Dragon Wing Begonia

mindysuewhoJanuary 30, 2008

The last couple of years, I had hanging baskets of dragon wing begonias and they did very well. I haven't seen them planted in the ground but was wondering if they flourish in the ground the way they do in pots. Thanks for any input.

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bettyfb

Hi,

Here is a link that should answer your question about growing Dragon Wing Begonias in the ground. After seeing these pictures, I too am going to grow them in the ground this year. http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/begonia/msg1014470219415.html?12

Here are a couple of pictures of one Dragon Wing Begonia that I am overwintering under lights and a cutting I took a few weeks ago from the plant. I love this plant. They root easily in water.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 6:15AM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

They grow extremely well. I planted a large bed...
started like this:

ended like this:

I highly recommend putting them in the ground. The started VERY slow - no flowers, but once they started cranking, they were incredible... blooms kept going and going... the driveway was RED with their blooms... They were reported to grow (I think) 16" X 16" - they WELL surpassed that in the ground - more like 24"-30" tall...

I can't say enough - and think the pics speak for the success I had putting them in the ground.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 12:26PM
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kioni(3)

Hi Betty, your dragon wing looks so healthy and green!

I am wondering, are you getting branching on your cutting?

I did up 2 cuttings last year, both rooted, one branched out and made a full plant by summer's end, the other stayed a single long solitary branch. Have no idea why that worked out that way. The branched one made a more attractive plant for my pot.

End of last summer, I took a babywing begonia (like dragon but smaller wings), cut back all the stems to one or two leaves, took out of pot and divided the clump (had to use a knife and hack) from where the stems grew out of, and successfully potted up 3 plants from where I'd previously had one. They've all grown in my window, and although a paler green now (lower light, need bigger pots and new soil, maybe a shot of fertilizer) they have done very well, with lots of new branching. So this spring I hope to have time to divide one of the bigger ones into more smaller plants, and see how big they will grow through the summer.

Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 9:56PM
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bettyfb

Hi Kioni,

Here is a picture I just took of one of my Dragon Wing Begonia cuttings. It is not branching out as you can see. But I have already potted two more cuttings that are branching out. I have started 6 more cuttings in water and hopefully they will branch out. But still it is pretty and I am enjoying it under lights. Helps me get through the dark days of winter. Aren't Tom's drop-dead gorgeous? I look at those pictures often. He has inspired me to try growing them in the ground this year.

I am fertilizing with Algoflash and I just love this fertilizer. I am overwintering 4 Dragon Wing Begonias that were in pots. I cut them all the way down and they are all doing well under T8 Fluoresent lights. I would like to see pictures of yours to. I also started a package from seeds that I got from Burpee Seeds. They take 3 weeks to germinate and only 2 germinated and then died. They gave me a replacement pack and I am trying again. About 10 have germinated and hopefully these will do better. When they first come up you have to get a magnifying glass just to see the little specks of green coming up and it is fun--because I am loving Dragon Wing Begonias.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 7:25AM
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yhtak

Your begonia's are beautiful!! What is your zone? I grew beautiful dragon wings on my porch in pots but never thought they'd grow in beds like that. I'll have to try them this year in the ground.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 11:50AM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

I'm assuming you're talking to me - Yhtak.. They were SLOW to get going... And I grow them from seed (which makes it a bit easier to swallow the price of them) - last year was my first year with dragon wings - I've always done Super Olympia or something like that in the past - I won't go back (although the Fiberous varieties 'Party' and 'Queen' and me THINKING! They look beautiful - link attached). I was very happy with the dragon wings... Oh, and I'm in zone 5.

Here is a link that might be useful: Description/Pictures of Party and Queen

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 10:34AM
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kioni(3)

Tom and bettyfb, here is my (1st) attempt to post photos.

Here is my Babywing Pink begonia from last year, grown in a 10" azzalea pot, brought in just before frost. Hmm, looks like I've gotten behind on the housework.

Once I got the guts to take a knife to my lovely plant (it wasn't doing so well inside):

Six weeks later they bounced back nicely:

And a few weeks later, getting ready to pinch them back, which I've now since done about 5 times to keep their size limited.

