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If you live in an area that has tropical weather – or just love tropical houseplants, then adding an Angel Wing Begonia to your garden is a perfect choice. These plants are beautiful and versatile indoors and out.
Angel Wing Begonias are hybrid cane Begonia plants with pointed ornamental leaves and fibrous root systems. These tropical plants are named after the shape of their leaves, which truly are in the form of an elongated angel’s wing. There are many different cultivars of Angel Wing Begonias, including in a variety of foliage and flower colors. These low-maintenance plants can grow vigorously outdoors or as a houseplant, particularly when staked.
Whether you want to have an angel wing begonia in your office, home, or garden, this plant looks great anywhere. Read on to learn all about Angel Wing Begonias!
Angel Wing Begonia: The Basics
Angel Wing Begonia is a hybrid type of begonia plant bred as a cross between Begonia aconitifolia and Begonia coccinea. Angel Wing Begonias are a type of cane begonia, known for their bamboo-like stems. Cane-type begonias like Angel Wing Begonia have fibrous root systems (not tuberous roots). Angel Wing Begonias were bred by Eva Kenworthy Gray in 1926 (California, USA).
Angel Wing Begonia plants are grown as ornamentals, both indoors as houseplants and outdoors as tender groundcovers. The leaves are how they got their name because they look like angel wings. The flowers that droop down and grow in the center can also be many different colors. They can be pink, orange, red, white, or yellow, but the most common color is bright, vibrant pink. The Dragon Wing Begonia series is one of the most popular lines of Angelwing Begonia plants.
Aside from the stunning flowers in the center, the color and pattern of the leaves are unique and amazing as well. The green is very light and it can also have variations from yellow-green to dark green. Spots on the leaves are normal too, and they add a special spotted appearance that is unique to this particular begonia plant.
How To Care For Angel Wing Begonia
All plants need the basics of soil, water, and sunlight. But, the Angel Wing Begonia likes those in moderate amounts. For instance, direct sunlight for this plant is too harsh, so the Angel Wing Begonia likes only indirect sunlight.
This plant likes to be planted in the spring but can be grown all year round. The Angel Wing Begonia is low maintenance and forgetting to water it for a couple of days won’t kill it. It is perfect for indoor use because it doesn’t like the bright sunlight directly on it, but loves when it brightens a room through windows. If you don’t have a green thumb, this plant may be perfect for you.
Lighting Requirements For Angel Wing Begonia
If you are growing this plant indoors, then it is generally easy to give it indirect sunlight. You can place your plant in rooms that get lots of bright natural light, while keeping it out of direct sunbeams. In homes without much natural light, consider supplemental lighting from a simple LED plant lightbulb or grouped with other houseplants under a plate-style LED diode grow light.
If you are growing this plant outside, then consider using a part of your garden that has more shade. If that doesn’t work, then you can add your own shade to make sure the angel wing begonia does not dry out.
Watering Angel Wing Begonia
Giving Angel Wing Begonia plant more water when it is hot helps it stay hydrated in periods of drought. If this doesn’t happen, then the sun will dry out the plant and the leaves and flowers will wilt and die. When it is cold outside, your goal is to make sure the lower layers of soil are moist. Begonia plants like Angel Wing do like moist soil, but the soil shouldn’t be muddy or ponded in the bottom of the pot.
When watering the Angel Wing Begonia, do not water from above and get the leaves wet. This can lead to fungal issues because it becomes a ground base for fungus to grow. So, water it at the base of the plant, right on top of the soil. That way you can avoid any issues with fungus later. Watering the soil is easiest with a watering can that has a long, thin water spout:
- Small BPA-free Plastic Watering Can from The Sill
- Dramm Indoor Plastic Watering Can from Hoss Tools
- Haws Forest Green Plastic Watering Can from Botanical Interests
- Haws Metal Mini Watering Can from Terrain
Fertilizing Angel Wing Begonia Plants
Angel Wing Begonia plants grown in containers require feeding with plant fertilizer as they are isolated from their natural ecosystem. Here are some houseplant fertilizers suitable for Angel Wing Begonias:
- Dr. Earth Exotic Blend Organic Fertilizer for Tropical Plants
- DEN Sustainable Granular Plant Food from EarthHero
- ARBER Indoor Organic Plant Food Concentrate from Nature Hills
Humidity For Angel Wing Begonias
Angel Wing Begonias tend not to thrive in dry indoor air. The most effective way to raise humidity levels is with an area humidifier. You can use a regular ultrasonic mist humidifier or opt for a specialty humidifier from a plant store (like the Humidifier by Canopy from The Sill). Pebble trays under plants tend to be ineffective.
Potting Mix For Angel Wing Begonia Plants
Here are some high-quality potting mixes that work well for Angel Wing Begonia:
- Organic Potting Mix by The Sill (contains compost, pine bark, coco coir, worm castings, & perlite)
- Espoma Organic Potting Mix (peat moss, composted plant matter, perlite, limestone, earthworm castings, alfalfa meal, kelp meal, feather meal, & yucca extract)
- DEN Sustainable Peat-Free Potting Soil Mix (contains biochar, fir bark, nufiber cow manure, worm castings, pumice, pumice, fertilizer)
Use fresh potting soil to repot your Angel Wing Begonia to avoid transferring soil-borne diseases.
Angel Wing Begonia Propagation
Angel Wing Begonia plant is easy to keep up on and prune. If you check it once a week for any dead leaves or stems and cut those back for better regrowth, then you will be set for a healthy growing angel wing begonia.
Pruning this plant allows for more growth. By cutting back on dead leaves, you make room for the plant to regrow stronger and healthier leaves. This helps your plant to look more together and bushy rather than leggy and spread apart. It is also good to keep up on when you are growing this indoors. You can better control the length and make the plant as big or small as you want.
To propagate your Angel Wing Begonia, there are simple things you can do. When you have pruned off stems, don’t throw them out because you will use them for propagation. You can use these cuttings to plant a new begonia plant clone or you can replant them by the original plant and make your angel wing begonia look more full.
Remember to be careful about not over-cutting it, over-watering it, or giving it too much sunlight. By simply taking care of it daily or every other day, and inspecting once a week, your Angel Wing Begonia will be strong, healthy, full, and beautiful.
Common Questions About Angel Wing Begonias
Here are some frequently asked questions about Angel Wing Begonias:
Is Angel Wing Begonia A Tuberous Begonia?
Angel Wing Begonia is not a tuberous begonia. Angel Wing Begonia plants have fibrous root systems made up of a web of thin roots (not thick tuber roots). Angel Wing Begonias are a type of hybrid cane begonia, which all have fibrous root systems.
Do Angel Wing Begonias Like Sun?
Angel Wing Begonia plants like indirect sunlight, but can be damaged when grown in full sun. While the plants need bright light from the sun (or a plant light) to thrive, the tender foliage is easily sunburnt by direct beams of sunlight. Angel Wing Begonia plants grow best in locations with bright indirect light. Try to avoid placing your plant where the leaves could receive harsh direct sunlight. Sunlight is typically harshest during mid-day and into the afternoon.
Should I Mist My Angel Wing Begonia?
Angel Wing Begonia plants do not need to be misted. Some houseplant owners like to mist their plants to increase humidity around the plant, but the effect on the humidity is quite short-lived. If low humidity is affecting your Angel Wing Begonia, a more effective solution is to raise the humidity of the whole room with an area humidifier. Misting Angel Wing Begonia can also lead to scale on the foliage.
Here is a nice houseplant-specific room humidifier: Humidifier by Canopy from The Sill