Begonia Coccinea Species Profile & Care Guide

The Begonia Coccinea, is a popular houseplant known for its beautiful foliage and showy flowers. This exotic plant species hails from the tropical regions of Brazil and provides a lush aesthetic appeal to any indoor or outdoor garden setup.

Next, let’s delve into a detailed profile overview of this visually appealing plant.

Begonia Coccinea

Profile Overview

  • Common Name: Angel Wing Begonia
  • Scientific Name: Begonia Coccinea
  • Family: Begoniaceae
  • Origin/Native Region: Brazil, South America
  • Growth Habit: Herbaceous perennial with an upright growing habit

Angel Wing Begonia, scientifically known as Begonia Coccinea belongs to the Begoniaceae family. It hails from Brazil in South America, where the climate significantly influences its growth habits and care needs.

Being a perennial, the plant displays a lively growth habit throughout the year. It is popular for its upright stance, intense leaf color, and the beautiful flowers it bears.

Learning about its native region is crucial for understanding the conditions in which it thrives, hence leading to effective care strategies.


The Begonia Coccinea boasts a strikingly distinctive appearance that lends it its popular charm. Its foliage features large, asymmetrical leaves with serrated edges, which add to its dramatic visual appeal.

The plant blooms ornate clusters of hanging red-colored flowers, transparent under sunlight, earning it the common name ‘Angel Wing Begonia’.

Each leaf showcases vivid shades of dark green on the top, while the undersides present a deep reddish hue, enhancing the overall dramatic contrast.

The beautiful interplay of colors effortlessly catches the eye, enforcing its status as a favored ornamental houseplant.

Leaf Size

The Begonia Coccinea sports rather impressive leaves for a plant its size. Typically, the foliage can reach lengths of about 3 to 5 inches and widths of 2 to 4 inches.

These leaves are large and broad, particularly compared to other species in the Begonia genus. Their size contributes significantly to the plant’s overall display, providing a lush and vibrant canvas for the vibrant red flowers to stand out against.

Proper care and nourishment will enable the plant to maintain this optimal leaf size, enhancing aesthetic appeal and overall plant health.

Leaf Shape

The Begonia Coccinea boasts of leaves that are quite exceptional. The leaf shape is obliquely ovate-lanceolate which means the leaves are egg-shaped but with a more elongate and pointed tip.

The thrilling part is the asymmetry of these leaves, they have a longer lobe on one side, and it’s this unique shape that contributes to its lush, ornamental appeal.

The edges of the leaves are slightly wavy, adding an extra texture to the overall appearance of the plant. The leaf shape, along with its vibrant colors, make the Begonia Coccinea a standout species in the large Begonia family.

Leaf Color

The leaf color of the Begonia Coccinea is truly a sight to behold and it’s a standout characteristic of this particular species. These plants are renowned for their stunning foliage that features a variation of vibrant greens.

The top side of the leaves exhibits a robust, glossy green color. On the other hand, the underside of the leaves reveal a striking contrast with deep red hues.

This dazzling color combination is part of the overall appeal of the plant, making it a favored choice for many plant enthusiasts.

You’re likely to appreciate this unique feature as it brings color and charm into your indoor or outdoor gardening space.

Stem Characteristics

The Begonia coccinea presents stems with distinct qualities. They are succulent, meaning they have thick, fleshy parts adapted to store water.

Their color varies from green to a reddish hue, depending on the variety and light exposure. This plant particularly flaunts an upright, bushy growth habit, with arching stems that add an aesthetic appeal to your indoor or outdoor garden.

However, these stems can be quite brittle, so handling your Begonia coccinea requires care to avoid unnecessary breakage and damage. The unique stem characteristics contribute to the overall visual charm of this species.

Mature Size

The Begonia coccinea, also known as the angel wing begonia, achieves impressive sizes under optimal growing conditions.

Fully mature plants commonly reach heights of up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) and widths of approximately 2 feet (0.6 meters). However, indoor-grown specimens typically stay smaller, often reaching about 2 to 3 feet (.6 to .9 meters) in height and width.

