Last Updated on September 20, 2021 by Grow with Bovees
Let’s guess, you’re a new begonia grower unsure of the in’s and out’s of growing angel wing begonias?
Well, you’ve come to the right place!
This article will take you through the basics of begonia cultivation, what to do and what to avoid when handling these pendulous clusters of flowers on your angel wing begonia plant.
Angel wing begonia plants, are one hybrid begonia variety, forming part of a large selection of angel wing begonia varieties.
Their appearance displays upright stems, attractive leaves, beautiful blooms, evergreen foliage, and they are found in a large range of colors.
The angel wing begonia flowers’ native environment lies in Central and South America.
They are tropical plants and when grown correctly, they develop beautiful colors of blooms and lovely glossy leaves.
The shape of their broad leaves is what gives this plant its special name as they resemble angel wings.
Thus, it is also called angel leaf begonia.
These plants grow up to 4ft tall and cultivation of their showy blooms is almost effortless.
Though eye catching, be aware, they are toxic to pets.
Are Angel Wing Begonias Annual or Perennial?
This type of begonia is a cane stemmed plant classified as a perennial.
Perennial derives from the Latin word Perennis, meaning ‘lasting all year’. The angel wing begonia, being classified as a perennial shrub, means that it remains leafy all year and can live for several years if basic requirements are followed.
How Do You Care for Angel Wing Begonias?
Let’s continue with angel wing begonia plant care tips for this angelic shrub, which can bloom so majestically all year.
The angel wing begonia can be grown both as an outdoor and as indoor plants. If you add this flower to a flower bed in your garden, be sure to plant angel wing outdoor begonias in areas of bright indirect light.
They grow best in partly-shaded conditions with plenty of brightness.
The ideal temperature range would be 15-20 °C — also referred to as cozy temperatures.
Remember that outdoor temperatures are unpredictable and cold winter regions are fatal to its delicate flowers.
Begonias thrive best in bright areas of partial shade with loads of indirect light. A bit of direct morning light or afternoon light is, however, not harmful.
These plants grow best in warm temperatures and tend to bloom during summer and the warmer months, but can survive in cold temperatures and colder months as well.
A minimum temperature of 13 °C is required for survival.
This plant grows well in a humid environment. Humidity levels count towards these plants advantage when growing them outside due to the natural humidity attained from water vapor.
Make sure that the soil in your flower bed is loose, moist and easily drainable.
Begonia does not like soggy soil nor does it survive in dry soil. Make sure that excess moisture drains well to avoid dead roots.
During the summer months, fertilizing your plants with diluted high-phosphorous fertilizer, liquid fertilizer or houseplant fertilizer weekly, while the soil is moist, has been shown to work well in keeping your angel wing begonias’ elaborate blooms and bushy foliage looking pretty and promoting healthy growth of luxuriant leaves.
Pruning prevents your plant from looking floppy, and it creates the opportunity to form new branches. Use stem cuttings for propagation while the parent plant becomes bushier.
When your plant is about one foot tall, you can start pruning.
Now that we have covered outdoor cultivation, let us move on to creating the ideal conditions for your indoor angel wing begonia.
Angel Wing Begonia Care Indoors
To grow your begonia houseplant from seed indoors, start by planting it in a clay pot using a fresh potting soil type or a soil-free loose potting mix, rich in organic matter. Loose, well-drained potting mix can easily be obtained by cutting into potting soil.
You want to place your begonia in a shaded location, which is warm, humid and out of direct sunlight. Also, make sure that there is adequate air circulation and avoid areas where cold drafts occur.
Environments rich in sunlight will promote the plants flower production and create healthy blooms. Dappled sunlight is ample for this plant.
Maintain the environment at average room temperatures or household room temperatures.
The angel wing begonia will also grow in low light areas, but then flowers are unlikely to bloom, but in return, its beautiful shaped leaves will grow bigger.
If this is your desired outcome, you can promote its growth even further by feeding your plant nitrogen rich houseplant food.
Again, this plant does not like soggy, wet soils but rather moist and well drained soil. It is important to allow the top layer of your soil to dry between every watering.
To remove excess water faster, use a pot with a drainage hole and add a pebble tray to your pot.
During summer and warmer months, frequent watering of your angel wing begonia may be required.
Whilst in winter, you will likely have to cut back on the watering, but it is of the utmost importance to not let the soil dry out completely. Use a light water spray to maintain humidity.
To avoid fungal issues, avoid overhead watering. Permanently damp leaves are likely to cause fungal problems.
