Houseplants are an excellent way to improve the space around you. Houseplants provide the benefits of better air quality, better focus, and an improved mood.
They take care of us, so we should do our best to care for them.
The Begonia Corallina, also known as the Angel Wing Begonia, is the best type of begonia to have as a houseplant. They have beautiful wing-shaped spotted leaves and gorgeous flower clusters. Having one in your home can easily brighten up any room it is in.
In this article, I will help you learn the best way to care for your Begonia Corallina. I will also advise you on the best ways to propagate and prune your Begonia Corallina to keep your Begonia army growing and keep them all thriving.
Caring for Your Begonia Corallina
The Begonia Corallina is the easiest begonia to grow indoors. Unlike other members of their species, they are not as fussy in their humidity requirements or other requirements to grow them. For this reason, they are an excellent choice for first-time plant owners.
Here are the guidelines for caring for your Begonia Corallina:
As an indoor plant, your Begonia Corallina will need a lot of light, but avoid having it in the direct sun. Too much sunlight can cause the plants’ leaves to fade and wilt. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause your begonias’ foliage to turn brown, making the plant look and feel sad.
Your begonia will need increased brightness through filtered light during the winter months. In the Spring and Summer months, your begonia will need bright filtered light with no direct sun. I will discuss their Fall care later in the article.
The Begonia Corallina also does well under artificial plant lights. They can be under one for 14 to 16 hours a day. So if you are not sure you have the right spot in your home for this gorgeous plant, consider getting a plant light until you can find a more permanent location.
If you are someone who cries every time you see a high humidity level, then you are in luck with this plant! This Angel Wing Begonia requires moderate humidity, meaning your average room humidity is just fine for them.
However, if the air in your home is feeling a bit dry, that needs to be fixed for your begonia. In cases of dry air, using a room humidifier or pebble tray can help give the air the boost it needs. Grouping your begonias together or with other tropical plants can also help increase moisture.
But beware of misting your begonia! Though misting plants is great for other plants, it is terrible news for your begonia. Misting a begonia can lead to fungal diseases and powdery mildew, harming your begonia and the other plants surrounding it. So keep that mister away from your begonia, and all will be well.
A refreshing drink of water can help perk anyone up, especially on a hot day. But too much water can be a bad thing.
Due to excess water in its pot, the Begonia Corallina is prone to fungal disease and root rot. So keeping your begonia on a regular watering schedule can help prevent these things from happening.
When the top 1 inch of the soil is dried out, this is an excellent time to give your Begonia Corallina some water. In Spring and Summer, water your Begonia Corallina every 4 to 10 days to avoid the development of root rot and fungal diseases. Avoid using a plate underneath the pot.
During the Fall and Winter, pull back on your watering schedule. Plants do not need as much water during these seasons, so be careful not to overwater your plants during this time.
If you live in a state with all four seasons, this section is a must-read for you. As the temperatures drop in the colder months, your Angel Wing Begonia could be in danger. Begonias cannot tolerate the cold, and they can become damaged by the cold.
The best temperature for your Begonia Corallina is between 65 to 75 degrees. 65 to 75 degrees is the average temperature of a room and is the one they thrive the best in. So from Spring to Summer, your begonia is in no danger of being cold.
However, during Fall and Winter, when the temperature starts to drop, this is when you need to be the most cautious. If the temperature drops below 55 degrees, your begonia is at risk for cold damage.
The winter would be an excellent time to have a plant light to ensure the health and safety of your Begonia Corallina. Or if you have that one room in your home that always stays warm even during the winter, moving your begonia there is an excellent idea.
Soil is a vital part of plant care. After all, the soil is where your plant spends its life cycle! So using the correct soil can help your plant live longer and grow to its full potential. The wrong soil can kill your plant quicker than you can blink.
For the Begonia Corallina, the soil has to be light, rich in organic matter, and easy drainage. Depending on who you ask, the recommendations for begonia-worthy potting soil varies.
So here are is a short list of the most popular recommendations for the best potting soil to use for your begonia:
If you are unsure which option you like best, we encourage you to give all three a try with three different begonias and see which one yields the results you desire the most!
Thinking about the offensive aroma of fertilizer stinking up your home might have you wrinkling your nose, which is entirely understandable. Fertilizer does not smell the greatest, but it is a fantastic way to keep your plants looking and feeling their best.
Feeding your Begonia Corallina every one to two weeks during the Spring and Summer will help keep your plant looking and feeling its best.
The recommended fertilizer for begonias is one that has a high-phosphorus number. A high-phosphorus fertilizer means the second number on the bag is higher than the higher two. 10-30-20 is an example of a high-phosphorus fertilizer.
The benefits of a high-phosphorus fertilizer are that it will promote flower production, and the flowers it produces will be brighter. To avoid fertilizer burn, dilute it to half strength and add it into the soil while it is already moist.
