Growing Dragon Wing Begonia
Growing a dragon wing begonia can be a very rewarding experience, especially when you get to experience the pride of seeing the first blooms spring up on your plant! This begonia variety is pretty easy to grow but it doesn’t hurt to have a bit of extra knowledge about the plant, especially if you have limited experience in the garden. Keep reading to learn more about the dragon wing begonia and how to successfully grow this beautiful, cheerful plant.
The dragon wing begonia is a plant that is extremely versatile, largely because it makes a good “filler” in virtually any garden. This means that it grows quickly and produces a lush spread that can be very handy for parts of your garden that are otherwise bare and need to be filled with an attractive plant. This type of begonia is a decent size for a residential garden with an average height around one and a half to two feet and a similar spread measurement. This tidy but slightly exotic-looking plant has large, green wing-shaped leaves with a glossy texture and shine. They serve as the perfect means to draw the eye to the fragile-looking flowers that can be found dangling from the tips of the plant’s forked stalks, somewhat similar in fashion to the bleeding heart plant. The flowers are generally red but some varieties actually sport pink colored flowers. You can’t go wrong with either color, as they are both highly attractive with a slightly romantic appearance.
This is a great plant to have if you want to attract butterflies, bees, and even some birds to your garden, as they all have a fondness for the dragon wing begonia. This plant does not reproduce via releasing seeds, as many other plants do; instead this plant can be propagated by taking a stem cutting from an existing plant.
The Ideal Climate
Although this species of begonia is considered to be a fairly easy plant to grow, it isn’t very tolerant of colder temperatures. In fact, according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s zoning map, the dragon wing begonia is best suited for USDA zones 10a through 11b. This is because the begonia is a lover of warmth and can’t handle temperatures lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The dragon wing plant can handle drought-like conditions for a while, but it will definitely perform at its best if it is watered regularly.
Growing in a Pot or Basket
The dragon wing begonia is known for being so versatile, and this reputation has been spawned, in part, by the fact that it tolerant of all growing styles: pot, basket, and ground. If you don’t live in an area that experiences mild to warm temperatures all year round, then you can always just keep the plant in a pot or basket and “over-winter” it indoors during the cooler seasons. If you choose to keep your begonia in a pot, then keep your eyes open for a pot that has drainage holes in the bottom to allow excess water to pour out onto a plate or plastic pan. Some pots even have the drainage plate built in to the actual pot’s structure. The drainage holes will prevent water buildup inside the pot which will drastically reduce the chances of root rot or fungal growth. If you choose to grow the begonia in a hanging basket then just be sure to choose one that has enough space to accommodate the plant’s mature size (about a foot and a half).
When you’re ready to plant the begonia, be sure to have neutral or mildly acidic soil and a watering can on hand. Place the roots inside the pot or basket and fill the container up with soil. If the plant was purchased from a nursery then there should be a soil mark on the main stem to show how deep the roots should be submerged. Water the soil deeply and place the container in a spot that receives full/partial sunlight or partial shade.
Growing in the Ground
If you are lucky enough to live in a climate that it suitable to grow the dragon wing begonia in the ground, then the transplanting task is actually going to be a little easier for you. There’s no need to search for a pot or basket—all you need to do is mix some good quality neural soil with the existing soil in your yard. Make sure that you dig a hole that’s about twice the size of the plant’s root ball and, once the begonia’s roots are in the ground, fill in the remaining space with the soil mixture. Water the ground well and pack some wood chips around the plant.
Maintaining the Begonia
The begonia will require very little in the way of maintenance—not even pruning, unless the plant thrives too well and intrudes upon nearby plants. As long as the weather in your area is fairly mild with decent rainfall, there will probably be little need for manual watering. However, if you find yourself experiencing drought conditions then you may want to make sure that your plant gets watered every few days.