Begonia Coccinea

Angel Wing Begonia

The Angel Wing Begonia is a flowering species from a very big family of plants (2000 or more and many more hybrids), named Begoniaceae.



The Begonia Coccinea has a fair few varieties that display glossy type leaves on cane stems and colorful flowers.


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Description

Native to South America, these perennial flowering plants (Begonia) grow in sub-tropical and tropical climates, although this species is a hybrid. Fortunately they deal the differences in the climate and grow in cooler conditions in temperate regions very well.

Begonias have become some growers specialty like Orchids, Bonsais and African Violets have. This is because they're such a large genus and many have been hybridized. It's no wonder many specialize in Begonias, because they're also a beautiful looking flowering plant when grown correctly.

Flowering: The Angel Wing Begonia blooms during summer. These flowers are a small waxy type that grow in groups from the stems, and kind of droop or hang. Flowers commonly bloom bright red to light pink in color.

Foliage: This species is a cane stemmed type Begonia that has thick stems and fairly large nodes. The name Angel wings was given for the shape of their leaves that are kind of like Angel wings. Leaves are glossy and have a red outer edge on some varieties and a red underside. The red underside makes them attractive when planted at a level indoors where the top and lower part of the plant can be seen.

Level of care: Most growers and their homes can grow and maintain the Begonia Coccinea. Some aspects of care must be followed correctly such as keeping them out of direct sunlight, conditions not too dry and pruning regularly, otherwise quite an easy to maintain plant to have around the home.

Facts

Origin: South America.
Names: Angel Wing Begonia (common). Begonia Coccinea (botanical/scientific)
Max Growth (approx): 4ft tall or more if not pruned.
Poisonous for pets: Toxic for cats and dogs.


Angel Wing Begonia Picture


Angel Wing Care Instructions

Temperature: Average room temperatures of 55 - 75°F (13 - 24°C) are best suited for Begonias...and no less than 55°F.
Light: This plant is not in favor of direct sun. This is because the leaves are sensitive to getting scorched. In their natural habitat most Begonias grow under cover. Bright light is best and during the winter some morning or late afternoon sun is fine.
Watering: From spring - fall you will need to water this plant often, especially while it's in bloom. Keep the soil moist to the touch slightly, but do not overwater. During winter cut down watering and allow the top soil to become dry to the touch before watering again.
Soil: African Violet ready made potting soil works well. Otherwise use a rich soiless well draining potting mix.
Fertilizer: From spring - fall feed the plant while the soil is damp every 2 weeks. Use a high potassium diluted feed of 5-10-5. This seems to work well in keeping the leaves and flowers looking healthy.
Repotting: While the plant is young I would repot every year in a pot slightly bigger. Once it matures every 2 years. Clay pots work well because they tend to release moisture easier, preventing root problems form stagnant water. An added benefit of using a clay pot is it will keep the plant more sturdy once it matures in height and prevent it from toppling over.
Humidity: This plant enjoys a good amount of humidity. You can mist around the plant area, but I advise you not to water the leaves in case it causes spots or patches on them.
Propagation: You may take take a few inches (4 - 6in) or more of stem cuttings with or without a leaf attached and without flowers. You want a node or more on the stem where a new flower will begin to grow. The stem cutting can be placed in water or in perlite (use a rooting hormone with perlite) until growth appears then it can be potted in soil. I prefer to stick with placing in water to see the roots form. These can also be grown from seed that is much more difficult for the average grower.
Pruning: To keep your Begonia well formed and within the size you can manage indoors - prune back stems and pinch out stem tips that are growing too tall. Pruning will encourage new growth making the plant look much rounder and healthier.

Potential Problems

  • Leaves wilted and dropping: This may caused when overwatering has occurred, if the leaves are soft. Wilting can also occur when a plant is underwaterd, too much bright light, pest damage, dry air or the pot could be waterlogged. You will need to use a process of estimation then rectify any condition possibly at fault.

  • Flowers fade quickly: Possibly not enough water, dry air, not enough light or the room could be too warm. A process of elimination again, then correct conditions that are not being followed as best as you can.

  • Slow growth: Check you have been feeding the plant, providing enough light (bright indirect) and the temperature is correct. You may also want to see if the plant has become pot bound.

  • Leggy growth: If the stems are long and leafless you will need to prune back the stems. Make sure there are nodes left on the stems for growth to appear.

  • Pests: Checking your plant for aphid and spider mites regularly is a good idea.


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