Dragon Wing Red Begonia: Garden Bloggers Bloom Day December 2011

– Posted in: What's up/blooming

Red Dragon Wing Begonia

I am trying Red Dragon Wing Begonia as a houseplant this winter.

This spring, Ball Horticultural sent me some Dragon Wing Red Begonias to trial in my garden. My sister-in-law had told me that she dug up and potted her wax begonias, wintered them over as houseplants, and replanted them every spring, and this gave me the idea to try the same thing with these larger begonias. I knew we were considering moving so I figured why not pot them up right from the get-go?

I planted them three to a twelve-inch pot, and they grew beautifully in the light shade of my Juneberry tree with scarcely any attention from me. It helped that we got regular rainfall this summer because I often forgot they were out there and didn’t water them when I watered my other containers.

I had two pots of them, but I only brought one pot in to winter over. It is still blooming like crazy in a western window. The leaves are not looking too happy, which may be due to the adjustment of moving indoors. Or it could be my erratic watering practices (ahem). But it also does reside in the same room as our wood stove. The stove is on the other side of the room, but I’m sure it dries out the air, despite the kettle of water we keep on the stove.

If I can keep this begonia alive throughout the winter, I’m hoping to root cuttings and plant them in the window boxes. For now, I am very pleased to see its bright blooms on the many dreary winter days.

Inspired by the words of Elizabeth Lawrence, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year,” Carol of May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. On the 15th of every month, garden bloggers from all over the world publish what is currently blooming in their gardens, and leave a link in Mr. Linky and the comments of May Dreams Gardens.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Dee/reddirtramblings December 28, 2011, 9:24 am

I hope they stay alive for you throughout winter. I know they do here as a houseplant. They drop a lot of leaves, but they bounce right back in spring.~~Dee

Carol Cichorski December 27, 2011, 9:34 am

Blooming flowers inside the new housee is doubly good news. You found a flower that would bloom of course, but even better…you must have a sunny enough spot for it to be happy. That makes for more possibilities of other inside bloomers. The fun begins.

Hope you had a Merry Christmas with your whole gang.


Raffi / Gardenology.org December 25, 2011, 10:09 pm

My Dragonwings bloom year round, both indoors and out. They’re one of my favorites due to the constant color. I really love the red one a lot more than the pink, and recently ditched the pink one. It just wasn’t nearly as impressive…

Kathy Purdy December 26, 2011, 10:08 am

Mine looked red outdoors, but inside the flowers look more pink, or maybe coral. I checked my photos of them outdoors, and they did indeed look red out in the sun. Interesting . . .

Yael Ben-Ari December 23, 2011, 5:56 pm

I have several begonias which usually overwinter in my garage. Maybe I should bring a few of them in to see if they will bloom.

The only one I have inside is one that gets about 6 ft and blooms with these huge Pom poms that last forever. I have had it forever and it just keeps going.

Hoping you have a Very Merry Christmas.


Kathy Purdy December 23, 2011, 7:53 pm

Thank you, Yael. Merry Christmas to you, too.

Polly December 17, 2011, 7:35 pm

Can you tell me HOW you get your begonia to bloom? I have had mine since 1986 and It hasn’t bloomed. The woman who gave it to me said to keep it in a very small pot so it will be root bound, then it will bloom. I don’t know what to do. I have almost given up on it.

Kathy Purdy December 17, 2011, 10:17 pm

If my begonia wasn’t blooming when I got it, it started soon after. It was intended to be an annual and was originally planted outside. There are so many begonia species and hybrids that it is a good bet that your begonia and mine are not the same plant. My guess is that it needs more sun than it is getting. If you have truly had it since 1986 you are a very patient gardener indeed.

Louise December 17, 2011, 1:30 am

I brought several of mine in and have them in sunny windows. The flowers are great and the leaves less so. Glad to see yours and hear of the leaf idea. I am thinking of pinching mine back since they are leggy, but wonder if that would hurt a plant overwintering indoors. Any ideas?

Kathy Purdy December 17, 2011, 9:43 am

Hi, Louise, thanks for commenting. I was thinking mine would eventually get so they just had leaves at the ends of the stems, the others having dropped off. At that point I would cut mine back. In any case, my instinct is to wait until the days are getting longer before doing any cutting or pinching, assuming the plants are in relatively good health.

gail December 16, 2011, 7:36 pm

It’s been years since I brought house plants inside~But, I might give it a try again. I remember that begonias were pretty adaptable and bounced back after losing their leaves. gail

Debra December 16, 2011, 10:52 am

Hello Kathy – how nice to see your windowsill here during the shortest week of winter!

Les December 15, 2011, 8:47 pm

I have a very mixed score card on bringing flowering plants in for the winter. I have pretty good luck with traditional foliage houseplants, but every time I find something cool that I want to save for next year, it croaks within a few weeks. I hope you have better luck. Happy GBBD!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter December 15, 2011, 6:14 pm

Begonias are pretty tough. I’ll bet it makes it through the winter. There’s always some leaf fall on plants brought inside. The dragon wing form is so elegant.

Frances December 15, 2011, 5:54 pm

Those look so cheerful, Kathy, good job! I bet they stay alive to have cuttings taken, too. Begonias are very forgiving.

Layanee December 15, 2011, 4:53 pm

What is better than flowers looking out through the window at snow? I believe I have one of these also. It flowers all year.

Leslie December 15, 2011, 4:51 pm

I hope it stays happy enough Kathy…looks great right now! I brought mine in last winter and am trying to decide if I can gamble on leaving it in the protected patio corner this year. Just being lazy….