How to Care for Your Angel Wing Begonia

A beautiful foliage plant that makes for a wonderful houseplant, the Angel Wing Begonia is a favorite of everyone. With both male flowers and female flowers on the same plant, you’ll be able to have several blooms throughout the flowering season. Angel Wing Begonias have cascading flowers, typically orange, pink, red or white.

Angel Wing Begonia Classification

This type of begonia comes from the large Begoniaceae plant family that has more than 2,000 plants included. Its botanical name is Begonia coccinea. It is a flowering species, native to the hot tropical areas of South America and North America, specifically coming from Brazil.

They are hardy in USDA Zones of 10 and 11 when placed outside but are more common as houseplants.

Angel Wing Begonia (imagecredit:gardeningknowhow/Pinterest)

The Angel Leaf Begonia is known for its “angel wing” appearing asymmetrical leaves. Their dark green color is peppered with white, cream, or silver dots and a red or purple leaf underside.

The foliage is one of the most striking features of the plant, as they grow up to 6 inches in length. While they can get up to 5 feet in height, for houseplants they are typically made into a hanging basket or a bush-like plant for tabletops and floor planters.

Angel Wing Begonia Variations

Like all plants, most variations will deal with different leaf types or flower colors and the Angel Wing Begonia is no exception. While all leaves in this class still look like angel wings, the color of the flowers are different depending on the variety of Begonia coccinea you acquire.

Some of the most popular varieties include “Silvermist”, “Peach Parfait”, and “Apricot Shades”.

Caring For Your Angel Wing Begonia

1. Light Conditions 

Light Conditions Angel Wing Begonia (imagecredit:houseofkojo/Pinterest)

To keep an Angel Wing Begonia in optimum growth conditions, you will need to have good bright and indirect sunlight. This is needed for flowering.

Places that are near windows where there will not be strong sun direct on the leaves but still enough sunlight to aid in their flowering are best. Direct sun will result in leaves that are scorched and will result in their death.

2. Water Needs

Watering Angel Wing Begonia (imagecredit:backyardville/Pinterest)

These plants are going to thrive in soil that is moist but not soggy nor standing water. If you are using a meter that measures moisture it needs to be at a 4, or when your top inch of potting soil is dry to the touch.

3. Fertilizer Needs 

We are going to recommend a good liquid fertilizer for your plant because you are going to want to use it with every watering you do while you are in the plant’s growing season. Liquid fertilizer is great to mix into the water and ensures that you have a well-combined mixture.

Using any indoor plant food made for houseplants will be fine for Angel Wing Begonias.

4. Humidity Percentage

angel wing begonia care
Angel Wing Begonia in Glass

While some plants are notorious for having issues in humidity, this is not one of them. It will do fine in humid indoor conditions as they are used to tropical environments. The humidity will help keep your plant’s foliage good and supple.

Use a humidifier or keep them around the kitchen or bathroom to ensure that they have enough humidity.

5. Air Temperature

You’ll need to know that these begonias are going to want to be in warm temperatures. Anywhere from 65-72 degrees Fahrenheit is fine, but you for sure don’t want temperatures to plunge to 50 degrees or below.

These plants also do not like cooler spots in the house such as window ledges and doorways, or near vents.

While you want to avoid cooler temperatures, you’ll also want to avoid too warm conditions. Air that is too warm will result in lowered growth, delayed or ceased flowering, and possibly death.

6. Soil and Container Needs

When you go to pot up your plant, it’s not just about the container but the soil you’ll need to make sure your begonia thrives. This Angel Wing Begonia wants to be in a good rich and peaty soil type.

I like getting a good brand of regular potting soil and then adding in some perlite and some peat moss to it. You want to keep the soil at around a pH value of 7.

Soil and Container Needs Angel Wing Begonia (imagecredit:laurenford,etsy/Pinterest)

Next, you’ll want to make sure that you use a container that has drain holes. I like putting it in a terracotta pot with some pebbles in the bottom of the container to help with drainage and with moisture wicking.

Play around and find a good balance that you like.

7. Repotting Needs

angel wing begonia care
Angel Wing Begonia in Pot

We would take the time to repotting an Angel Wing Begonia every year until it matures, and then do it every 2-3 years. Repotting will help keep the begonia from getting pot-bound and will help it to flourish.

Just remember to keep the container getting marginally larger with every repotting.

8. Propagation

If you want to propagate an Angel Wing Begonia, you want to do stem cuttings, taking 4-6 inches with or without a leaf attached. When taking the cuttings, make sure you get a node so that a new flower is going to be able to grow from it.

Put the cutting in root hormone and then in perlite or just place it in water until it starts to grow and then remove it and start to plant it in some potting soil. I always just do the stem cutting with the node and place it in a cup of water until I see good root growth and then plant it in potting soil in a small terracotta pot.

Angel Wing Begonia Propagation (imagecredit:crinummalacitano.blogspot,justinablakeney/Pinterest)

Another way to propagate an Angel Wing Begonia is to divide the plant. To do this, wait until Spring so that it is in an active growth state and able to recover from the trauma more easily.

