Botanical Name: Begonia x hybrida
Dragon wing begonia house plants are beautiful and easy-to-grow year-round. You can expect sprays of white, pink or red flowers in late spring and summer. Even when not in bloom, the big, glossy wing-shaped begonia leaves are delightful.
Dragon wing begonias are vigorous growers, reaching up to 2 ft (60 cm) tall -- and will spread about as wide.
They make dependable patio container plants. Just be sure to bring your plant indoors when the temperature drops in autumn. This tropical beauty likes warm temperatures just like we do.
This is one of the best begonias to grow indoors. Much less fussy about humidity than rex begonias, this member of the family is downright easy to grow.
Repot in spring. Move your plant up to a pot only 1 size larger. Dragon wing begonias have fibrous roots and grow best when slightly pot-bound. Tamp down the soil gently with your fingers so that it doesn't pack too tightly -- begonias like a little air around their roots.
Let the sun shine in. Put your plant in a sunroom or by a sunny window. Moving your dragon wing plant outdoors for the summer will give it more blooming power. A semi-sunny spot outdoors is ideal. Just be sure to bring it back inside before the temperature drops to 55°F/13°C at night.
Don't overwater. This is one of the few problems with growing begonias. Using a pot with drainage holes will help to prevent overwatering. The beautiful dragon-winged leaves will let you know when the soil is too soggy by turning yellow and dropping off.
Watch out for powdery mildew on leaves and stems. Poor air circulation and high humidity are favorable conditions for this dusty, white fungus. Cut off affected leaves and be sure your plant has air circulation around it. However, keep it away from heat/AC vents, which can be drying. Treat foliage with a fungicide when needed.
Origin: South America
Height: Up to 2 ft (60 cm); It spreads out a bit too, so give it plenty of room to spread its wings.
Light: Give dragon wings a sunny spot year-round. You'll get more flowers this way. If you move your plant outdoors for the summer, keep it shaded from hot, direct midday sun.
Water: Keep soil evenly moist, but not soggy.
Humidity: Moderate (50-60% relative humidity). Use a room humidifier or place pot on a tray of wet pebbles to increase humidity. Keep plant away from drafts.
Temperature: Average room temperatures (65-75°F/18-24°C). If you move your plant outdoors, don't worry -- it can take the heat, tolerating temperatures as high as 100°F. However, when temps soar that high, it's a good idea to keep it partially shaded from midday sun.
Soil: African violet potting mix.
Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks in spring and summer with balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. In fall and winter, feed monthly. Take care to fertilize when the soil is already moist to avoid fertilizer burn.
Propagation: Stem cuttings root easily. Take 3-4 in (8-10 cm) non-flowering stem tip cuttings in spring or early summer and root them in moist, sterile potting mix. Sow seeds indoors in mid-to-late winter for summer flowers. Use a heat mat and raise the humidity for best results.
This dragon begonia is tolerant of average room humidity.
However, if the air in your home gets dry in the winter, use a pebble tray or room humidifier. Grouping tropical plants such as begonias, ferns and orchids also helps to increase the moisture in the air around them.
Misting begonias is not a good idea because it can promote powdery mildew and fungal diseases.
The begonia family owes its name to Frenchman Michel Begon. It includes more than 1,000 species and thousands more hybrids and cultivars.