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Angel Wing Begonia

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by Megan Hawken on June 26, 2005 05:27 AM
I inherited my angel wing begonia from my grandmother and I am afraid I am losing the battle to keep it alive. Last summer I did some research on how to treat a begonia and I have follwed it religiously since then. It doesn't get direct sunlight, the temperature is always right around the 62-72 degrees temp. I mixed my potting soil with peat moss and perlite and I use the time-release fertilizer, Osmocote. I have been very careful to not overwater, only watering when the top inch or so is dry. Then I water until the water comes out the bottom of the pot. My begonia is about 3 1/2 feet tall from the soil up with only about 8 leaves at the very top. I don't want to lose this plant. I would really like to take it to someone with a green house and a green thumb to nurse it back to health. Any suggestions for the greater Seattle area? Thank you!
by tkhooper on June 26, 2005 05:35 AM
Are you sure about the light requirement. I'm new and I could be wrong but I thought begonias were full sun plants. Check with Phoebe or Will Creed or one of the other experts but maybe that would have something to do with it?

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by Nako on June 26, 2005 07:17 AM
I let my begonia get direct sunlight, and it does pretty well ^.^ That's a Bamboo cane though, so it might be a little different.

As for the angel wings at my greenhouse in my section, they're mostly situated below other plants, but they get a lot of indirect sunlight. The tags are green too which means that they require indirect light to live.

How do the branches feel? are they mushy? stiff? if they're mushy, its dying, but if they're nice and sturdy then it should recover well ^.^


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by Will Creed on June 26, 2005 11:56 AM
Hi Megan,

From your description, there is nothing that indicates your Angelwing is ailing. But it is overgrown and apparently in need of pruning. Angelwings do grow very tall and leggy if left unpruned. That legginess increases as the light is reduced.

An east or west windowsill is the best house exposure for an Angelwing. That will provide a few hours of direct sun.

I suggest that you prune each of the canes down to a height of about 6 inches. I know that may seem painful if you have not pruned before. However, as long as the canes and the roots are healthy, you should see healthy new growth emerge just below where you make the pruning cuts. This will give you a shorter, but more compact plant that will look a lot better than what you have now.

Do not repot it. That will not help and may cause some damage.

If you still are seeking a new home for it, Cricket frequents this Forum and lives on Vancouver Island. She has a good heart and adopts homeless pets, plants, and people.

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