Angel Wing Begonias produce beautiful flowers in a range of colors from white, pink, orange, and red, but they also require plenty of water and warm temperatures.
This plant makes attractive plants in the garden with its beautiful foliages that can bloom all year round. It can be kept indoors as a houseplant and are easy to care for. However, it is toxic to pets; so a little care should be taken.
Angel Wing Begonia Quick Facts
|Scientific Name:||Begonia coccinea x Begonia aconitifolia|
|Common Names||Angel wing begonia|
|Type||Perennial flowering plant|
|Watering||Maintain moist soil|
|Light||Bright, indirect light|
|Toxicity||Toxic to pets|
|Pests||Aphids and spider mites|
Varieties of Angel Wing Begonia
The Angel Wing Begonia was named for its foliage, which is shaped like the wings of angels. The foliage is very attractive and usually features variations in the form of spots of frosted patterns, often with the underside of the leaves being a maroon color. The plant is a cross between the Begonia aconitifolia and the Begonia coccinea, which was created by a Californian plant breeder in the 1920s. Other varieties of begonia include the following.
Begonia ‘Super Cascade’
This begonia features elaborate showy blooms that can measure up to 5 inches across. This plant works well in hanging baskets as the pendulous flowers droop down in a very dramatic way. The plant features flowers that have smaller double blooms surrounded by four larger petals to create an extravagant bloom.
Begonia ‘Apricot Shades’
This begonia flowers so heavily that during the height of the blooming season that the foliage can hardly be spotted underneath all of the flowers. The pretty apricot-colored blooms are some of the largest of any begonia variety, and they persist all summer long.
Begonia ‘Million Kisses Elegance’
The flowers of this plant are quite minimal and understated, which is unlike most other begonias. The pale pink flowers bloom heavily on dainty arching stems and give off a very elegant appearance (Gardeners World Magazine).
Angel Wing Begonia Care Tips
The Angel Wing Begonia is a thirsty plant that will need watering as often as every day during summer. It likes to be kept in continuously moist but not soggy soil, so you should aim to keep the top layer of soil moist to the touch without overwatering the plant.
Although it likes to be watered frequently, it can suffer from root rot if overwatered, and this will be fatal for the plant. Always remove water that has drained out of the pot and do not let the plant sit in excess water.
During winter, you can reduce the frequency of watering, but the plant still likes its soil to be kept moister than most. Aim to keep the lower layers of soil lightly moist, allowing the top layer of soil to dry out before watering the plant again. Never allow the plant to dry out completely. Always water the plant at soil level to prevent the leaves from getting wet, as damp leaves can cause fungal diseases.
In its native environment, this plant would usually grow under the cover of larger plants and trees, so it is not accustomed to growing in direct sunlight. It does like bright light, however, so keep it in a position of partial shade or bright indirect light. In colder months, it can tolerate more sunshine and would ideally be in a position where it could benefit from morning light and sheltered from afternoon light when the sun is at its strongest.
Ensure the plant does get plenty of indirect light, as this will be essential to the production of flowers. If your Angel Wing Begonia is kept outside during the summer, it will need to be protected from direct sunlight.
The Angel Wing Begonia enjoys high humidity, as this is what it is accustomed to in its native environment. High humidity will help the plant thrive, and so it would be a good idea to mist the plant with a light water spray on a daily basis, being careful not to overdo it and create damp leaves where fungal diseases will thrive. Alternatively, you could use a pebble tray or humidifier to increase the moisture content of the air.
This plant works well as a houseplant because it likes average household room temperatures ranging from 60-75° F. Keep the plant away from areas where it might experience cold drafts, such as open windows or entryways. It should also be kept away from sources of heat such as stoves or heating vents. The plant is not frost-resistant, and if kept outside, it should be brought inside if temperatures drop lower than 55° F (Royal Horticultural Society).
Angel Wing Begonias can be propagated from stem cuttings. Take a cutting from the plant around 6 inches in length, which has at least one node one the stem. Choose a stem which is not currently flowering, and if it has any leaves, you should remove all of the lower sets of leaves. You can then choose to propagate in either water or soil.
To propagate in water, you will need a jar half-filled with water, and simply place the stem into it so that the lower half is submerged, position it in a warm spot and watch over the following weeks as roots appear.
To propagate in soil, you will need to fill a small pot with moist soil and make a hole in it with a pencil. Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone and then insert into the pre-made hole in the soil. Tuck the soil around the stem to support it, and roots should appear under the soil in 4-6 weeks. You will know roots have formed once new growth also starts to show above soil level. Once roots have formed, you can transplant the cutting into a larger and more permanent pot.
This plant can look quite wild and unkempt if allowed to grow without pruning. To keep it in good shape, prune off any overgrown stems that are outside of the plant's natural shape during the growing season, as this will help keep the plant looking neat. For more routine pruning, you can cut off old woody stems at the base of mature plants at the beginning of every spring, and trim back other stems to various heights to help maintain the rounded look of this plant. Pruning will help to keep the plant looking full and fresh as it responds well to cutting and will be encouraged to produce new growth.
This plant is attractive all year round thanks to its interesting foliage, but the flowers only bloom during summer. They range in color from white, pink, orange, and red and appear in pendulous clusters that droop down from the plant's stems. The flowers themselves have a waxy texture, and they rely on good lighting, and frequent fertilizer feedings high in phosphorus to bloom. Once flowers fade, you should pinch them off at the base to encourage new flower production.
Common Pests and Diseases
This plant is susceptible to diseases that typically occur if its care requirements are not being met. It can fall victim to fungal diseases, including powdery mildew, stem rot, and botrytis if it isn’t looked after properly. To avoid these diseases, ensure your Angel Wing Begonias have good air circulation, an appropriate level of humidity, and that their leaves are not kept damp.
They can also be host to common pest infestations, including aphids and spider mites. Spider mites typically thrive in dry conditions, so maintaining high humidity should work as a good prevention method against this pest.
If you have any questions about or useful tips for growing Angel Wing Begonias, please leave a comment below. And if you know any other plant growers, share this page with them too!