Add balanced fertilizer or liquid fertilizer weekly to your begonia, and your shrub – depending on its variety – will start blooming towards the late winter, blooming most profusely during summer.
Angel wing begonia houseplants leave any room looking most colorful.
Remember to move your angel wing begonia to a larger pot as it grows.
This will most likely be once every year and shouldn’t be more frequent, as the angel wing begonia likes to be slightly pot bound, and you could do more bad than good by repotting too often.
Do Angel Wing Begonias Like Sun or Shade?
The basic light requirements and light conditions are as follows.
The angel wing begonia likes both sun and shade. It depends on the desired look you want.
Placing this plant in areas filled with lots of light will promote the growth of blossoms, whereas shaded areas promote the growth of large leaves. If you wish to have both plenty of flowers and sizable green leaves, place your plant in an area with bright light but out of direct light.
Why Is My Angel Wing Begonia Dropping Leaves
When the angel wing begonia isn’t happy with its surroundings and conditions, it starts dropping its leaves.
There are a few reasons why your plant is acting up. Let’s learn more about them, because let’s face it, what’s a plant without leaves?
Over hydrating your begonia is the most common reason for shedding its attractive foliage, and it may cause root rot. Look out for signs of root damage.
Only water the plant when about 2 inches of the top layer of its soil starts drying out or if the Begonia itself appears dry.
This mostly only occurs in indoor begonias due to the low moisture levels. Running air conditioners or heating vents can worsen the situation. The angel wing begonia is a tropical plant and thrives in humid areas.
Lack of Light
Like most plants, the begonia uses photosynthesis to make food — too little light inhibits this process and the plant starts shedding leaves. When growing your begonias indoors, make sure to place them in a well lit, bright area.
Improper potting can also cause your plant to lose foliage. If you’ve done everything right and leaves are still dropping, you might want to consider whether the reason is a simple repotting. Different forms of improper potting may include; the timing, the size of the pot or, incorrect root spreading.
Avoid repotting too often and do not change your pot during the begonias dormant time, which is in the winter. Early spring is a good season for repotting and, of course, when your plant outgrows its pot.
Worms enjoy hiding in the soil of your plant. They feed on the begonia, inhibiting the transport of minerals, causing its leaves to drop.
These worms like to feed on the leaves directly. You would typically find them under the begonia leaves or in the soil. Remove the worms as soon as you see them.
Angel Wing Begonia Plant Problems
You might ask yourself, are angel wing begonias susceptible to fungal diseases and pests? Like most household plants, this one can attract different pests and diseases. These mostly occur due to human error.
Next, learn about different issues and signs of pests that you might come across while caring for your begonia.
This is a type of fungal problem that occurs due to damp leaves. The fungus, starts to form white circular spots which later leaves your plant looking like it’s covered in powder.
This powdery mildew can harm your plant even in mild cases. To get rid of this issue, remove the affected areas and spray the shrub with a plant fungicide.
This problem is similar to the powdery mildew fungus. It also occurs due to too much moisture. When your plants stem starts adapting a dark, soggy appearance, you will know it is rot. It is almost impossible to cure your plant from this.
It is, however, preventable by planting good quality begonias in well drained, moist soil and avoiding over hydration.
Botrytis is another harmful fungal disease which can kill the begonia if not treated. This disease is fast spreading and causes parts of the begonia to develop brown soggy spots. Failing to prune the inner part of your plant and overhead watering promotes this disease in begonias.
When botrytis occurs, it is important to control the spread of the fungus as soon as possible.
Remove the affected cane or prune the brown bits of the plant and then finally clean the cut area with spirits. Dropped leaves, or dead flowers should also be removed as they may carry fungal spores.
Bacterial leaf spot
These are spots on your Begonias leaves that resemble tiny pimples. Further progression of this disease will appear as run-together oozing spots.
In mild cases, treatment would be to cut away the affected parts of the plant. In severe cases, the only thing to do is to uproot your plant and throw it away.
Stem rot is a fungus that slowly disintegrates the begonia’s stem from the inside out. It causes the stem to soften and reduces strength to carry the weight of the plant.
If this fungus starts inhibiting the angel wing begonia, it causes permanent damage. You will unfortunately have to throw away your once beautiful begonia to stop the disease from spreading.
We hope that this information is useful, and we are confident that with the above written angel wing begonia facts, you should now be confident enough to experiment with the different varieties of the begonia plant. They are all equally pretty and easy to care for. Don’t overthink it and remember to have fun.