Botanical name: Begonia coccinea
Angel Wing 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. It is one of the popular cane-stemmed Begonias. It is easy to grow and propagate. Angel Wing Begonia can reach the height of 6 ft or more if left unpruned. The waxy flowers are large clusters which hang from the stems. The flowers come in red, white, orange and pink. Angel Wing Begonia is native to the Atlantic Forest of Brazil.
Angel Wing Begonia grows best in bright indirect light. Inadequate light results in a leggy plant and prevents flowering. Too intense light causes the leaves to curl and turn brown. Keep it away from direct sunshine as it can lead to scorching of the leaves. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
Water Angel Wing Begonia thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Reduce watering in the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal. Avoid waterlogging as it can lead in root-rot. Learn more on how to water houseplants.
Average warmth with a minimum 150C is ideal for Angel Wing Begonia. Protect the plant from cold draughts.
Average room humidity is adequate for Angel Wing Begonia. Where the room temperatures are too high making the air too dry, employ these techniques to raise humidity for the plant. Do not mist the leaves as it promotes fungal diseases.
Feed Angel Wing Begonia with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer monthly during the growing period. To promote blooming, apply a potassium-rich fertilizer weekly when buds begin to develop. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal. Learn more on how to feed houseplants.
Repot Angel Wing Begonia at the beginning of the growing season only if the plant has become root-bound or is too large for the pot; the plant prefers to be slightly root-bound. Use a rich free-draining soil and a pot 1 size larger. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent waterlogging as it can lead to Root-rot Disease. Do not repot a flowering plant as the shock of repotting will cut short the flowering.
Pruning Angel Wing Begonia 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 plants. Learn more on how to prune houseplants.
Angel Wing Begonia is propagated during the growing season from stem-tip cuttings.
Propagation of Angel Wing Begonia from Stem-tip Cuttings
Take a stem-tip cutting from a healthy Angel Wing Begonia of about 3-5 in. and ensure it bears at least two sets of leaves. Insert it in moist free-draining soil and place in a warm shaded place. Maintain the soil moist through out until new growth emerges. Allow the plant to be well established before transplanting.
The leaves of Angel Wing Begonia may yellow due to two reasons. One is too little light; move the plant to a brighter spot. Angel Wing Begonia prefers shade to bright light but away from direct sunlight. Two is too little or too much water; maintain the soil moist at all times but not soggy. Never allow the soil to dry out completely. Learn more on how to water houseplant.
There are three reasons for loss of leaves in Angel Wing Begonia. One is too little light; move the plant to a brighter spot. Angel Wing Begonia prefers shade to bright light away from direct sunlight. The second reason is too much heat; the best temperature for Angel Wing Begonia is average room temperature that is a temperature that is comfortable for you is good for this plant. Third is too much water (waterlogging); ensure the soil is free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole.
The causes of flower bud drop in Angel Wing Begonia are two. One cause is dry air; raise humidity by setting the pot on a wet pebble tray but do not mist the leaves. The second cause 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, Angel Wing Begonia will respond with brown leaf tips. Employ these techniques to raise humidity for Angel Wing Begonia.
The reason for pale, rotting leaves in Angel Wing Begonia is waterlogging of the soil. Maintain the soil moist but not soggy. Ensure the soil is free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole to prevent waterlogging.
This is an indication of Powdery Mildew in Angel Wing Begonia. Isolate the affected plant, cut off diseased leaves and treat appropriately. Avoid damp conditions and low temperatures and improve air circulation.
This is an indication of Botrytis Disease in Angel Wing Begonia. Isolate the affected plant, cut off diseased parts and treat appropriately. Avoid low light and over damp conditions and improve air circulation.
There are three reasons for plant collapse in Angel Wing Begonia. One is Stem Rot Disease due to waterlogging. The second reason is Nematodes (Root Knot Eelworm) which are characterized by swollen bumps on roots. The third reason is Vine Weevil which is characterized by tunnels in the rhizomes.
All parts of Angel Wing Begonia and especially the roots are considered mildly toxic to pets. If ingested they may cause burning in the mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pains.