Angel Wing Begonia Plant Care

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. 

Angel Wing Begonia polka dots

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This post has been updated since it’s original publish date of September 2020.

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.  

Maroon underside of Angel Wing Begonia

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 Begonia x corallina?


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.

Angel Wing Begonia

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. They can tolerate some direct sun, but it is best to avoid harsh afternoon sun.  AWB 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?

The frequency of watering for your Angel Wing Begonia plant depends on several factors.

  • The size of the plant
  • The pot your plant is in
  • The soil type
  • The humidity level
  • The temperature of the room your plant lives in

Angel Wing Begonias are a more thirsty plant than some.  They like to be kept in moist, but not soggy soil.  However, I 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.

However, as a general rule of thumb, you should water your Angel Wing Begonia once the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. During the summer months, you may need to water your plant more frequently, while during the winter months, you may need to water it less frequently.

Polka Dot Angel Wing Begonia

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 Angel Wing Begonia are over-watered, the leaves will turn yellow and fall off.  

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.  

Angel Wing Begonia leaf curl

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?

If you like this post about Begonia care, then you will definitely enjoy my indoor houseplant care ebook, Happy Houseplants!  

My Happy Houseplants ebook talks about how to not kill all the plants and includes:
– A super helpful checklist for 6 steps to keep your plants alive + thriving.  
– A deep dive on 7 trending “it” plants (like your finicky Fiddle Leaf Fig!)
-5 plant printables to hang in your home.  
Buy it HERE.

Why are they called Angel Wing Begonias?

Scientifically known as Begonia coccinea, this plant is named Angel Wing Begonia because of their distinctive leaf shape, which looks like the wings of an angel.

The leaves are large, fairly glossy, asymmetrical with a pointed tip and a rounded base. They are typically green in color, but some varieties may also have silvery polka dots or reddish undersides.

I especially love watching as their leaves uncurl.  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!

Angel Wing Begonia polka dot leaf

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.  

Love plants like I do? You might like some of my other Plant Care + Tip posts.

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 step by step how to propagate Angel Wing Begonias here.

Are Angel Wing Begonias poisonous?

Angel Wing Begonias are considered non-toxic to humans. They contain insoluble oxalates, which can cause mild irritation to the mouth and throat if ingested, but they are not harmful if swallowed.

However, Angel Wing Begonias are considered mildly toxic to pets, particularly cats and dogs. 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.

Angel Wing Begonia in pot

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. 

Here are some tips for misting your Angel Wing Begonia plant:

  • Use a spray bottle filled with clean, room-temperature water.
  • Mist the leaves lightly until they are just damp.
  • Avoid misting the leaves in direct sunlight, as this can cause them to burn.
  • Mist your plant once or twice a day, or more often if the air is particularly dry.

Are Angel Wing Begonias polka dots real?

Yes, the shimmery polka dots on Angel Wing Begonias are real! They are caused by a natural pigment called anthocyanin. Anthocyanins are responsible for the red, purple, and blue colors in many fruits and vegetables, as well as the leaves of some plants.

The polka dots on Angel Wing Begonias are not only beautiful, but they also help protect the leaves from UV radiation. The polka dots help absorbs UV light, preventing it from damaging the leaf cells. This is important because Angel Wing Begonias are native to tropical rainforests, where they are exposed to high levels of UV radiation.

Angel Wing Begonia new leaf

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?

There are dozens of Begonia hybrids, as well as various species that fall into the cane family. 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” both have beautiful leaves and blooms. All the angel wing begonias have similar growing needs, so it’s safe to treat them all the same.

Angel Wing Begonia plant

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.  
  • And Amazon carries them now also.

Hopefully more places will start carrying them as they gain popularity.

You might be interested in some of my other Plant Care posts:

Mistletoe Cactus Care + Tips

Mistletoe Cactus plant

Prayer Plant Care Tips

Rattlesnake Prayer Plant Care

Peperomia Plant Care

Peperomia Care

Rubber Plant Care + Tips

Rubber Plant potted

Dumb Cane Plant Care

Dumb Cane plant care and tips

How to Propagate Rubber Plants



  1. Does the angel wing begonia flower?
    Is it grown from a bulb like other begonia bulbs? If so can it be dug up and wintered over as a bulb??

    1. delineateyourdwelling says:

      Great questions, Cathy! Yes, in the right conditions and lighting Angel Wing Begonias will flower. And I’m not sure about if they are grown from bulbs or not. Typically unless you live in a tropical location, these are grown as indoor houseplants – so there really is no need to worry about digging them up and winterizing.

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