Can you tell me about care of Angel Wing begonias?

gardenfanatic(MO zone5b)August 23, 2006

I'm thinking about getting one or two angel wing begonias. Don't have much experience with begonias - just have a rex begonia in the house and wax begonias in planters outside. Can someone tell me what they need/like? Thanks for your help,


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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

Angel Wing (cane) begonias are probably the easiest begonias to grow--certainly easier than Rexes! They prefer good light, even some sun especially in the morning, well-draining soil which can be kept moist--but they'll survive getting fairly dry--and probably would like to be fed a little lightly more often than I feed mine. There are some canes that are a little more temperamental, but most are really tough and rewarding.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 11:25PM
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beth_b_kodiak(zone 5a)

Hi Deanna,I second what Greenbows says about the angel wings being generally pretty tough and easy. Ask around and there is a good chance you can get a start of a plant from someone you know. They are classic "Pass along plants".
If you can't locate anything I could trade cuttings fora leaf of your rex, figuring it is different than any that I already have.
good luck, BB

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 5:06PM
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Can you take a stalk - as if you were rooting it - place it in a vase and change the water all winter? Then when winter is over, plant it in a pot of good soil for the rest of the spring and summer through fall? I don't want to bring the potted begonias in but thought maybe I could keep the stems in vases of water - changing regularly - Thanks

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 3:04PM
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PS Someone told me that he knows someone who does that - and I thought it was a bit strange. Wouldn't it rot? Thanks - Carrie

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 4:07PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

It's so easy just to stick the cutting in a pot of soil, I don't know why anyone would bother with trying to change water all winter. But in fairness, I have to say I have very poor success rooting or growing things in water, so I guess that enters into my answer. Why not just put it in a pot, tho', so you wouldn't have to bother?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 12:20AM
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My concern was bringing pots in during the winter that have been outside (bugs, etc.). But I am going to root more of these pretty begonias, put them in NEW potting soil (no bugs) and keep several in the house during the winter. I didn't really like that idea of leaving them in water all winter myself - it sounded like too much work. I think his idea was to have pretty begonias in vases around the house and then repotting them up in the spring. I may try cutting one stem and seeing if it will last all winter in a watered vase. Thanks- Carrie

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 8:05AM
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Carrie, it is better to stick it in the soil. It will take a little longer but the root system is better than soft water roots that will break off putting them in soil later.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 5:16PM
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That's what I will do. Thanks - Carrie

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 5:18PM
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I have what I think is a cane begonia. The leaves are a dark green with white spots, and the underneath leaf is a dark red. My plant is quite large now; I think that it needs pruning back a little. My question is how to get it to bloom. I allow it to almost dry between watering. Do they need feeding to induce the blooms? I have it in morning sun. What more can I do? Thank you.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2006 at 2:33PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

They do like to be fed periodically--not heavily. They don't need to dry out too much between waterings--that can keep them from blooming. It makes a lot of difference which cane you have as to how easily it will bloom. Some bloom very easily and some are really difficult. Usually, at least in my experience, the ones that are harder to bloom have such nice foliage you don't really miss the flowers, while ones with plainer foliage are often very good bloomers. If you could post a picture maybe we could identify it for you (well, I'm terrible with identifying pictures myself, but maybe somebody could!) and you could check out the website of the American Begonia Society, and the Astro Branch of same, for many, many pictures which might help you find yours--and many others you'd like to try!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2006 at 11:35PM
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Is it true that the cane begonia cuttings should be taken from a stem that has not flowered?

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 9:38PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

I've heard that, but I never remember to pay attention when I'm taking cuttings. Usually I'm taking cuttings because I've let them get too dry once again and they've lost lower leaves, so I cut them back and stick the cuttings, and I just take any that need cutting without paying attention, and they almost always grow--unless I forget to water them!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 11:08PM
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korina(9b, Sunset 17)

I have a very sad lucerna; the only leaves are at the ends of the canes, and I think it flowered once in the three or so years I've had it.

My question is, if I cut the ends off the canes and root them, will the remaining canes back-bud or die? Also, will my African violet mix work for Begonias? It's 1 part commercial Av mix, 1 part vermiculite, and 2 parts perlite.

Thanks for any help.

Korina, poking my head in

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 10:55AM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

Hi, Korina. Your head is always welcome! Lucerna is a wonderful tough old cane that will take lots of abuse, and will repay good care abundantly. The potting mix you suggest would be fine, but they don't really need that much drainage. They need to be consistently moist, something mine aren't, but with good moisture and occasional light feeding, and some sun, they'll bloom like crazy. My first cane, and hooked me good!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2006 at 9:40PM
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korina(9b, Sunset 17)

Thanks, I'll try repotting.

