The angel wing begonia is popular worldwide for its incredible heart-shaped leaves resembling folded wings, hence the name.
When placed in a room as a table or floor houseplant, it radiates vibrance and elegance that leave observes in awe.
These beauties are natives of South America and are named for their tough, bamboo-like stems. They form a large portion of the cane begonia group and are cultivated in many heights and sizes.
The angel wing begonia’s one of the easiest varieties to grow indoors as they exceptionally do well in almost all indoor conditions.
All cane begonias grow with jointed long stems; the leaves and flowers grow from these joints. They can grow as dwarf desk plants or tall, shrub-like, bushy plants reaching 5 feet (1.5 meters).
While this graceful plant is mostly famous for its unique foliage, it also gives rise to attractive red, pink, white, or orange blooms when placed in the ideal environment.
Growing the angel wing begonia is pure pleasure, but it may cause considerable trouble for some house gardeners, especially when it starts dropping leaves.
In most cases, the cause is treatable as well as preventable.
If you are in a similar situation and your beautiful angel wing begonia has suddenly started dropping leaves, this guide is just for you.
Why is My Angel Wing Begonia Dropping Leaves?
Sometimes when conditions are unfavorable, the begonia may begin to drop a significant number of leaves. There is a wide variety of reasons for this, including overwatering, insufficient sunlight, lack of hydration, improper repotting, and worm infestation. Fortunately, most causes are remediable and do not result in permanent damage.
Causes of the Angel Wing Begonia Shedding Off Leaves
The foremost reason for the shedding of foliage in most plants is an inaccurate watering schedule.
In the case of the angel wing begonia, the most frequent cause associated with water is overwatering.
The begonias enjoy being showered with water; however, too much of anything has detrimental effects. Therefore, when you water this beauty more than once a week, it starts to drop its leaves.
Watering the begonia only once a week is not enough; even watering is essential. Irregular watering or uneven water distribution also poses a problem.
To avoid this issue, water your angel wing begonia only when its soil’s top two to three inches seem dry or the plant’s leaves appear somewhat dry.
For those who are better at keeping track of days, water your begonia only once a week, decreasing the frequency further during the dormant season.
Sunlight is crucial for all plants, whether begonias or any other species.
Therefore, when this basic need is compromised, the angel wing begonia begins to lay down its leaves, leaving the gardener in great distress.
Sunlight drives photosynthesis in plants, a natural process by which plants make food (carbohydrates).
Placing them in shaded or inadequately lit areas for too long leads to the shedding of leaves and other problems.
This is a common mistake that houseplant gardeners make, especially when growing their angel wing begonia indoors, where sunlight pours in through windows and doors only.
Lack of Hydration
Although the angel wing begonia does not like water daily, it enjoys staying hydrated and fresh.
A begonia that is sufficiently hydrated will overall look healthier and be able to perform functions better, such as photosynthesis.
Moisture rarely becomes a problem if your plant is growing outdoors as there is plenty of water vapor in the air.
However, occasionally, things begin to complicate when the angel wing begonia is maturing indoors, where the moisture levels are relatively less.
The conditions worsen if you have a heater or air conditioner turned on most hours of the day as they further drop the air moisture levels.
Resultantly, the dried and dehydrated angel wing begonia starts to shed its foliage.
The angel wing begonia is a tropical plant; therefore, it prefers high humidity levels that exceed 60%.
To avoid dehydration, keep the plant next to well-aerated windows where it receives plenty of fresh air. To make things easier, you can get a moisture meter for measuring moisture levels inside the house.
While most may not think about this particular reason, it is a common cause for your begonia losing its leaves.
If there seems to be no other apparent cause, think if you have recently repotted your angel wing begonia.
If your answer is yes, there is a high probability that improper repotting is just the cause. The wrong size pot, incorrect timing, and inappropriate spread of roots within the pot are all forms of improper repotting.
Changing your plant’s soil, specifically in the dormant or winter season, can lead to considerable damage, which presents as yellow leaves, discolored patches, and shedding of leaves.
Similarly, pots that are too small or large can also have adverse effects.
The angel wing begonia likes being slightly pot-bound, and thus, repot it only when absolutely necessary.
Get a larger pot if it outgrows its current pot and repot during the early spring season only.
As sad as it is, worms attack your beloved plants at some point in their lifecycles.
While some begonias escape this infestation, others often fall prey to them. They multiply rapidly, leading to progressive damage.
Other than causing the dropping of foliage, worms dry out the remaining leaves and eventually kill the entire plant.
The most common attackers of the angel wing begonia are cutworms. These worms love to hide under soil or litter in the day and feed on the plant’s foliage by night.
They readily feed on the begonia, mostly starting with its stem, and hinder the transport of ions and minerals.
Next, they consume the leaves, stripping them of moisture and other constituents.
Keep an eye for worms under the leaves and in the plant’s soil. Dust your plant often and remove the worms the soonest you see them.
Isolate your plant temporarily, if needed, to prevent spread.
Frequently Asked Questions about Why Angel Wing Begonia Drops its Leaves
What does an overwatered angel wing begonia look like?
The symptoms of an overwatered angel wing begonia vary; however, most develop yellow leaves or brown leaves, particularly the bottom ones. Other symptoms include foliage dropping and limp and soggy petioles.
For angel wing begonias, what type of soil should I plant them in?
The angel wing begonias thrive in well-draining, well-aerated soils that are rich in humus. You can add clean sand, perlite, sphagnum peat moss, or pine needle compost to enhance the soil’s composition.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.