This mature size, along with its striking leaf appearance, makes it a significant and attractive addition to your indoor plant collection.

Understanding its growth habit and mature size is essential in giving it the appropriate space it needs to flourish.

Care Requirements

The Begonia Coccinea is an exotic plant that demands specific care to thrive. It is essential for growers to meet these requirements to maintain its lush appearance:

Light Needs

When it comes to the Begonia Coccinea, light plays a major part in its health and well-being. This plant species thrives best in bright, though indirect light.

Direct sunlight can, at times, be too harsh and possibly scorch the delicate leaves of the plant, causing them to bleach or burn.

Yet, a lack of light can stunt its growth or cause its vibrant color to fade. As such, aim to place your Begonia Coccinea near a well-lit window with filtered light.

Also, rotating the plant once in a while helps ensure even growth considering its light-directed growth habit.

Watering Frequency

When it comes to watering the Begonia Coccinea, maintaining balance is key. These plants prefer consistent, even moisture, but excessive water can lead to root rot and other health issues.

Typically, you’ll need to water your Begonia Coccinea once a week during the growing season, reducing watering frequency in the winter months.

The soil should be allowed to dry slightly between watering sessions. However, never let it dry out completely. As a rule of thumb, water your plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

Lastly, always ensure the water drains freely to avoid waterlogging.

Humidity Preferences

Begonia Coccinea enjoys moderate to high humidity. This tropical native thrives in an environment with 50% to 60% humidity levels.

Good news is, if your home environment doesn’t naturally meet these conditions, you can increase the humidity for your Begonia by placing the pot on a tray of pebbles and water, using a humidifier, or misting the plant regularly.

However, too much humidity can lead to problems like mildew and rot. So, ensure there’s good airflow around your plant and avoid misting leaves too heavily to prevent these issues.

Temperature Range

The Begonia Coccinea thrives in a temperature range that mimics their native tropical habitats. Typically, they can tolerate temperatures between 60°F (15°C) and 85°F (29°C).

During growth sessions, the temperature should ideally be on the higher end of the range. Meanwhile, during dormancy in winter, it should be no lower than 60°F.

Sudden temperature changes can cause stress to the plant, leading to leaf drop, so try to avoid exposure to drafts and cold windowsills.

Prevention is always easier than curing the damage. If you can maintain a stable temperature environment for your Begonia Coccinea, it will reward you with vibrant growth.

Soil Type & pH Preferences

The Begonia Coccinea prefers a well-draining soil mix, typically a blend of peat moss, perlite, and sand or a commercial African Violet soil mix. This mix encourages proper drainage and prevents root rot, a common issue in begonias.

As for pH, these plants prefer slightly acidic to neutral conditions, ideally with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. They can tolerate slightly alkaline conditions, but it’s best to stick to their ideal range for optimal health.

Regular testing and amendments may be necessary to maintain the preferred pH level. These preferences are prime for creating the perfect environment for your plant’s growth.

Growth & Propagation

Begonia Coccinea matures relatively slowly, with growth heavily dependent upon care and environmental conditions. Its unique wing-shaped leaves grow progressively larger as the plant ages.

Successfully propagating this species usually involves stem cuttings or leaf cuttings, given the right humidity and warmth. The plant typically enjoys its active growth phase during spring and summer when it produces vibrant red blossoms.

It’s best to repot once it outgrows its current space, usually every 2-3 years. Always use a well-draining soil mix in a container with sufficient drainage holes.

In essence, growth and propagation demand diligent care, attention, and time.

Growth Rate

The Begonia Coccinea is a moderately quick grower, especially in the ideal conditions. You’ll notice new leaves and stems appearing frequently during its active growing seasons: spring through fall.

Keep in mind that faster growth rate also means more frequent care, as it could outgrow its pot or become too large for its designated spot if not properly maintained.

The growth rate may slow down during colder months, which is completely natural and not a cause for worry. It’s crucial to monitor the growth rate to ensure the plant is healthy and thriving, as any dramatic changes could indicate an issue.