Hope this works, if not I will be back to try again another day...kioni

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 10:11PM
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bettyfb

Hi Tom,

The pictures of your Babywing Pink Begonias look great!!!! I wish more members would post pictures. I am going to try that Begonia this year. I love your Dragonwing Begonia pictures from last year of the ones you planted in the ground. I look forward to seeing more pictures this year.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 5:49AM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

Kioni, They're beautiful! The Baby Dragonwings are beautiful!!! I can't wait until they come out with a RED baby Dragonwing!!!! Wow. I'm very impressed. I may have to give those a whirl... I'm also almost inspired to bring them in the house instead of letting them die outside!!! I've posted this on another thread, but these are this years Red Dragonwing Begonias... they're cute! :)

Oh, and Kioni, Great job with your 1st posting of pictures!! YEAH!

I will try and continue to post. this year I'll try and post more on how they do outdoors... :)

Here is a link that might be useful: link that might work?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 11:19AM
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bettyfb

Kioni,

I typed that last post too fast and sorry about that Tom. Your pictures are beatutiful!!! And Tom, your Dragonwing Babies are so cute. What are you fertilizing with? When did you plant your seeds? I want to start more seeds. Where did you purchase your seeds?

Betty

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 7:00AM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

Betty,

I don't mind taking credit for Kioni's gorgeous baby dragon wings!!! :) Sorry Kioni! :) They ARE beautiful, Kioni.

I'm going to try and do a 'begonia grow out timeline'... on the 'back on the begonia bandwagon' thread... We'll see how well I do keeping up with it!

I bought the seeds from Stokes - I've bought from them many years and been very happy - customer service is great. I've bought the begonia seed from them many years - and only had one failure - and they replaced the seeds - chop chop! I started growing the dragon wings (for me the $56 on seed was a huge jump, but the only way that I could think about it was how much would I spend on plants! AND I already had several seasons of successful growing other fiberous begonias). Anyway, STOKES is where I bought them - they're pelletized - I have not had any luck growing them without them being pelletized... I've also noticed Hazard Seed sells them too - and has a HUGE variety of begonia as well... I really like the 'queen' variety and the 'party' variety. I haven't seen them elsewhere.

Above I had a link to hazard - here's the link to Stokes! If you haven't grown begonias before from seed - follow the directions closely... they're easy from seed IF you follow the directions.

Here is a link that might be useful: stokes

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 9:12AM
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bettyfb

Hi Tom,

Here is a picture I just took of the Dragonwing Begonia seeds I purchased from Burpee. The first pack did nothing so they replaced them. These seeds were started 3 weeks ago and only 11 germinated out of 20 that were pelletized. They seem to be growing too slowly. I have fertilized twice with Orchid Bloom Booster which has no urea in it. What do you fertilize with? I am going to check out Stokes Seeds today. I love your Dragonwin Begonias growing in the ground, but they are so expensive to buy as plants.

Thanks,

Betty

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 6:03AM
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bettyfb

Hi Tom.

I googled Hazard Seeds and did not find their website. Could you give me their website?

Betty

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 6:42AM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

I have not used hazzard before - I am using them for the first
time this year... this is their website:

http://www.hazzardsgreenhouse.com

I've used Stokes many many years - been growing from their seed
many years - with no problems. I recommend them - and I THINK
they're a little less expensive for the dragon wings than
hazzard. Stokes:

http://www.stokeseeds.com/cgi-bin/StokesSeeds.storefront

I think Hazzard has a little more of a selection, as far as
fiberous begonias...

Your little guys - all 11 of them are beautiful!!! You'll be
so happy with them!!! I was overwhelmed with them once they
got going outside... I had neighbors (that I didn't know - we
moved recently) stop and tell me how gorgeous the flowers were
so I really think you'll love them... :)

Keep us posted!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 8:23AM
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bettyfb

Hi Tom,

I checked out Stokes and did not want to pay $50 for the minimum order. So I ordered from Hazzard Seed and purchased 100 Dragonwing Begonia seeds for $22.95 and they are pellitized. I am going to try and germinate these in one of my Burpee seed hot houses that has little peat cones inserted in 60 holes. I planted seeds in one of them on Sunday--and one third of the seeds have germinated, including Rudbeckia seeds from Chilterns in England, Cosmos, and California Poppy.

Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 12:49PM
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bettyfb

Hi Tom,

Here is the link showing the seed starter from Park's. I get better germination with this one than the others I have tried.