Pruning Your Begonia Corallina
Some begonia enthusiasts might say that you can skip the pruning step and remove the dry leaves from your plant. While that might be the easier route, it is not the route that will best benefit your plant.
If you notice your Angel Wing Begonia looking overgrown and compact, it is time to give it a pruning. Your best tools for pruning your begonia are sharp, clean shears and patience.
Using the sharp, clean shears mentioned above, carefully remove leggy and tall stems at a 45-degree angle. Cut back any crowded shoots to your desired length. Make sure the cut is just above a leaf node so your plant will regrow from that point.
Begonias can handle a lot of removal in one pruning session. You can remove up to ⅔ of the Angel Wing Begonias’ total size in one session. If you choose to remove less, that is up to your discretion.
Another thing you can do to aid in the health and growth of your begonia is to pinch your plant throughout the growing season, Spring through Summer. I know this sounds crazy and maybe a little mean, but pinching the plant has its benefits.
Pinching your begonia is another way of pruning your plant where you remove, or pinch, the growing tip to promote new stems and leaves to branch out from it. You can pinch your plant once a month to encourage maximum growth or pinch it as you see fit.
Propagating Your Begonia Corallina
There are two different ways you can propagate your Begonia Corallina. The first way involves their seeds and the second way involves their stem cuttings. Let us dive a little deeper into these two methods.
The Begonia Corallina sows its seeds in Spring. To propagate this way, be sure to have a pot filled with begonia-worthy soil on hand. You will want to add your seeds into the pot so they are spread out. Give the newly planted seeds some water. Then wait and see what blooms!
For propagating the stem cuttings you just pruned off your mother plant, you have two options for propagating them.
The first method involves propagating them in water. For this method, you remove the lower leaves from the stem cutting. You place the cuttings into the water to root, making sure there are no leaves in the water. Your cuttings will be ready to plant when the roots are a few inches long.
The second method means planting these cuttings directly into the pot. You will want to use three to four-inch non-flowering stem tip cuttings for this. Dip the cut end into rooting hormone powder before inserting the bottom one-third of the stem into the potting mix.
Cover the cutting with plastic and place it in indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist, and in four to six weeks, you will have a plant ready to be transferred to a regular pot.
Whichever method you choose, keep a watchful eye on your new plant baby and be patient with it. All good things take time to grow!
Begonia Corallina Vs Maculata
These two plants are very similar in appearance with a few noticeable differences. The Begonia Corallina has dark green leaves with silvery specks and a reddish underside. The plant sprouts pinkish-colored flowers in a bell shape that faces downwards.
The Begonia Maculata has distinct dotted leaves, giving it an exotic and unique look. The underside of their leaves is a dark purplish-red with bamboo-like stems holding them up. They sprout large white flowers that grow in clusters on a single stem.
As we have seen, the Begonia Corallina is an easy plant to care for. Even its pruning and propagating are relatively simple compared to other plants. But if we compare the Begonia Corallina to the Maculata Begonia, which is the easier option to care for?
The Begonia Maculata, also known as the Polka Dot Begonia, is another beautiful house plant easy to care for. It has many traits in common with the Begonia Corallina in terms of its care, but also some differences. So let us compare the similarities and differences between these two plants.
- Light- Both plants can withstand exposure to bright, indirect sunlight. However, the Begonia Maculata does well in lower light situations where the Begonia Corallina does not. Also, both plants will not do well in direct sunlight, so avoid exposing either plant to too much sunlight.
- Humidity- A native of Brazil, the Begonia Maculata prefers humid environments. Same as the Begonia Corallina, misting the plant is not recommended. A humidifier or grouping with other tropical plants will help keep this plant happy.
- Water- Like the Begonia Corallina, the Begonia Maculata prefers to be watered when the top 1 inch of the soil is dried out. Both plants need to be on a strict water scheduling to avoid overwatering and prevent the development of root rot.
- Temperature- Being a tropical plant, the Begonia Maculata prefers warmer temperatures between 65 to 85 degrees, so there is a slight temperature variation. Neither plant likes the cold, so make sure to keep them both happy and warm during the colder months.
- Soil- The soil options mentioned for the Begonia Corallina are also excellent options for the Begonia Maculata with one addition. Being a tropical plant, the Begonia Maculata also does well in a palm soil mix. A palm soil retains water well without compacting, meaning you will not have to worry about root rot or other water-related issues.
- Fertilizer- For the Polka Dot Begonia, the best fertilizer is water-soluble and well-balanced. Unlike the Angel Wing Begonia, you can wait a little longer to fertilize this one with a two to four week window for fertilization.
If you want to learn more about the Begonia Maculata, we have an article on How to Care for Begonia Maculata.
As you have learned from this article, begonias are an easy plant to care for, no matter the species. With the proper location, watering schedule, and care routine, your begonias will remain around for years to come, filling your home with beauty and improving your mood.