Put the plant on its side, out of the container, and gently loosen the root ball as much as possible. After you get the root ball to untangle, you can separate it into as many plants as

angel wing begonia care
Angel Wing Begonias

you’d like. Should the root ball not separate well, you can take a clean knife and cut the plant to divide it. However, I would advise you to try to manipulate the root ball to separate it instead of cutting it for the best results.

After you have your new plants, water them and plant, but wait at least a month before you begin fertilizing them.

9. Pruning

To prune an Angel Wing Begonia you are going to need to wait until it is mature and well-formed, do not start pruning an immature plant. Then prune out the back stems and pinch back the stem tips that are making the plant get too tall.

Pruning is essential so that the plant gets round and full. Pruning encourages the plant to grow and makes it so the plant remains looking its best.

Angel Wing Begonia Pruning (imagecredit:delineateyourdwelling/Pinterest)

 10. Angel Wing Begonia Problems

Every plant is prone to some disease and pest issues and the Angel Wing Begonia is no exception. If there is too much moisture, you may have botrytis, stem rot, or fungal disease like powdery mildew. If you see this, you can use over the counter fungicides and then not overwater as much.

There can be aphids, mealy bugs, and spider mites that populate your plant. Inspecting the plant frequently can help you nip these creatures in the bud. If you find them, use a little Neem oil and they’ll be long gone.

Angel Wing Begonia (imagecredit:greenandvibrant/Pinterest)

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is my Angel Wing Begonia Poisonous to Pets?

Yes, this plant is toxic to both dogs and cats. The reason for the toxicity is that there are calcium oxalates in the plant. Ingesting can cause excessive salivation and vomiting in dogs and cats.

Keep in mind that the most toxic part is the part that is beneath the soil, but all parts of the plant contain some of the calcium oxalate and should be considered to be poisonous. Keep out of reach at all times.

Why are Leaves Dropping from my Angel Wing Begonia?

While there are any number of reasons that your plant may be shedding its leaves, the top issues are from improper watering and insufficient sunlight.

Keeping to the light needs that are described in this article and making sure that you are watering the correct amount and you have the chance to make sure your leaves stay on your plant.

angel wing begonia care
Angel Wing Begonias Flowers Zoom

Too little or too much light can cause the foliage to drop just like having too wet soil or too dry soil. Most of the time dropping leaves can be rectified and will not result in long term damage to your plant.

Why Isn’t my Angel Wing Begonia Flowering?

Again, there are several factors that may cause your plant not to produce flowers. It all goes back to making sure you are following the care guide that is laid out in this article.

Problems with lighting, watering, or not having enough humidity all can cause your houseplant not to flower.

To bloom, the Angel Wing Begonia will need good bright yet indirect light and a well-drained potting soil mix. If the soil is too wet, the plant will not bloom.

If your plant has bloomed once but hasn’t bloomed afterwards, you may need to make sure that you are pinching back any of the old dead flowers so that your plant is able to grow a new flower in its place.

By deadheading your plant, keeping the lighting and watering right, and making sure your potting soil is drained, you are more apt to see consistent blooming on your Angel Wing Begonia.

My Begonia is too Leggy, How Do I Make it Bushy?

Angel Wing Begonias are a leggy plant, but that isn’t to say that you can’t make it the bushy plant of your dreams, you just got to know the secret and that is pruning. Regular consistent pruning will make your plant bush out and fill up and not be as sparse and leggy as it would be otherwise.

Cut the stems above where the nodes are and it will branch out and grow from there. Pruning on a schedule will make sure you are in a great gardening habit.

angel wing begonia care
Angel Wing

Too little sunlight will also cause your plant not to bush out as much as it would if it had proper lighting, so make sure you are putting it in the right spot in the house to get all the indirect light it can.

What’s the Difference Between an Angel Wing Begonia and a Dragon Wing Begonia?

Dragon Wing Begonias are smaller with only 2-3 inch leaves and a 2-4 foot height in comparison to Angel Wing Begonias getting 5-6 feet in height and 5-6 inches for a leaf length. You’ll also notice that the canes on these begonias are curved where the angel wing is not.

Dragon Wing Begonias are more typically sold and marketed as hanging baskets.

Why is my Angel Wing Begonia Growing Slow?

Slow growth on an Angel Wing Begonia is from one (or more) of four things: incorrect feeding, light, temperature, or from it being pot-bound. Taking care to ensure the right fertilizer, the right indirect lighting, the proper temperature is all addressed in this article.

angel wing begonia care
Angel Wing Begonia Flowers

But keep in mind that tip on repotting an Angel Wing Begonia will also keep it from becoming pot-bound and will have your plant give you year after year of wonderful flowering and display.

Why are my Leaves Losing Their Spots?

If you see that your gorgeous foliage is starting to lose their spots and become green, you may want to go through the entire plant and look for any pests or pest damage. If you see this, remove what you can and then Neem Oil (diluted of course) the leaves so that it will keep them off your plant.

Protecting your plant against pests will help your leaves stay spotted and beautiful. There are some over the counter leaf protectors that you are able to purchase as well.

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