Propagation Methods

For the Begonia Coccinea, propagation usually takes place through stem tip cuttings. To do this, cut a healthy stem tip about three to five inches long with sterile pruning shears, ensuring it has at least one leaf node. Then, remove the lower leaves and put the cutting into a rooting medium like perlite or a mix of perlite and peat moss. Make sure to maintain a high humidity around the cutting to aid root development. You can expect roots to begin forming within a few weeks under optimal conditions. Make sure to keep the medium lightly moist but not overly wet to avoid root rot.

Season of Active Growth

The Begonia Coccinea typically experiences its most active growth period during the spring and summer months. This is when the plant is likely to produce new leaves and flowers most prolifically.

During this active growth season, it is particularly important to meet the plant’s light, moisture, and nutritional needs to support its rapid development.

Being aware of this growth pattern will enable you to provide optimal care for your plant and help it to thrive.

Please note that cooler temperatures during fall and winter often correspond to a comparatively dormant period for the Begonia Coccinea.

Potting and Repotting Recommendations

When it comes to potting the Begonia Coccinea, the plant thrives best in containers that provide ample drainage. It is crucial to avoid soggy, waterlogged soil to prevent detrimental conditions such as root rot.

Ideally, you should pot the plant in a medium-size container filled with a peat-based compost, enriched with perlite for increased aeration. Repotting is required approximately every 2-3 years to ensure the plant continues to grow vigorously.

When repotting, select a container that is slightly larger than the current one, to accommodate growth, and always use fresh soil for optimal health of your Begonia Coccinea.

Potential Issues

As a cultivator of the Begonia Coccinea, it’s crucial you understand the potential problems that may arise. As with any plant, Begonia Coccinea does have its share of pests and diseases that can potentially damage your plant.

There can also be other sensitivities related to specific environmental variables. Let’s dive into each of these areas, and provide some tips to avoid and deal with such issues.

Ultimately, being aware of these things and understanding how to respond is a key part of maintaining the health and vitality of your Begonia Coccinea, ensuring it can flourish and express its unique beauty.

Common Pests

Some of the pests that commonly attack Begonia Coccinea include aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and whiteflies. Aphids suck the sap from the stems and leaves, leading to distorted growth and a sticky residue.

Mealybugs are soft-bodied insects that can infest the undersides of leaves, producing a cotton-like wax. Spider mites pierce the leaves, causing white spots or yellowing.

Lastly, whiteflies, which are tiny white insects, suck plant juices and produce a sticky honeydew. It’s important to regularly inspect your Begonia Coccinea for these pests and take appropriate measures to control them if detected.

Common Diseases

When caring for Begonia Coccinea, you might encounter several common diseases. These include powdery mildew, a fungal disease characterized by white or grey powdery spots on leaves and stems; botrytis blight, presenting as grey mould often seen in cool, wet conditions; and root or stem rot caused by overwatering or poor drainage.

Proper care and good hygiene practices usually prevent most diseases. However, if your plant becomes sick, remove infected parts immediately, and consider applying a fungicide or changing the plant environment as necessary.

Aim to maintain a healthy growing environment to minimize disease potential.

Other Sensitivities

Begonia coccinea is quite sensitive to environmental changes. A sudden drop in temperature, abrupt changes in light levels, or moving the plant around too often can cause stress, leading to leaf drop or slow growth.

Alterations in watering schedule can also invoke a stress response. Over-fertilization can result in a salt build-up in the soil, leading to burnt leaf tips.

Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain a stable environment, consistent watering routine and provide a balanced nutrition plan to keep your Begonia coccinea in optimal health.

Be mindful of these sensitivities and you’ll help your plant thrive.

Special Features & Uses

Begonia Coccinea exhibits a set of unique traits and characteristics that aren’t just beneficial for the plant’s growth but also make it a versatile addition to home décor, bonsai collections, and more.

Its striking appearance coupled with a blooming season that spreads joy around all year round can uplift the aesthetics of any space it’s placed in.

