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Ooh, I love the sound of dragons. They are mystical creatures just as magical as the dragon wing begonia plant. The plant has colorful flowers with lush green foliage.
The best of all is growing them as a houseplant all year round. So, if you want to add some magic with color to your living space, these tropical plants will bring life to any drab room.
What is Dragon Wing Begonia Plant?
Now, do not get confused with the angel wing begonia as both are cane begonia, but both are hybrid species from two different plants. The professional name for this begonia dragon wing red is begonia x hybrida ‘Dragon Wings.’
Shoe! You must agree it is quite a tongue-tie saying it. So, instead, let’s stick to the common names dragon wing begonia or cane begonia. Another exciting thing is that this plant has first grown in South America.
It also has heat tolerant and thrives in high humidity. Depending on the dragon wing begonia you have, you can expect shades of pink, white, or red flowers in spring and summer. The tropical plant grows with wing-shaped leaves and looks fabulous in hanging baskets.
But a note of warning is that the dragon wing is a vigorous grower that can reach up to two feet tall and spread wide. You can also place them in a container to stand on the patio. Most importantly, this one is the easiest to grow as an indoor plant out of all the species.
Please refer to the table below for a brief care guide.
Dragon Wing Begonia Care
Dragon red wing begonia care is not that difficult when you follow some easy steps found here. The fantastic thing is that it blooms numerous flowers that cascade off the stems. Sometimes they even cascade downwards for a gorgeous display.
During the planting season, you find it reblooms flowers. Then the old blooms fade and fall off, allowing new ones to emerge. Hence, it is an excellent choice as it blooms continuously during the growing season.
So for a great display, place your dragon wing in hanging baskets to brighten up the living space.
Ideal Soil Mix for Dragon Wing Begonia
As your dragon wing begonias prefer moist soil, it is still susceptible to waterlogging. Hence, the type of soil you use is essential. To achieve the right conditions, you want airy well-draining soil.
A fertile soil that can retain moisture but also drain freely is ideal. If you prefer using a commercial potting mix, we recommend something like African Violet.
Still, if you want to make one, you can use a regular houseplant potting medium and amend it with perlite for drainage.
Along with your soil, it also helps to invest in a pot with enough drainage holes, and remember these plants grow up to two feet tall and wide. Also, a reminder is that this plant prefers being slightly pot-bound.
Treating them as outdoor plants leaves enough space between other plants.
Suitable Lighting Condition
You know, finding a balance between lighting for any houseplant is difficult. Don’t you agree! Well, the good news is that cane begonias flourish in full sun and part shade. Still, it does better in full sun when you live in cooler areas with some partial sun in warm environments.
So for northern parts where the weather is chillier, plant your dragon begonia in more sun to produce those beautiful flowers. While in the southern regions that tend to get hot, having afternoon shade is best for this plant.
The same rule applies to growing indoors as they need loads of light as it is limited.
Watering Your Begonias
When you look at most plants, they thrive in moist soil but do not like getting wet feet. The same applies to the dragon begonia, a recipe for disaster. With prolonged soggy soil, it results in root rot.
We recommend leaving the soil to dry between watering as watering less frequently is better. The best way to test the soil moisture is with the finger test. You can stick your finger in the soil.
If you find the top three inches dry, you can water your dragon wings. Another note is to consider the weather as well. During the growing season and warmer weather, the soil can dry out faster, and it helps to keep this in mind.
You can slow down with watering during the winter months as your plant will go into a dormant stage.
Optimal Temperature and Humidity
This is where the begonia dragon wing red outshines many other plants. The cane begonia can tolerate high levels of humidity and heat. With a good combination of both, your plant becomes easier to take care of.
Those scarlet red flowers will continue to bloom even when scorching hot. But remember, give it some full shade when in these temperatures outside. If you were wondering if you can grow the dragon wing in your USDA zones, they grow well in hardiness zones nine to eleven.
Still, they are their happiest indoors in average room temperatures. Yet, there is one thing. Dragon wing is not winter hardy. They will not survive frost when that mercury drops below 55°F.
