Durable Dragon Wing Begonia
It was a scorching summer in 2022, with 57 days of 100+ temperatures. My poor begonias on the covered porch stood no chance - except for the resilient Dragon Wing Begonias. These plants don't just survive the heat; they thrive in it. However, that doesn't mean they can handle full sun.
Dragon Wings prefer a gentle touch of sunlight, just enough to bask in the morning rays for 2 or 3 hours. Be cautious, though - even the winter sun can be too harsh. When temperatures consistently dip below 55F, it's time to bring them indoors. They'll flourish and bloom happily in a window, especially if you rotate the plants. As for watering, once a week or less should suffice, depending on your humidity.
Propagating these little dragons is a breeze. Simply take cuttings from a leggy main plant, leaving a few leaves and perhaps a bright red flower at the end. Dip the cutting in hormone-rooting powder and provide a little water, but skip the plastic cover - they prefer things on the dry side. A heating mat under lights will help them root quickly. Planting three or even five in a pot makes for a lush hanging basket. Keep the stems pinched once they reach 6" or more, and they'll branch out at the base. Or, wait until you want more babies to take cuttings.
Considering that Dragon Wing Begonias can cost $25.00 or more for small cuttings at some outlets, learning to propagate your own is a wise investment. With proper care, you'll never lose your prized Dragon Wings.