The angel wing begonia is a relatively young variety of begonia. It was developed in 1926 by a California plant breeder. The angel wing begonia was developed by crossing the Begonia coccinea with the Begonia acontifolia.
The angel wing begonia gets its name from its angel shaped leaves and flowers. These floral angels come in several colors. Flowers of the angel wing begonia can be white, red, pink, or coral. The angel shaped leaves come in both green and red. The green spotted leaf varieties are referred to as Superba begonias while the red leaf varieties are referred to as Mallet begonias.
The angel wing begonia is often referred to as the cane begonia. This is because the flowers and leaves sprout from a cane-like stem. The plant grows tall and slender and has long cascades of flowers and leaves. This makes it prone to tipping over if it is not potted correctly. However, if it is potted correctly it can grow to be between 2 and 6 feet tall. If you live in a warm climate then you can transfer your potted angel wing begonia to a planting bed where it has the potential to grow to be fifteen feet tall.
Potting Angel Wing Begonias
To ensure that your angel wing begonia plant will thrive you will first want to think about using a large, heavy container. This will prevent the angel wing begonia from tipping over and it will also give your angel wing begonia the space that it needs for its large round root ball. You will also want to think about using a container with good drainage. This is essential for the angel wing begonia because it does not respond well to excessive moisture. In fact this plant is more prone to over watering than it is to under watering.
When you pot your angel wing begonia you will want to start by placing an inch or two of gravel into the bottom of a heavy ceramic or heavy plastic container. This will help improve the planter’s drainage. Then you will mix together a rich potting soil with peat and compost. This will provide your angel wing begonia with everything that it needs to get a good start. Add a thin layer of this soil mixture to your pot. Then place your angel wing begonia root ball into the container. Fill the container with more soil and pack it down around the base of the angel wing begonia. Sprinkle slow release fertilizer around the base of your begonia leaving a two inch radius around the base of the cane that is fertilizer free.
Caring for Your Angel Wing Begonia
The angel wing begonia is a low maintenance plant. All you need to do is give it a little water when the soil feels dry to the touch, prune the plant when it overgrows its pot and mix in a little compost into its soil once a year. If you live in a colder climate then you can keep your begonias outside during the summer months and inside when it is cold. On the other hand, if you live in a warm climate then you can keep your angel wing begonias outside all year round. In this situation the plant will bloom all year round.