The Begonia Benigo is also called Begonia Benigo Pink. Some refer to it as the Angel Wing Begonia due to the shape of its leaves which resemble the wings of angels.
This is a beautiful plant that has a clumping, upright growing habit. It has burgundy-green leaves with silver spots. The undersides are red.
The plant also produces small, pink flowers that grow in clusters.
But its blooms are not as attractive as its leaves.
How do you care for the Begonia Benigo? Don’t overwater the plant and keep it in well-draining soil. it enjoys moderate to warm temperature but can tolerate some cool climate.
However, avoid the cold including winters. It cannot tolerate that environment. Instead, keep it indoors in high humidity. Bright, indirect light is ideal as well.
Begonia Benigo Plant Care
The Begonia Benigo enjoys plenty of light. But it needs indirect, filtered or dappled light. So, for optimal growth place it somewhere with medium to bright indirect or filtered lighting.
Doing so will allow its leaves to maintain vibrant colors.
However, be careful with excess light.
This comes in the form of direct sunlight especially during the middle of the day when its rays are the harshest.
High intensity for long periods of time will eventually scorch the plant’s leaves. Even if they don’t get burned, they will turn brown and curl up.
Therefore, be wary of a south facing window since this is the direct where the sun comes from during 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 pm.
If you want to keep the plant in that side, try to position it at least 3 feet from the window so it stays away from the sun’s rays.
Alternatively, you can also filter the light using sheer blinds, curtains or use a shade cloth.
The reason for this is that in its natural habitat, the plant lives under the larger trees in the forest. Therefore, it is used to getting partial shade or dappled light.
The Begonia Benigo has a wide temperature tolerance from 50 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it fairly easy to grow indoors and outdoors.
The plant is used to moderate weather with the ability to tolerate more heat than cold.
As such, it likes being grown as a houseplant since most homes have temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
On the other hand, outdoors, it thrives in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11 since these areas have warm weather all throughout the year.
The reason for this is that the Begonia Benigo cannot tolerate temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
As such, it is not well-suited for winter weather or anywhere with snow or freezing conditions.
If you live in these locales, make sure to bring the plant indoors once the temperature drops towards the end of the year. Also, keep it warm indoors with good lighting if possible.
The Begonia Benigo thrives in high humidity, ideally 60% to 70%. This will allow it to maintain its most vibrant colors.
Although, it can tolerate humidity between 40% and 50% as well.
I’ve spoken to some gardeners who say their plants do well even as low as 30% humidity. I haven’t tried this so I cannot vouch for it.
Nor am I willing to take the risk.
If you do, make sure to closely monitor its leaves and look for any changes that happen. If you find its foliage, drying up or getting brown on the edges and tips, it means it cannot withstand the low humidity.
In this case, keep it somewhere with better air moisture.
If you happen to live somewhere with dry air, you can use a humidifier.
Misting the plant regularly will work as well. But be careful not to over mist the leaves as this puts them at risk of fungal disease.
For me, I like to use a humidity dry or pebble tray.
Both are easy to make and you can use things you already have at home.
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How Often to Water Begonia Benigo
The Begonia Benigo needs moderate watering. But how often you’ll need to water is varies depending on the time of year.
During the hotter months, you’ll need to water more regularly as the soil dries faster. In the cold months, scale back on watering.
The most important thing to remember is to avoid both extremes.
Overwatering increases the risk of bacterial and fungal disease. It can also cause root rot, which can kill the plant.
That’s because excess moisture will prevent the roots from getting oxygen as they drown in water.
And because root rot occurs under the soil, you don’t see it until there’s some damage and the symptoms have reached the leaves the stems.
If all or most of the roots are rotten, there’s no saving the plant.
It can only be saved if only a few roots have rotten.
Therefore, be very careful with watering too frequently.
On the other hand, underwatering causes the plant to wilt and its leaves to curl. It also prevents the roots from absorbing nutrients from the soil even if you fertilize the plant.
As such, the best way to know when to water the Begonia Benigo is to stick your finger down into the soil until your second knuckle.
The soil at that level needs to be dry before you add water.
Don’t add if the soil feels moist.
Begonia Benigo Potting Soil
The Begonia Benigo needs well-draining soil, ideally rich in organic matter.
Well-draining soil is essential because the plant likes moist soil. And it is susceptible to overwatering.
As such, this helps you avoid both.
Well-draining soil quickly drains excess moisture so you don’t end up overwatering the plant. In addition to this, make sure you use a pot with drainage holes at the bottom to allow any excess liquid that drains to drip out.
On the other hand, this kind of soil also prevents underwatering.
That’s because it holds some moisture, but not a lot. This is enough to keep the soil moist and the plant’s roots well-hydrated.
As such, avoid heavy soils or those that are dense.
These tend to retain water which will give the Begonia Benigo problems.
Similarly, avoid very sandy soils since these will drain too much water too fast. As a result, it will leave the roots underwatered unless you keep adding water.
