How to Grow Canary Wing Begonia at Home

The Canary Wing Begonia is cane-like begonia. It is a member of the Begoniaceae family. Its scientific name is Begonia x hybrida.

This is a hybrid that is known for its beautiful combination of foliage and flowers. You have the light green leaves providing the base bed for the plant.

These are complemented by the smaller, bright red colored flowers. Together, they are a stunning pair.

The plant has a mounding to trailing growth habit that is a seasonal bloomer.

Outdoors, it is grown as a colorful annual.

The Canary Wing Begonia is native to Brazil.

How do you care for the Canary Wing Begonia? Keep it under bright, indirect light indoors and partial shade outdoors. It enjoys plenty of light but cannot tolerate excess direct sunlight.

It needs well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Water the plant to keep soil moist. But don’t overwater it as this can lead to root rot.

Canary Wing Begonia Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Canary Wing Begonia thrives in bright indirect light. Outdoors keep it under partial shade.

In general, the plant develops its best colors with at least 2-3 hours of bright morning sun. But keep it away from direct afternoon sunlight.

Outdoors, place it under shelter or shade from afternoon sun.

Although you can use artificial lighting to supplement the plant’s light requirements indoors, it grows best under natural light.

It also likes neutral day lengths with equal days and nights.

As such, they do best in early spring. But they will finish as well during the warmer climates of summer.

It is worth noting that the Canary Wing Begonia can tolerate low light as well. But one thing I’ve noticed is that in this environment, its flowers will have a more pink or salmon color instead of bright red.

So, if you like this shade, you can experiment a bit.

However, try to avoid very low light as its growth will slow down and it can turn leggy. It will less likely flower as well.

Interestingly though, I’ve noticed that the Canary Wing Begonia will bloom faster during shorter days and longer nights. This can happen 2 weeks sooner.

On the other hand, be careful with strong light as well.

While the Begonia Canary Wing likes plenty of light, avoid strong, intense light.

Direct sunlight during the middle of the day will scorch its leaves. They will curl and redden as well. However, the plant can be acclimated to higher sun exposure. But you have to do it gradually.

 

Temperature

The Canary Wing Begonia enjoys 65 to 75 degree temperatures the most. This is where it feels most comfortable.

However, it can tolerate the heat of summer as well.

But make sure to keep it well hydrated if you want to leave t in a warmer spot.

Its temperature preference makes it perfect for indoor growing. That’s because most homes have similar moderate to slightly warm conditions.

Outdoors, it likes USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11 because it can live in the garden or in a container outside all year round.

These locations experience sunny, moderate to warm weather throughout the year. As such, the Canary Wing Begonia will be happy to grow indoors and outdoors.

It can likewise grow as a perennial out there.

On the other hand, it dislikes the cold.

Although this hybrid has a bit better tolerance to the cold compared to other begonia varieties, it is still not frost hardy.

Therefore, it cannot be left outdoors during the winters.

In areas that are colder with snow or freezing temperatures at the end of the year, the plant is an annual if left outdoors.

As such, it is better off as a houseplants with some vacation time outdoors during spring and summer.

Its temperature tolerance is 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Humidity

The Canary Wing Begonia prefers high humidity ranging from 60% to 80%. But it has no problems with humidity of 50%.

I’ve noticed that it can tolerate lower as well.

But you do want to be careful if your home has humidity in the 30s and 20s. The air will likely be too dry for this cane-like begonia.

That said, you can experiment to see how low a humidity it can tolerate.

The sign you’ll be looking for are crispy leaf edges that turn brown. These will become dry and brittle. As such, they will become obvious after a while.

Note that the longer the plant stays in this kind of environment, the more browning it will experience.

Therefore, if you notice this happening your Begonia Canary Wing’s leaves, it means you need to give it higher humidity.

One solution is to move it to the bathroom or kitchen. Both rooms have much higher humidity than the rest of the house.

That’s because we tend to use more water there.

You can get a humidifier as well. But I prefer to use a pebble tray or humidity which you can make yourself with different items you already have at home.

Misting likewise works.

But I don’t like this method because it opens you to risk. On days that you happen to mist a bit too much and leave the plant’s leaves wet, it may lead to fungal disease.

 

Related

 

How Often to Water Canary Wing Begonia

The Canary Wing Begonia needs moderate watering. It enjoys moist soil but does not like wet or soggy soil. Nor does it like going completely dry.

If you live somewhere with relatively consistent weather all year round, then you can use a somewhat fixed watering schedule.

However, if you have four seasons, make sure to adjust your watering routine especially during summer and winter when the weather changes significantly.

During the warmer months, the plant will need more water.

Additionally, this is also the time when its is actively growing. This means that it will need more moisture to sustain its growth and development.

On the other hand, make sure to cut down on watering during winters.

Not only does the cold weather and lack of sunshine mean soil dried much slower, the Canary Wing Begonia’s growth also significantly slows during this time.

As such, it does not need much moisture.

If you keep soil wet, especially in colder temperature, it significantly increases the risk of root and stem rot.

This environment also increases the potential for disease like Botrytis.

Since the overall risks of overwatering is more dangerous than underwatering, it is best to stay on the dried side of thing when watering the plant.

Wait until the top 1-2 inches of soil has dried before adding more water.

Never do so before that.

On the other hand, you also don’t want to underwater the Canary Wing Begonia. This will cause wilting and brown leaves.

When the plant does not get enough water, its flowering ability diminishes. At the very least, flowering will be delayed.

It also won’t branch as well, and leaf development will slow.

In stronger sun, it makes foliage more susceptible to scorching as well.

 

Canary Wing Begonia Potting Soil

The Canary Wing Begonia needs well-draining, well-aerated soil that is rich in organic matter. It also thrives when soil pH is between 5.5 and 6.5.

Well-draining soil is ideal for this plant because of its preference for moist soil and susceptibility to overwatering.

This kind of soil is able to hold some moisture but not too much like other water-retentive soils. So, it will keep the roots hydrated and the soil moist.

Additionally, it quickly drains any excess water so the soil does not stay wet.

In doing so, it spares the roots from having to swim or drown in lot of water.

This eliminates the risk of them suffocating because they are not able to breathe due to all the surrounding moisture.

An easy way to create the perfect soil for the Canary Wing Begonia is to mix:

  • Potting soil
  • Perlite
  • Vermiculite

This will give the soil what the plant wants. The ability to keep some moisture while quickly getting rid of excess water to avoid overwatering or waterlogging.

On the other hand, you can likewise go with equal parts of:

  • Potting soil
  • Peat moss
  • Perlite

In case you like getting soil right out of the bag instead of having to buy each of the ingredients then mix them yourself at home, African Violet mix is a good commercial option.

 

Fertilizer

The Begonia Canary Wing needs fertilizer if you want it to grow and produce beautiful blossoms.

You can use an all-purpose fertilizer once a month or move that up to once every 2 weeks depending on how well the plant is responding.

Dilute the fertilizer by 50% each time you use it.

Also, don’t feed the plant if the soil is dry. Soil needs to be moist to avoid overfeeding due to excess dose concentration.

Apply during spring and summer. Reduce feeding by fall and don’t fertilize the plant in winter.

The Canary Wing Begonia tends to bloom during spring to summer.

This runs from around June to October. So, you want to focus your feeding efforts during this time. Also, don’t forget to make sure the plant is getting enough bright, indirect sunlight and water during this time.

 

Pruning

The Canary Wing Begonia is not a huge plant growing to about 1.5 feet high and 1.5 feet width. Although, what it lacks it size, it easily makes up for in looks and it fullness.

In the garden, people will usually plant a few Begonia Canary Wings side by side or as a group to make them more attractive.

Not much pruning is needed as the plant as a mounding growth habit.

Although, you can make it trail as well.

That said, once it gets quite bushy, you may want to trim every so often to shape the plant to how you want it to look.

 

How to Propagate Canary Wing Begonia

The Canary Wing Begonia is commonly propagated via stem cuttings or division.

Both are very effective methods of propagation.

Although, they work very differently.

The best time to propagate is during spring.

