Angel Wing Begonia questions

Katie_DNovember 9, 2012

I got this cutting from a Tea/Herb shop about 4 months ago. I've chose to start it by letting it root in water. Originally it only had 2 leaves but now it has 3 new leaves with 2 or 3 more little spikes that are turning into leaves. So needless to say it seems to be thriving at the moment. I thought plants usually go dormant in the winter though and their growth is supposed to slow? I have three questions...The first one being, Should I wait until Spring to put the plant into soil? (it already has a decent sized root ball) My second question is pertaining to the leaves on my Begonia. The edges seem to be drying and cracking...I read that this usually is because of under watering but being that it's sitting in a cup of water I can't see that being the issue. I do not use tap water, I have a 40 gallon well established fish tank that I water my plants with. Could this be the issue? And my last question, Can anyone tell me what kind of Angel Wing this is? Thanks for any help and input :)


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I would pot it up instead of putting it off any longer.

I wouldn't worry about drying edges of the leaves either. I'd be more concerned about the stem rotting since leaves come and go.

The one you show above looks like B. 'Corallina de Lucerna' (most folks abbreviate it to Lucerna) - a very popular oldie. Hybridized probably a hundred years ago (1892 according to one site). A lot of people call it an angel wing begonia. My very first cane and I've had it for nearly 40 years now. A great passalong plant but I find it susceptible to mildew this time of year but it is a nice cane to start with.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 2:19PM
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Awesome, thanks for the reply. The original plant that mine came from was also a cutting off of someone elses. She lived in an apartment above the shop and the owner of the shop became close friends with her. Her daughter, Angel, had died at the age of 15 from leukemia. So in honor of her she bought an Angel Wing Begonia. She gave a cutting to the shop owner and asked that she pass along the story of her daughter and a cutting of her plant to anyone that inquired. So here I am with this plant :) I have a pot all ready to go, I just have to run out and get soil sometime today.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 7:43AM
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Oh, is it ok to water with the fish water? The water here has high chlorine levels and I might as well poor acid on my plants. I can't justify buying bottled water for the plants so I used fish tank water lol All my plants in soil seem to be doing fine, all except for the Orchid, which I'm pretty much giving up hope on ^_^

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 7:52AM
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Fish water should be fine. Doesn't the chlorine in the treated water dissipate if you let it sit? You might look it up. Any chance you can save rain water?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 9:23AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Awww, sad but sweet story to go with that plant.

I usually get impatient for a growth explosion that I'm sure is going to happen as soon as the roots get a proper pot. Doesn't always happen but I have this attitude and have lost a few pieces of various Begonias this summer that I now think might have been better left in water a bit longer. I commend your patience. Looks like it's doing well. Hope it makes the transition smoothly when you decide to do it!

I'm left with curiosity about what you use to replenish the fish water. This sounds like a good process, (assuming everyone agrees fish tank water is good for plants, or at least not harmful, not my area,) to get the most bang for your buck.

Chlorine used to be added to tap water in a form that would evaporate but that system has been replaced almost everywhere so the chlorine does not evaporate. Distilled is an option. Regular bottled drinking water is likely to BE tap water, I wouldn't assume it didn't have chlorine (or fluoride) unless the label said so, or it was bottled spring water. Some plants are sensitive to one or both of those.

Here is a link that might be useful: water article at NCSU

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 2:56PM
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I do a 25% water change weekly sometimes bi-weekly on my 40 gallon. So the small amount of water I use doesn't change the water level in the fishtank much. The only thing I can think of is you wouldn't want to use water from a fish tank that's newly established. Tanks that are un-established go through a cycling phase where there can be spikes in ammonia. I decided to wait a little longer before re-locating my Begonia. I just moved her this evening into her new pot. Crossing my fingers that I'm successful. Since my last post she has grown so many "leaf spikes" I quit counting lol I think she likes the fish water :-)

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 6:49PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I think so, too, it makes good sense. Very cool. When you feel like it, would love to see a new pic of this lil' beauty.

Do you have any plants IN the aquarium?

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 9:25AM
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No, not currently. At one point I put a baby off my Spider plant in the top of the filteration system. It lived for a good 2 months before it showed signs of wilt and even grew some healthy looking roots. I knew this would be the outcome eventually but it's good for the tank seeing as the plant absorbs nitrates and ammonium(NH4). Not to be confused with ammonia (NH3). Here are some pictures of my newly potted Corallina-

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 1:34PM
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A pic of the stem and new leaf spikes.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 1:35PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Looks fantastic!! And thanks for the science lesson.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:08PM
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I have 3 plants of Corallina De Lucerna. i don't have a fish tank, so I can't use fish water. Which plant food works the best?The person i got some of my cuttings from used Eleanor's fV-11. She says she waters once a week, and sprays the foilage also.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 8:10PM
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Most any slow release fertilizer will do just fine. Or use a weak solution of water soluble fertilizer. Go easy on any fertilizer since young plants can be killed easily by overfeeding.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 10:27PM
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Mine have started to bloom and they are in an old potted soil. i was wondering if I should or could repot it now while its starting to bloom. I would like to suggest to pinch it hard so to prevent it getting straggly. i find even doing so I have to wind up tying a string to it in order to prevent it from keeling over cause of the weight of the cane and leaves. They take up a lot of room if left alone. I water every 7 days with regular tap water for years and they bloom for me each year.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 6:39PM
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Here is my Angel Winged Begonia. I have shared it lots. It seems to want to bloom pink-red flowers in the winter for me. I do know i never root these in water-I just break a piece off, dip it in root-booster, and stick it back down in the soil. I haven't really babied mine-I am rather abusive towards it-but it loves me back. Maybe I'm doing the right things for it, when I think it's the wrong things. I keep it outside all summer-It seems to like just morning sun, then shade the rest of the day. It LOVES being flooded down with water every other day. I always turn my plants, as they follow the light-I try to get them nicely rounded.One time I moved, the movers broke every stem off to the soil almost. But it acted like it got a haircut-and grew to what you see in this picture!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 7:10PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Sher., that looks incredible! Thanks for sharing this beautiful plant, well done!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2014 at 9:44AM
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