INSIDE : Elegant Angel Wing Begonia Plant Care tips like their watering needs, light requirements and how they get those gorgeous polka dots! Learn how to grow big healthy Begonia maculata.
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About a year ago, I started seeing the most amazing plants with unbelievable metallic silver like polka dots on their leaves popping up here and there. My jaw was on the floor with the unique look this plant had and of course, I knew I needed to get one immediately.
It proved to be a little bit harder than I thought to locate them. And even still, they are somewhat of a more rare plant. A few big box stores would carry a small supply of them, but I missed out every time.
Finally about 5 months ago, I got not one but TWO Angel Wing Begonias and they have been a stunning addition to my plant collection ever since. I’m so excited to share all about them, their basic care needs and where you can get one yourself!
Let’s dive in!
How to care for Angel Wing Begonia:
What are the best growing conditions for Angel Wing Begonias?
Named for their angelic like leaves, Angel Wing Begonia’s foliage is shaped like the wings of an angel. Their leaves have gorgeous almost metallic like spots and the under side is a reddish – maroon color.
They like moist soil, but definitely not soggy. Allow the soil to dry between waterings. You should locate your Angel Wing Begonia in bright indirect light with moderate temperatures. They hate drafts or cold temps. And they are toxic to pets, so be very careful if you have little animals around.
How often should I water my Angel Wing Begonia plant?
Angel Wing Begonias are a more thirsty plant than some. They like to be kept in moist, but not soggy. However, I have noticed mine have still done well with a weekly watering and an occasional mist. I give my plant a light mist using this spray bottle and leave it out on the counter because it’s so pretty.
Plan to water when the soil dries through the first half-inch. Water thoroughly and let drain for about 15 minutes.
Just like all plants, they can suffer from root rot (which is almost always death) if overwatered so be sure to keep an eye on your plant. Remove any excess water that has drained out of the pot after you have watered it. When they are over-watered, the leaves will turn yellow and fall off.
During winter, you can reduce the frequency of watering, but the plant still likes its soil to be kept moister than most.
Do Angel Wing Begonias like full sun?
In an Angel Wing Begonias natural environment, they would grow under the cover of larger plants and trees. Therefore, they do best with bright indirect sunlight. Check out my post for Best Sunlight Levels for your plants.
If they have the proper lighting, it helps develop a more intense color. If you notice your plant getting leggy, it might be due to insufficient lighting. And when light is too bright or intense, the edges of the leaves will curl and turn brown.
I keep one of mine in an area of our living room that gets no direct light, but it’s about 2′ from a window. My other plant, get only a little morning sunlight but otherwise it gets indirect sunlight, about 6′ away from the window.
What supplies do I need to grow an Angel Wing Begonia?
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Why are they called Angel Wing Begonias?
These plants are called Angel Wings because as their leaves uncurl and mature, they take on the shape of a wing.
I especially love watching as their leaves unfurrow. You can see in the image below that the leaf is completely folded in half… but over the course of two days, the leave unfolded and now looks like a normal angel wing leaf!
Love plants like I do? You might like some of my other Plant Care + Tip posts.
How tall do Angel Wing Begonias get?
These plants can eventually grow to almost 4′ tall. Although if you are wanting your plant to stay on the smaller side, you can pinch off the top growth. Also, cutting the canes back will lower height and slow growth.
How to propagate Angel Wing Begonias :
Angel Wing Begonias can be propagated from stem cuttings. Start by taking a cutting from your plant around 6 inches in length, this will ensure you have at least one node one the stem.
If this 6″ section of stem has any leaves, be sure to remove all of the lower leaves and place in either water. Fill a jar halfway with water, then simply put the stem into the water. Keep the jar in very indirect light and watch over the next few weeks as roots start grow. You can read more about water propagation for plants here.
Are Angel Wing Begonias poisonous?
Begonias are considered to be poisonous to pets. They may be mildly irritating, especially the sap of the plant. Please be sure to keep an eye on pets or small children when around Angel Wing Begonias.
Do I need to mist my Angel Wing Begonia plant?
Because begonia’s native home is in the tropics, they thrive in areas that have a high humidity. However, I live in the high desert of New Mexico and have had great success with them. I do try to mist my Angel Wing’s at least once a week, but to be completely candid it’s probably more like every 2 weeks.
Are Angel Wing Begonias polka dots real?
Polka dot Begonias are cane begonias, which have symmetrical angel wing leaves growing on long bamboo-like stems. And yes, they have a shimmery metallic polka dot, which is my favorite part of the plant.
Pruning your Begonia Plant :
If you see your plant getting leggy, which means the stem is growing long with leaves spread out, then it may be time to give your plant a prune.
Thankfully, begonias can handle quite a cut. You can remove up to 2/3 of its total size in one pruning session. As with pruning most plants, within a growing season, your Begonia should grow back, but be more compact than before.
To prune, use sharp, clean cutting shears and carefully cut just above a leaf node. Your plant will should grow two new shoots or stems from that point.
After you plant gets pruned, be sure to give it plenty of sunshine. The more light it receives, the less leggy plant you will have.
What are popular Angel Wing Begonia Varieties?
The best known begonias are the Angel Wing begonias, my personal favorite. The Dragon Wing begonia, also belongs to the cane category and has similar plant care requirements to the Angel Wing.
Other favorites are the “Lucerna” and “Carriere.”
Where to buy Angel Wing Begonia?
I had quite a time looking for Angel Wing Begonias for sale. They are still fairly difficult to get a hold of, unless you are one of those lucky ones who walks into Lowes and see a whole palette of them!
The Sill carries on a faux Angel Wing Begonia. I’ve seen a few plant shops on Etsy carrying them. Hopefully more places will start carrying them as they gain popularity.
You might be interested in some of my other Plant Care posts: