Begonia proudly stands among the popular genera for domestic and ornamental plantation. A large number of these plants are popular for their appearance and easy nature. So, we are introducing another attractive and picturesque one, the Begonia corallina or Begonia corallina de Lucerna plant.
This bushy plant has bright green fleshy leaves with white dotted markings and reddish undersides. The shape of the leaves resembles the wings of a bat or an angel. This makes it commonly known as the Angelwing Begonia.
In open space, the bush can get as tall as 5 to 6 feet. However, you can cut and keep the indoor ones to as low as one foot. Want to know more? Keep reading to learn more about the Begonia Lucerna Plant.
Begonia Corallina Classification
There are many different opinions about the history and parentage of this plant. According to popular opinion, this plant is known to be hybridized in Switzerland back in the 18th century. Many experts believe that the scientific synonym of the plant is Begonia maculata with the common name of Begonia Tamaya.
Features of Begonia Corallina Plant
This bush can get about 4 to 6 feet tall in open spaces and outdoor plantations. However, many people like to keep them short by cutting them around 24 to 25 inches. This makes them look cute and adjusts them to small spaces easily.
The leaves sum up all the beauty of this plant. The olive-green leaves with silvery dots and reddish undersides get about 5 to 10 inches on maturity.
Begonia corallina produces beautiful flowers on warm days. These flowers are red to pink in shade and grow in bell-shaped clusters hanging downwards. The color of the flowers depends upon the availability of light. Brighter light will make the flowers get more towards the reddish side and vice-versa.
It is known that Begonia plants are generally safe for humans. However, it is always better to keep an eye on kids to avoid incidents like ingestion of plants. Moreover, the insoluble oxalate crystals present in the foliage are toxic for animals. So, make sure kids and pets stay from these plants.
Begonia Corallina Care
Begonias stand among the easy plants. You can enjoy these beauties without any extra effort or time. This makes them suitable enough for beginners and busy people.
Water: Moderate (Water after the upper 2 inches gets dry)
Sunlight: Bright indirect sun or dappled shade
Humidity: Prefers higher but tolerates lower levels
Fertilizer: Mild concentration in the growing season
Let us learn the details about “ How to take care of the Begonia corallina?”
The common Begonia watering rule of not letting the soil get dry suits perfectly for this plant also. Just soak the soil and wait for the upper three inches to get dry. If you are new to Begonia, you can simply insert the finger. If it comes out dry, you know it’s time to water again.
Another important part of Begonia watering is to avoid over-watering. Begonias are prone to root rot and fungal attacks. So, don’t water unless the upper layer of soil gets dry.
Secondly, make sure you water the soil and not the plant. This will prevent the plant from being soggy and rotten.
The watering schedule of the plant depends upon environmental factors like temperature and humidity. In spring and summer, twice to thrice a week is enough for spring and summer.
Now, coming towards the winter watering. Begonias get dormant in winter, minimizing their water requirements. So, once a month is enough to keep the sleeping plant alive.
Bright indirect sun or dappled shade is what the Begonias need. Outdoor plants must stay in bright sun, avoiding direct exposure, especially in peak hours. On the other hand, the indoor ones need to stay at someplace with bright indirect light.
These peeps have poor resistance to direct sun. It can scorch out and even kill the foliage. So, make sure you save the plant from the direct sun.
Artificial light is not much effective for Begonias. So, better avoid these plants if you can not provide a well-lit sunny spot.
Begonia Corallina Soil Requirements
Light and well-draining soil with a PH between 5 to 7 is what they need to grow. A common house plant growing mixture is good enough for indoor and patio plantations. Homemade mixtures like sphagnum moss and perlite in the ratio of 2:3 also work well.
Begonias generally like to stay moderately warm. The ideal temperature range for all the Begonias stands between 55 to 75 F(13 to 24 C).
These plants have poor tolerance for severe temperatures. So, make sure you bring the outdoor peeps to a warm indoor atmosphere. This is essential for people living in frosty regions.
Just like other genus members, your Begonia corallina de Lucerna plant likes good humidity. An estimated moisture level of 60 to 80% is ideal for the foliage.
On dry days, you may need to do a little effort to cope up with the lack of moisture. The popular methods to enhance the moisture level around the plant include using a pebble-water tray. You can also use a room humidifier to increase the total humidity of the room or the plant surroundings.
Use a good quality house plant fertilizer once a month on warm days. Spring and summer are the only time to fertilize and never otherwise.
Fertilizing the dormant plants in fall and winter can scorch and kill the plant. So, make sure you never fertilize the plant after the end of summer.
Frequent repotting is not required unless the roots become visible growing out from the base. According to an estimate, every two to three years is a suitable time to repot. If you decide to do so, spring and summer are the ideal time to repot.
Removing the dead or damaged leaves of the lucerna begonia plant is helpful to give a healthy and fresh appearance. However, regular pruning is not required unless you want to maintain a certain size of the plant.
Begonia Corallina Propagation
Begonias are known for their ease of propagation. Besides seed sowing, planting stem cuttings is the easiest and most popular way to enhance your collection.
Propagation by Stem-cuttings:
The pleasant days between the middle of the spring and summer are ideal for making some new Begonias.
- Take a sterilized knife and cut a few stem-cuttings. Each cutting can be about 7 to 8 inches long. Make sure you just cut below the leaf node, keeping at least two leaves at the upper side. Remove the leaves at the lower end as they are not needed here.
- Take a well-draining growing mixture and plant the cutting about 3 inches deep. Houseplant growing mixtures or sphagnum moss is good options for the substrate.
- Place these cuttings in indirect sun. Also, water the soil frequently after the upper layer gets dry.
- Wait for about three to four weeks and these cuttings will start root. You can now replant them at your desired place to see them grow.
Propagation in Water:
You can make some new Lucerna Begonia plants by water propagation as well. Just dip a few inches cutting in a jar of water after letting it stay for a night. This will evaporate the chlorine from the water.
Make sure you change the water twice every week. This will help to avoid fungus and rotting.
Begonia corallina is a beautiful hybrid plant. It has a bushy appearance and can grow around 5 feet. The leaves are dark green with silvery specks and reddish undersides. The plant bears beautiful pinkish flowers in bell shape facing downwards.
These are easy-to-propagate and easy-to-grow plants. Indirect sun, frequent watering, and good humidity are all you need to keep them healthy.