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Cultural Requirements for the Angel Wing Begonia


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  • Angel wing begonias (Begonia coccinea), upright-growing plants with thick canes for stems, produce brightly colored, wing-like leaves that are speckled and splotched in multiple colors. They flower in heavy, dangling clusters in many colors. The angel wing begonia is native to the tropics or subtropics and is not difficult to grow and maintain if you understand its cultural requirements.

General Care

  • Angel wing begonias should be placed in a bright east or west window. They prefer warmth, good air circulation and high humidity. Water the begonia when the soil is dry. Fertilize with a dilute 20-20-20 mix once a month from April to October. Do not fertilize the plant in the winter, as this causes excessive cane growth.

Pruning

  • The angel wing begonia has canes that should be carefully pruned to keep the plant compact. Pinch the top growing shoot when the plant is 6 inches tall, so that lateral shoots will emerge. For a bushier begonia, allow extra shoots from the base of the stem to grow. The plant should be pruned in winter and summer to 6 inches tall, after it is a year old.

Repotting

  • The angel wing begonia likes to be root bound, so repot only once a year in either the spring or summer. When repotting, use a well-drained potting soil with equal parts loam, peat, sand and compost. Use clay pots that are small enough to keep the roots somewhat root bound; clay minimize soil moisture, which discourage root rot.

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