When grown in a flower bed, we recommend digging them up before the first frost and storing them indoors until spring. But before you place them in containers, make sure to debug them. As for humidity, it loves moisture with good air circulation.
Hence, as it thrives in high humidity, it needs extra care with indoor conditions in winter as the air dries out. So, adding a humidifier or a pebble tray can help.
Fertilizing and Pruning Begonia
When your dragon wing begonia is actively growing in spring and summer, you can provide them with a feed. But when growth slows down in winter, it does not need any fertilizer.
You can use a liquid fertilizer but try not to overfertilize with high concentrations as it can result in fertilizer burn.
In fall and winter, you can cut back to once every four weeks, and in the growing season, once every two weeks.
As with other begonias and plants, your dragon wing needs pruning. While it is not necessary as it is a self-cleaning plant, you can remove dead leaves or damaged branches.
How to Propagate Your Dragon Wing Begonia
As it grows as an annual plant in cold environments, the best way to ensure you always have this gorgeous plant is propagating through seeds and division.
As mentioned is not a winter hardy plant, and you need to bring plants indoors to keep them toasty and warm. But the dragon wing begonias also produce sterile seeds you can plant.
Planting the seed does take time, and other more accessible methods are division and stem cuttings. As these two methods are faster, you find the steps in doing this right here.
Stem Cutting Propagation
Choose a healthy non-flowering stem about six inches long with some foliage present.
Cut the stem below a node that joins it to the stem.
Next, dip the cut end into rooting hormone powder and plant in moist soil.
Keep watering your plant, and after a few weeks, you will notice new growth.
If your dragon wing has multiple stems, this is a great way to propagate your plant. All you will do is separate the stems. Then you will plant them back into the garden or in containers. It is also a great way to limit your houseplant’s size.
You can dig up your plant and pick stems you want to grow. The important thing is to trace that stem back to the roots as it helps with the separation from the mother plant. Separate the root ball using your hands or a knife.
Once separated, you can repot your mother plant and plant your divisions into their pots.
Dragon Wing Begonia Varieties
You can find a wide selection of plants to grow with your begonia dragon wing in the begonia species. Here are some exceptional examples.
Angel Wing Begonias
Remember, we mentioned that many people confuse the dragon wing with the angel wing. So, it cannot be obvious when you look at the image. Still, there is a difference as the foliage of the angel wing looks like angel wings but goes by the same name, cane begonia.
This variegated plant with a bedding variety has yellow splotches with bright green leaves. It falls into the group of wax begonias and has a fibrous root. The begonia grows well in containers to create a focal point. It is a hybrid plant and grows well in zones nine to eleven with partial sun.
Solenia ‘Dusty Rose’ Begonia
Here we have a tuberous begonia hybrid with frilly rose-colored flowers blooming at the end of the stem. The foliage has a heart shape, and you can save the tubers when the growing season ends to blossom the following year.
The sun begonia has bronzy-green foliage that color shifts in a different light. The underside of the leaves is red, giving it an exceptional appeal in hanging baskets.
Dragon Wing Begonia Diseases & Pests
When it comes to your dragon wing begonia, you need to take extra care as it is susceptible to mealybugs and whiteflies. The best remedy is to use insecticidal soap. Another concern is root rot from overwatering.
Another thing that can infect your plant is powdery mildew, and as with rotting roots, it is manageable to a degree. We recommend removing damaged leaves and roots if you notice your plant wilting.
Frequently Asked Questions
The dragon wing begonia grows well as an outdoor and indoor houseplant. Whether in your garden or standing in the home with the right amount of light, it provides a color display to brighten up any place.
Yes, you can keep them over winter. Yet, if you grow your dragon red wing begonia in a container, the best is to bring them indoors. When grown in the garden in icy environments, you will need to dig them up to place them in containers for overwintering inside until summer arrives.
There is no need to cut them back when growing outdoors or indoors as they are self-cleaning. But if you want to control growth, you can divide the mother plant to grow the roots in separate containers.
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