Photo: dinesh_valke (Flickr)
As gardeners plan their annual plantings this spring, many are excited about a hybrid begonia know as “Dragon Wing Begonia.” It is a variety introduced in 2000 by Pan American Seed Company, and it won a gold medal in 2005. It is a cross between the ‘Angel Wing’, which contributed the characteristic wing shape leaf, and the ‘Wax Begonia’, which gives it excellent heat tolerance.
Described as looking like a begonia on steroids, the Dragon Wing has glossy green large leaves and grows as tall and as wide as 15 inches. Flower panicles, in either pink or red, are produced near the tip of each branch and are shed naturally as new ones are produced, so the plants always look neat. Like other fibrous begonias these are heavy feeders, so fertilize about every 2 weeks. They look spectacular in large containers, hanging baskets and beds.
They combine well with other plants with bold foliage, such as cannas. When winter approaches these stalwart fellows can be cut back and repotted to bloom indoors. Cuttings can also be easily rooted in water so that new plants can be generated the following spring. Space new plants 12-18 inches apart. For non-stop blooming, it is hard to beat this spectacular new annual.