Will it back-bud if I cut off the tops of the canes?


    Bookmark   December 7, 2006 at 2:57PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

Sorry, I forgot to answer that part of your question! It will probably start buds where you cut it off, but be careful to cut to a bud facing the direction you want it to grow. If you just cut it back any old where, the new buds will grow accordingly and your plant will be a mess. It's best to cut it close to the soil, but I find it works best when doing that to cut just a stem or two at a time. Makes a much more attractive plant.

Nancy, who always forgets something!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2006 at 12:25AM
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korina(9b, Sunset 17)

Thanks Nancy; however it is *I* who is - am - um, are? the Grand High Poobah at forgetting the one crucial detail. Not to mention procrastinator extrordinaire. What can I say, I got class.

Korina, off to merrilly hack & slash a poor innocent helpless plant

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 4:44PM
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korina(9b, Sunset 17)

Well, the deed is done. ::cleans blade:: Okay, half done. The cuttings are sliced, diced, potted, and bagged (I *really* love that Glad Press'n Seal). Fingers crossed.

Shortening and transplanting of the remaining leafless canes will begin tomorrow.


    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 7:29PM
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I finally cut my old 'Lucerna' back, stuck the tops in a new pot and dumped the old rootstock on the ground. It hasn't bloomed in years and was my oldest cane (30+ years) so I thought it is time to rejuvenate it. Before the first cold spell hit, I did rescue the old rootstock and laid them horizontally in an aluminum pan and water them occasionally. New shoots are coming out which is what I expected. I may plant these in the ground come spring. Just call me a packrat.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 9:30AM
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I have one (don't know the name; the leaves have small dots on them) that I bought at a Master Gardener plant sale last spring and it was a very good bloomer during the summer and fall. Now it's stopped blooming. I water with two eye droppers per 1 gallon can of Schultz 10-15-10 Plant Food.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 7:41PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

This time of the year the light is not nearly as strong as it is in summer, so if yours is one that blooms all year it may just need more light. Some are seasonal bloomers and this might not be its season. How long has it been since you repotted it? I would wait 'til spring, but if it hasn't been done for awhile you might try that. If it isn't growing too much right now you might possibly be over-feeding it. I don't happen to use Schultz's so I'm not sure how the concentration you're using would rank on the light/heavy scale, but we usually don't feed as much, or even at all, in the winter unless growth is still vigorous (which usually means under extra light.)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 12:47AM
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I have had an Angel Wing for over 5 years. I've trimmed it once a few years ago. It has never bloomed. It is in a 10 inch wide pot with 7 inch deep dirt that is, I think pretty heavy. Now it is shedding a lot of its leaves, and I'm worried that I may be about to lose my treasure. I think it needs to be repotted, but I don't know how without hurting it. I would appreciate step by step instructions from someone who knows about these beautiful plants.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 11:23PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

They really are tough plants (for the most part) and repotting isn't difficult tho' I know it's scary the first time or two. First be sure you have some good free-draining potting mix. Then knock it out of the pot--turn it upside down and hold the plant with one hand while you rap the rim of the pot against the table or wherever you're going to be working. Usually just a good rap or two will knock it loose, but it tends to be pretty messy so I hope you have a nice place outside to do it. Sometimes it takes a little more work to get it out, but don't worry about hurting it. Might even be necessary to run a long thin-bladed knife around the inside of the pot. Cut back any weak or damaged growth. Work the root-ball so you get as much of the old soil off as comes easily, and check to be sure the roots are healthy. You can prune them back, especially if they've circled around the inside of the pot a few times. Be sure you put a little something in the bottom of the pot to be sure all the potting mix doesn't wash out while the roots are getting re-established--I use various things such as scraps of coir from old basket liners, or a wad of long-fibered sphagnum moss; you can also use the liners from meat trays, and I have a friend who swears by used dryer sheets. But don't put a layer of rocks or broken pots or whatever might be suggested for 'drainage'--it actually stops drainage. Put a little potting mix in the bottom of the pot, put your root-ball on it, fill around it and rap it on the bench a few times to settle the soil in well and prevent pockets of air. Don't put very much soil over it, but a little is probably a good idea. Water it in well, and set in the shade to drain. Does that cover what you need to know? And sorry to the original poster who gets to read all this! In the future it's probably a good idea to start a new thread.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 12:57AM
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When my mother passed away she left me a lot of flowers one of which is an angle wing begonia and I am afraid it is going to die, I need to know how to care for it.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 12:38PM
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