One way to create the ideal potting soil for Begonia Benigo is to combine:
- 1 part peat moss
- 1 part perlite
- 1 part vermiculite
Some people like to use sand as the drainage component. But I try to avoid using this ingredient in my soil mixes.
The reason is that it tends to get compacted after a while.
So, unless you change the soil every year, it don’t recommend it.
The Begonia Benigo grows better with fertilizer. This allows it to sustain and develop lush foliage.
You can use a houseplant fertilizer at half strength. Always dilute the application when applying as the plant cannot take full dose strength.
Similarly, don’t feed the plant when the soil is completely dry. Make sure the soil is moist.
Overconcentration will increase the risk of fertilizer burn.
Apply once a month during the spring and summer. It doesn’t need fertilizer in the fall or winter. Although, I know some growers who feed it then once every 8 weeks.
While fertilizer is an important part of keeping the Begonia Benigo healthy and growing well, always keep in mind that excess fertilizer is much worse than not feeding the plant at all.
So, don’t overfeed the plant, use a higher dose or apply more often than needed.
The Begonia Benigo grows to between 1 to 2 feet high. But its leaves can spread out to the sides if you don’t prune them.
This beautiful plant will produce many leaves. And it can get bushy with them growing outwards to the sides.
In most cases, growers will prune the leaves to keep the plant looking neat and trim.
Some also prefer a taller, narrows look.
That said, how often you prune and how much you prune all depends on you.
I’ve seen a Begonia Benigo that was very full and dense and it looked amazing. The leaves were stacked up against one another make it form a shrub-like shape.
How to Propagate Begonia Benigo
The Begonia Benigo is commonly propagated using stem cuttings. You can propagate it in water or in soil depending on which method you prefer.
The most important thing about stem propagation is taking the cuttings.
This can make or break the entire process.
Here, choose healthy stem cuttings ideally at least 3-4 inches long. You can take one or several cuttings depending on how many new plants you want to grow.
Make sure that each cutting has at least one node. You also want the cuttings to have at least 2 leaves each.
To cut, snip off the stem just below a node. This ensures that the node is included with the cutting.
Make sure you sanitize the cutting tool using rubbing alcohol before cutting any stem. This will ensure there are no pathogens that can be passed onto the plant.
Propagating the Begonia Benigo in Water
Once you have the cuttings ready, prepare a jar and fill it with water. Avoid using hard water or tap water that is highly mineralized.
- Place the cuttings into the water making sure that the nodes are submerged.
- Place the jar in bright, indirect light like somewhere near an east facing window.
- You’ll also need to change the water every couple of weeks to prevent it from getting murky.
- Soon, you’ll see roots begin to develop from the cuttings. It will take a several weeks for them to grow out.
- Once the roots are 2-3 inches or longer, you can transfer the cuttings from the liquid to a pot with fresh, well-draining soil mix.
Propagating the Begonia Benigo in Soil
If you want to propagate the stem cuttings in soil, leave it to callous. While waiting, prepare a pot and fill it will well-draining potting mix.
- Plant the stem cuttings into the soil with the nodes buried under the mix.
- Water the soil until moist. Don’t get the soil wet or soggy.
- Then place the pot near an east facing window so it gets lots of bright, indirect light.
It will take about a month for new roots to develop and start getting hold of the soil.
Since the stem cuttings are already in soil mix, there’s no need to move them until it is time to repot.
How to Repot or Transplant Begonia Benigo
The Begonia Benigo does not like to be repotted frequently. In fact, it likes being slightly root bound.
However, there comes a point where the roots will get overcrowded.
When this happens, you’ll see them come out from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot or on the surface of the soil.
This tells you that it is time to repot.
But avoid doing so before then.
Additionally, when repotting choose a container that is just one size larger than the current only. Don’t jump pot sizes since the Begonia Benigo likes its roots in a compact space.
Additionally, overpotting increases the risk of overwatering.
That’s because there’s a lot of excess soil. And when you water this much soil volume, the roots will be overwhelmed with the amount of liquid.
Plus, it takes much longer to dry as well.
Don’t forget to refresh the soil when repotting as well.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
Sadly, yes. The Begonia Benigo is toxic to people and animals. It contains calcium oxalate crystals which become poisonous once ingested.
This can cause vomiting, difficulty breathing, inflammation and swelling.
Begonia Benigo Problems & Troubleshooting
While pests are not a common problem for the Begonia Benigo, they can occur.
If they do, the ones you’ll probably see are thrips, spider mites and mealybugs.
Make sure to take care of these bugs as soon as you spot even just one of them. That’s because they lay many eggs and have short lifespans.
Therefore, many new pests can develop fairly quickly.
This allows them to grow into an infestation.
Use neem oil or insecticidal soap to get rid of these pests.
Diseases are not a common problem for the Begonia Benigo unless they are man-made.
The reason is that most of these issues stem from overwatering.
Root rot, bacterial and fungal infections are most often caused by excess moisture.
Therefore, you want to be careful how you water as well as when you water the plant.
Avoid watering unless the top layer of soil has dried. Similarly, use well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes.
Also, don’t wet the leaves when you water.