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How to Root an Angel Wing Begonia

bégonia image by Unclesam from

With its big,speckled angel-wing-shaped leaves atop juicy stems, the angel wing begonia (Begoniaceae) is a favorite indoor plant. If conditions are right, angel wing begonia will reward you with clusters of delicate, pink blooms that hang from the plant on slender stems. Angel wing begonia is a cinch to propagate, and once rooted, it grows into a large, splashy plant very quickly. If you live in a warm-winter climate, you can plant angel wing begonia outdoors; otherwise it's best to enjoy it indoors, where it can grow to heights of 6 feet.

Use a clean pair of household shears to cut a stem, along with at least two leaves, from a healthy angel wing begonia. The stem should be 2 to 3 inches long. Don't attempt to root a stem from an older or yellowing leaf.

Fill a clean cup nearly to the top with room-temperature water. A disposable cup will work fine. Cover the top of the cup with plastic wrap. Puncture a small hole in the center of the plastic cover.

Insert the angel wing begonia stem through the hole, so that the stem is in the water and the leaves are above the cover. Place the cup in a sunny window, but avoid windows that get direct, hot sunlight.

Check the water every other day. If the water appears cloudy, pour it out carefully and add fresh, room-temperature water. The angel wing begonia will root fairly quickly, usually in one to two weeks. Allow the angel wing begonia leaf to remain in the water until the roots are at least an inch long.

Transfer the rooted stem to a planting container filled with commercial potting mix. The container should be deep and at least 8 to 10 inches wide, otherwise you'll have to re-pot the angel wing begonia soon, as angel wing begonias grow quickly and have large root systems. Choose a container has a drainage hole in the bottom, as the fleshy stems and roots will rot in too much moisture.

Place the planting container in bright, indirect light. Water the soil lightly immediately after planting. Allow the top of the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

Feed the angel wing begonia every other week during spring and summer, using a liquid fertilizer for indoor plants. The fertilizer should be a weak solution, so dilute it to half of the strength recommended on the container. Decrease fertilizing to once every month when you notice growth slowing in autumn, and resume the normal schedule in early spring.

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