Here is a link that might be useful: Park's seed starter

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 1:02PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

I've actually had pretty good luck thus far... The $50 on the seeds IS a little nerve racking because you just don't know what you'll get for a germ rate. Last year I took the plunge and I'm so glad I did.

Stokes has an excellent (I think) description of how to start begonias:

CULTURE: Sow in January for in 4 in/10 cm. May sales Production of Begonias from seed is easy, if you follow the cultural directions closely. To get the best germination rate, you must be able to maintain constant temperature of 78 - 80°F/25 - 26°C. If this is not possible, use a constant temp. of 70 - 72°F/21 - 22°C throughout germination. Use a light fibrous soil of equal parts light soil, sand, peat moss or leaf mold. Soil must never dry until germination begins. After germination, the seedlings must be kept gently moist. European growers use the following trick since seed is very fine - cover very slightly with big sand or light gravel. (You should be able to still see soil), this helps keep constant humidity and protects emerging germs from direct sun and also protects the seed when watering. After germination, a minimum night temperature of 60 - 65°F/l 6 - 18°C is needed. A weekly feeding of 1/2 strength complete soluble fertilizer is necessary to keep them growing. After pricking off into flats, use a spacing of 2 x 2 in./5 x 5 cm. Use full strength soluble fertilizer and grow until they start to crowd and then put into 3 or 4 in/8 or 10 cm pots. Begonias are light sensitive, light 12 hours per day. Continue lighting after germination or they will not grow and will gradually disappear. Cover seed flats on bright days with one thickness of newspaper. December or January sowing produces for spring bedding plants, sow in July for Christmas and mid winter sales.

I've followed it for several years (for other begonias) had had excellent luck. I'll take another pic tonight and post it tomorrow may be...

Good luck, Betty - although, looks like you won't need it! Looking great! Keep me posted on your Hazzard Begonias!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 3:15PM
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bettyfb

Hi Tom,

That info was very helpful. I have them under lights right now for 16 hours a day. Guess that is too much. I will print out these instructions. I still am going to start some of the seeds in the Parks seed starter for fun to see if they germinate. I would very much like to see continuing pictures of yours. I love begonias but the Dragonwing is now my favorite. You should frame pictures of yours to display in your home. I would if mine were that beautiful!!!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 5:26AM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

Thank you, Betty.

I found that description helpful as well. I use their catalog as a reference - they're as helpful with all the other stuff I've bought from them. No I don't work for Stokes!

I have my lights at 17-18 hours right now and they seem to be fine... (I'm sure 16 hours is fine, Betty) I am slowly backing them off (I will soon be starting my impatiens - and someone talked me in to Browallia too - so starting that soon too) the lights so they're closer to nature's schedule... I've posted on the other thread the growth from last week - I'm amazed... :)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 9:20AM
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gree_knees(6a)

I still have a Stokes catalog from 1983 when they were only half as tall as they are now.A lot of information was packed in those old books.Now that we have the internet I don't bring half as much paper into the house for referencing but the books and catalogs from my early gardening days will clutter my shelves as long as I'm here.I've been growing Queen pink for three seasons now.I think they are the prettiest double semp. I've ever grown. Tom8o, why do you keep your lights on so long? I keep mine on 18 hours too, but I really don't remember why I started doing it. Anita

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 9:35AM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

Anita,

Actually I started with 18 hours because STOKES originally said (I believe, I'd have to go back to some of MY old catalogs) 15-18 hours of light! I've stuck with this because - well - it worked! May be it's the additional warmth or the actual light...? I don't know, but it has worked for me... The dragon wing begonias were so darn expensive, frankly, I didn't WANT a failure... :)

whoa, whoa, whoa - back up here - you've been growing the variety 'Queen' and you didn't mention it?? Tell me all about it!? What's it like - how does it grow - you growing it in pots - in flower beds? How does it germinate? Tell all Tell all!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 11:06AM
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gree_knees(6a)

The Queen is a dream. It germinated 90% at temps that were too cool for begonias. I grow it in pots so I can't tell you anything about how it does in the ground. I start my new plants from cuttings now that I have it. I'm not a big fan of semps, but I,m enamored with this one. The flowers look like little roses and usually I don't like double begonia blossoms but the Queens are prettier than most.Now that I'm "older" I forget a lot, but I bought the seed either from Parks or Harris. It grew about 14 inches tall in pots in full shade, doesn't branch well unless it's pinched,and hasn't stopped blooming all winter under lights with only a little Neptune's Harvest liquid seaweed twice since it's been in for the winter. This year I'm having trouble getting my Dragon Wings to germinate, but everything else is so I think I'm going to complain to Parks. Anita

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 1:03PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

I really want to try the 'Queen' begonias. I think they look so delicate... Really striking plant. It really got 14" tall?! Hmmmm. Something for me to contemplate... they're a lot less expensive than the dragon wings... I may have to buy some. Thank you for your opinion on them, Anita.

