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What is an Angel Wing Begonia?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2018
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An angel wing begonia is a houseplant that normally grows well in tropical or humid conditions. It is named for the fact that its leaves somewhat resemble the wings of an angel. It can produce red or white flowers in the center of these leaves. These flowers may bloom any time from late spring through early fall.

This plant usually grows anywhere from two to 15 feet (.61 to 4.57 m) high. It can also spread between two and three feet (.61 to .91 m) wide. It is a perennial plant, which means it lives for many years without dying off in winter.

An angel wing begonia typically has numerous stems that begin near the bottom of the plant. Each of these stalks has a pair of leaves that are normally fan-shaped. The insides of the leaves usually face each other, creating the appearance of a set of wings. The outer edge of the leaves sometimes has a very wavy appearance. The tops of these leaves are usually a dark green with silver spots or streaks, while the underside may be a deep red color.

While the blooms of this begonia are normally red or white, they might also be pink or lavender. The flower petals are usually long, narrow, and divided into two sections. They typically grow close to one another on the plant, and may even appear to be in tight clusters.

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Warm climates with high levels of humidity, or air moisture, are usually best for growing an angel wing begonia. This plant can often be grown in greenhouses as long as there is good air flow. It may even be grown outdoors in areas where winter temperatures do not normally dip below 40°F (4.5°C). When planted in a garden or flowerbed, it can sometimes attract butterflies and bees to the area.

This flower requires around eight to 10 hours of sunlight a day, but should be shaded during the afternoon to keep it from burning. Ideally, the soil it is planted in should remain consistently moist, but not wet. A grower might want to spray the leaves of an angel wing begonia with water, if they appear to be wilting or drooping.

Some gardeners may be able to keep this flower blooming for several decades before it dies. New plants can be produced from seeds but are often propagated from stem cuttings. This could make an angel wing begonia a nice heirloom plant to be passed down from a parent to a child.

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