Care instruction for a Dragon Wing Begonia

tkhooper(7)May 9, 2008

Hi I just bought a Dragon Wing Begonia at the grocery store. it is beautiful. But can you tell me how to care for it so it doesn't die.

How much water how often?

What kind of soil?

What kind of fertilizer how often?

Amount of sunlight?

All that kind of information please.

Thankyou for your help.

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hcmcdole(z7)

Congrats on your new Dragon Wing begonia.

As for watering it depends on a lot of factors but the most important thing is to let it dry out slightly between watering. If planted in pots and left outdoors for summer, you may end up watering every day but the soil and plant should tell you when to water. When you do water, water to soak the soil (let it drain through).

The soil should be a quality potting mix that is fast draining. Perlite added to the mixture will help tremendously. You can also plant in good garden soil if you wish.

Fertilizer should be done on a regular basis. Some recommend using a water soluble fertilizer at 1/2 strength every time you water or once a week. Slow release granules are also a good option. I've used garden fertilizer at times but it shouldn't be used on young starter plants.

You will find that Dragon Wings is one of the best begonias for full sun. If planted in full sun, it should never dry out or it may burn. It is probably best to give it some filtered shade in late afternoon. I find noon time pleasant here but after 2 PM it gets pretty hot until close to sundown. At least in a pot you can move it to any location you want.

Here are some I had in a flower bed last year.

In a pot:

On a hot deck a few years ago in a coir lined rack:

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 10:14AM
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tom8olvr(Z5 MA)

HCMcDole knows his stuff about begonias... altho I planted mine in the ground in a bed and I was thrilled with the result. They were quite easy - I did water frequently because they were in a fair amount of sun...

This was a 3" by 18" 'window box' on the shed... I had a few extra plants (3) I thought I'd throw them in and I NEVER took care of them - dried out, etc. and they still looked GOOD!

I'm not knocking what was suggested, but they can also take a beating too.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 10:23AM
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nhsuzanne(z5 SW-NH)

What about pruning? I have been keeping my first one of these plants all winter. It's doing well but it isn't full and lush like the photos posted here. How can I produce a fuller plant?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 10:15AM
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Loretta NJ Z6

Once the weather warms up, take it outside in some bright shade. It will fill in over the summer. Regular fertilizing helps but don't over do. I have had success with Ironite or 1/4 strength miracle gro. They also do well planted directly in the ground but that makes it a little more difficult to bring in.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 6:02PM
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familyman2004(z8 MS)

Pruning can make for a thicker plant and can cause new growth to emerge from below the soil; basal growth. I read somewhere that some dragon wings if not pruned early will never have thick / bushy growth. I have had some that I didn't prune and they did just fine.
Also if they get directly overhead light they grow tall and narrower but if they recieve the light from the side they will grow wider.

In my experience babywing begonia are more vigorus, drought tolerant and can take more sun than dragonwings they also recover from winter much quicker.

Don't get me wrong I still like dragon wings. If you view them as more like succulents that thrive on the edge of neglect rather than tropical plants you will have succes.

Brad's Begonia World has alot of information on Begonias a tip the info on Dragon wings used to be under Cane begonias.

Family

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 11:06PM
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Trickey1

I have a beautiful plant in a reasonably large plastic container under a pergola. There is adequate light and warmth and the flowers look lovely. I have a question however and it is regarding the leaves. Should they or do they change colour to a rusty or wine-coloured red/orange?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2015 at 12:22AM
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hcmcdole(z7)

I've seen some that get bronzy leaves but not sure if it is from a lot of sun, maybe some cold, or just aging leaves. I usually keep mine in full sun and water them religiously without much bronzing at all.

Here is a photo of a couple that showed bronzing and it was sitting on my driveway all summer long and only got the hot western sun exposure. Others in the backyard that got full southern exposure never showed bronzing. Weird?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2015 at 7:20AM
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hcmcdole(z7)

Yet another six planted in a bed got full day sun from almost sunrise to sunset shows no bronzing.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2015 at 8:09AM
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