Much appreciated.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 8:31AM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

Anita, I planted my red 'queen' begonias last night. I got them from Hazzard - and they looked as if they had been through the ringer! The stuff they pelletize the seed with was a powder - and I'm not sure WHAT a begonia seed looks like (I think they're too small for me to see)... Anyway, I planted them - set them up under the 16 hour lights - we'll see how they do.

Thanks so much for the recommendation, Anita. I'm very much looking forward to seeing what I get!

Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 8:32AM
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gree_knees(6a)

What a let down after you were so excited that you were buying them. Do you think they would replace them if you told them what happened? Did you scatter all of the powder in the flat? I feel just awful for you, and if I hadn't described my Queens you probably wouldn't have bought them. Do try to get hold of the seed company to see if they will replace the seeds. I'm so sorry, Anita

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 5:25PM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

I'm a roll with the punches kinda person - If I get something out of them - germinate - I'll be happy. So, no need to be sorry! I'm fairly certain if nothing comes of the seeds I'll get my money back - or more seeds... (although it's a little too late now)... :) Thanks! I'll keep you posted on their progress.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 9:07AM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

They're germinating - and I have tiny baby 'Queen' begonias now... I definitely don't have 100 (which is what I planted for seed) but enough for me to be happy.

thanks!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 9:08AM
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boxcar_grower(5)

Here is my first attempt to grow dragon wings. There are Burpee seeds. I would say that I had 75% germination. They are about 8-10 weeks old. In the last two weeks they have taken off like rockets. They poked along for the fisrt two months or so. I am pleases thus far with my first attempt. I have 14 plants growing right now.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 8:18PM
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bettyfb

Hi boxcar,

Your Dragon Wing begonias are beautiful. I too tried growing them for the first time last January and also bought from Burpee. Only 6 of mine survived and are doing well now. Two weeks ago I started more which I purchased from Hazzard Seeds. Keep your pictures coming, as we all enjoy seeing them grow.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 6:22AM
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gree_knees(6a)

I am so jealous. All of your begonias are bigger than mine. Those are some nice looking plants, boxcar. Happy Easter! I've got big trouble today. I bought my grandsons basketballs instead of candy, and now it's snowing! Anita

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 9:19AM
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tkhooper(7)

I bought my first Dragon Wing Begonia yesterday at the Grocery Store. It cost me 12 bucks. I never spend that much money on plants well at least rarely. I'm thrilled with my purchase. And am now a fan of the plants. I'll be posting a question here in just a little bit. I don't want to hyjack a topic.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 8:15AM
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Jamie

Hello Begonia people,

I just planted Dragon Wing Begonias in porch urns. I bought them good sized, and they came with a tag saying fertilize twice monthly with 20-20-20. If I can't get 20-20-20, is a digit or two one way or the other on each item -- like 18-19-21 for example -- good enough? Or would it be better to use 5-5-5, keeping the propotions correct, if not the volume?

I haven't had luck with Begonias in the ground in past years. I'm hoping that because I can move the urn to a sunnier spot if necessary, and control the soil mix more closely, I'll get better plants.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 3:10PM
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gree_knees(6a)

Jamies, I don't think the numbers matter that much, I manipulate mine from a root and bloom formula to a higher nitrogen for a while and now I'm using my rose fertilizer on them so I don't have to mix different formulas and just water all plants with one thing.I noticed that you're in zone 6, if you're getting a lot of rain fertilize more often with a weaker solution because the rain washes a lot out of the pot. Anita

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 8:48AM
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Jamie

Thank you Anita!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 3:23PM
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reeltexan

HELP!!!
Something is killing my Dragonwings.
I've sprayed for fungus and insects.
I don't overwater.

thanks for any help.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 6:37PM
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