Here’s how to propagate Canary Wing Begonia from stem cuttings.

The most important part of this process is to get the cuttings right. Make sure that each stem cutting has at least 1-2 nodes and 2 or more leaves.

You want to propagate a healthy plant. And choose healthy stem for the cuttings.

Once you’ve selected the stems you want to use for propagation:

  • Sterilize a pair or scissors or pruning shears. Then cut the stem just below the node. Leave about a half inch to one inch under the node.
  • Place the stem cuttings aside for a moment and find a small pot. Then fill the pot with well-draining soil.
  • Plant the stem cuttings into the soil with the nodes buried. Remove any lower leaves that end up in the soil.
  • Water the soil until moist. Don’t get it wet or soggy.
  • Place the pot in bright indirect sunlight.

It takes around a month for new roots to develop.

Of course, you can propagate in water as well.

To do so, place the cuttings in a jar filled with water. Ensure that the nodes are submerged. And remove any leaves that get wet in the liquid.

Leave the jar in bright, indirect sunlight.

It takes around 3-4 weeks for new roots to develop. And then they reach 1-2 inches or longer, you can move the rooted stem cuttings from water into a pot with well-draining soil mix.

On the other hand, you can likewise divide the plant to propagate it.

Division involves separating the mother plant into 2 or more smaller new plants. In doing so, you reduce the overall size of the parent plant.

At the same time, you get new smaller plants which means you don’t have to wait for them to root since they already have roots.

Better yet, the divided plants also have leaves and flowers.

So, they can just keep growing from there.

Here’s how to propagate Canary Wing Begonia by division.

  • Carefully take the Canary Wing Begonia out it its pot. Then brush off excess soil so you can see the root ball and roots clearly.
  • Select the divisions you want to separate. Make sure each division has enough roots and leaves. But the roots need to be able to support the new plant above it.
  • To separate the root ball, you can use your hands. Do this gently and slowly. Or you can use a sterilized knife to cut the root ball.
  • Plant each of the new divisions into their own individual pots with fresh well-draining potting mix.
  • Water each pot until moist. Then place the pots in bright, indirect light.

In a little while, the new plants will start growing again producing new shoots and leaves.

 

Related: Dragon Wing Begonia Care & Propagation

 

How to Repot or Transplant Canary Wing Begonia

Begonia Canary Wings like being slightly root bound. Therefore, you don’t need to repot them regularly.

Nor is it a good idea to do so.

Only repot the plant when needed.

In most cases, this is when the plant has outgrown its current container.

You’ll know when you see roots coming out from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Similarly, the plant will be overcrowded in the container.

Another thing you’ll notice is that the soil will dry unusually faster after watering compared to before.

When any of these symptoms occur, it means it is time to repot the plant to larger container.

The best time to do this is during spring to early summer.

Make sure to replace the spent soil as well to replenish its nutrients.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

The Canary Wing Begonia is toxic to both people and pets. It become toxic when chewed, swallowed or ingested.

As such, it poses no danger when it is completely intact.

Nevertheless, it is a good idea to keep the kids, dogs and cats away from the plant.

 

Canary Wing Begonia Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Canary Wing Begonia is not overly prone to pests.

Still, it is subject to pest problem. The most common of which are mealybugs, mites, thrips and whitefly.

When there is extra moisture, fungus gnats will join in as well.

Interesting the gnats seem to come around when the plant is in propagation.

This means it is important to keep the plant as healthy as possible. Also, regular checkups for any bugs is good practice.

This way you can spot them early which is when they are much easier to eradicate. They turn into a headache and longer term issue if you have an infestation.

 

Diseases

The Begonia Canary Wing is susceptible to fungal infections as well as rotting. Both are problems.

The most common fungal diseases it experiences are botrytis and powdery mildew.

Both are caused by excess wetness of the leaves. And foliage not drying soon enough after getting wet. This means that giving it enough light and ventilation will help.

Of course, the best way to is limit wetting the leaves when you water the soil.

On the other hand, stem and root rot are potentially bigger problems if not spotted early.

They can kill your plant.

Overwatering and high humidity are often the culprits here.

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