However, it should be noted that the plant isn’t just serving decorative purposes. This section will further elaborate the unique characteristics, decorative uses, and toxicity of Begonia Coccinea—providing a comprehensive understanding of the special features and potential uses of this vibrant houseplant.

Unique Characteristics

Begonia Coccinea stands out with its vibrant red flowers which are pendulous and flute-shaped. These fiery blooms are contrasted by the large, glossy green leaves that are asymmetric and well patterned.

This species of begonia is also unique in its preference for a more humid, tropical environment, quite different from other houseplants.

They have a specific growth habit – erect and bushy, adding a distinct touch to your indoor or outdoor plant collection.

Furthermore, it is a perennial plant meaning it can grace your vicinity with its stunning look for years provided with optimum care preferences.

Decorative Use

Begonia Coccinea, with its striking foliage and vivid bloom, serves as a dynamic decorative element in both indoor and outdoor settings. Used frequently as houseplants, they lend a tropical and exotic aura to your interiors.

They work well in containers and hanging baskets, flaunting their cascading stems. Due to their stunning blossom, they are often a choice for garden borders and flower beds as well.

Their capacity to bloom throughout the year makes them a consistent eye-catcher. Pair them with other shade-loving plants for a vibrant display.

Always remember, they’re an ideal pick when you’re aiming for a pop of color and a lush atmosphere.


The Begonia Coccinea, while visually appealing to us, may present toxicity problems if ingested by pets or humans. The leaves and stems contain soluble calcium oxalates, a compound that can cause vomiting, salivation, or in rare occasions, difficulty in swallowing when consumed.

It is advisable to position your plant out of reach from children and pets to avoid any unwanted accidents. If consumed, you should seek medical or veterinary advice immediately.

Despite this, the Begonia Coccinea is still a valuable and desirable houseplant, but should be handled with care.

Additional Tips & Tricks

These may include advice on fertilization, pruning, and whether or not to use any support structures. As with all care instructions, these suggestions may be adapted to your particular location and circumstances.

This section serves to give you a deeper understanding of your Begonia Coccinea’s needs and preferences, thus equipping you with the knowledge to maximize its health, longevity, and aesthetic appeal.

Fertilization Recommendations

For optimal growth, Begonia Coccinea requires well-balanced fertilizer. During its growth period (spring and summer), you should fertilize your plant every two weeks using a half-strength water-soluble fertilizer.

Be sure to choose a product that includes micronutrients, particularly iron, to support leaf and flower development. During the autumn and winter months, reduce fertilization to once a month.

Over-fertilization can lead to damaging salt build-ups in the soil. Therefore, it’s better to under-fertilize than overdo it. After fertilizing, water your plant to help spread the nutrients throughout the soil.

Pruning & Maintenance

Pruning and maintenance are vital for keeping your Begonia Coccinea healthy and thriving. For best results, regularly trim away dead or dying leaves to encourage new growth and prevent disease spread. This can be done using clean scissors or shears.

Also, to maintain your Begonia’s bushy appearance, pinch back the stems. This controls its size and promotes branching. Moreover, remove spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming.

It’s essential to clean your tools before each use to prevent the spread of diseases. Serving to the plant’s hygiene will result in lush foliage and vibrant blooms throughout its growing season.

Support Structures

Begonia Coccinea, being a semi-upright species, usually doesn’t require a support structure due to its robust stems. However, in some cases, especially when it grows in unfavorable conditions or becomes top-heavy with mature foliage, it may lean or even topple over.

In such cases, a minor form of support like a plant stake can be used. It’s recommended to insert the stake into the pot at the same time as planting to avoid damage to the roots later.

As the plant grows, gently tie its main stem to the stake using a soft plant tie. This will ensure it grows upright and remains stable.

Begonia   Updated: November 11, 2023
avatar Hi, I'm Amy, a devoted horticulturist and the creator of, where I use my expertise to help beginners foster their green thumbs. My blog is a vibrant community where I unravel the complexities of gardening and share my profound love for nature.
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