How to Prune & Propagate an Angel Wing Begonia houseplant

Hi, Judy –
I’m hoping you can help me! A friend gave a cutting of this plant almost a year ago and it has grown beautifully, including blooming over the winter. She gave it to me in a small vase; the roots were just in water and I repotted it when I thought it had a good root mass. We moved a month ago and it was left outside for one night; it was very humid at the time. It looks to be recovering up top but I would like some advice on what I can do to help it. Should I prune it at all? Repot? I’ve attached 3 pictures. Thank you!
Amy from Lake Geneva, WI

Hi Amy,

Pinching back your begonia is the only way to get it to become bushy. If your plant were small, you could just pinch off the small new growth and new leaves would develop along the stem; but this won’t work with your plant. Use clean, sharp scissors or a knife to cut the stems back to a leaf node. Begonias can be cut back to within 3-5 inches of the soil to help them regrow.  Your plant will then send out lots of new side growth. Here’s a picture of a healthy, blooming Angel Wing Begonia.

You can use the stem cuttings to propagate your Angel Wing Begonia. Cut the piece you removed into a 3”-5” sections. The piece should have two to four nodes on it. Dip the cut ends of these stems into a small amount of Rooting Hormone and plant them in a small container of perlite or sand. These plants are considered poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in my book Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants