
All parts of Begonia coccinea (Angel Wing Begonia) and especially the roots are considered toxic to pets as indicated by ASPCA.
If ingested Scarlet Begonia may cause burning in the mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pains. Keep the plant away from the reach of children and pets to avoid any mishaps.