Begonia ‘Black Fang’ is an alluring evergreen tropical plant whose foliage resembles the Black Velvet Begonia. It has deep black leaves with vivid green star-shaped centers. It also blooms from winters to spring and produces pink flowers with no petals, but the ravishing foliage is the real beauty of it. These flowers and leaves grow on crimson-red stems. When grown indoors, this exotic plant stands out with its unique foliage and adds a classy statement to the room.
- Family: Begoniaceae
- Genus: Begonia
- Cultivar: Begonia ‘Black Fang’
About the Genus Begonia
Begonia is one of the largest flowering genera contains about 1800 species. The species of this genus are native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, America, and Africa. Most of these species are grown as houseplants for their stunning leaves and beautiful flowers.
Begonia ‘Black Fang’ Features
Foliage and Stem
Begonia ‘Black Fang’, as the name suggests, has enchanting pitch black, spike-shaped leaves. These leaves have lime-green, star-shaped centers. These leaves grow on spotted-red stems.
This handsome plant has beautiful pink flowers. The flowers are small in size, and they grow in clusters. Some of these flowers are creamy-colored with pink undersides. These flowers bloom from early winter to late spring.
Begonia ‘Black Fang’ is an evergreen perennial plant. Its foliage stays functional throughout the year. It does not shed all of its foliage in autumn. It only sheds its leaves when they are old enough to stay on the stem.
This ornamental houseplant attains a maximum height of 30 cm. It reaches this mature height in nearly two years. It occupies 15 cm wide space with its foliage and branches.
It is not a winter-hardy plant; it cannot tolerate low temperatures. Extreme heat is also not tolerable. This is why you should keep this plant in a warmer spot inside your home.
It requires high humidity for the shiny growth of its leaves. If the humidity falls below a certain level, the leaves start to lose their freshness and colors. This is why you must maintain high humidity for this plant.
It is a drought-tolerant plant that can tolerate some days of low water availability. The leaves and stem of this plant can retain water and store it for harsh conditions.
Disease and Pest Resistance
This plant can get powdery mildew, root rot, or bacterial leaf spot. To prevent these diseases, avoid over-watering and soggy soil. The only pests that attack this plant are scales and sucking insects. Use an insecticide to get rid of them. You can also use a neem oil dipped cotton ball to rub the foliage. This trick is also effective in such cases.
This beautiful plant grows at a turtle’s pace; it is a slow-growing plant. It needs at least two years to reach its mature height. If you place it in bright sunlight, its growth rate can increase a little bit.
The USDA plant hardiness growth zones for this plant are 6 to 9.
The exotic black leaves of this gorgeous plant are highly toxic. If ingested, these can cause severe irritation of the mouth and throat. This is why you should place its pot in a spot that is away from your children’s or pet’s reach.
This plant is so loved as a houseplant because it is low maintenance. It does not need much attention and care. This is why every person can easily grow this beaut inside his home; it does not bother much.
Winters are the resting months for this plant. As soon as the temperature and light levels drop, this exotic species goes into its resting stage; it goes dormant. Never fertilize your Begonia plant during these days. Also, cut back its watering frequency.
Begonia ‘Black Fang’ Care
Its proper care routine involves watering it 2-3 times a week and fertilizing it every three weeks. The pH range of its soil must be around 5.5 – 7.5. The optimum temperature range preferred for this plant is 12-25°C. It must be placed in bright, indirect sunlight.
This beautiful houseplant needs average watering. You should water it every three days in summer and once a week in winter. But never overwater this plant. You can check if your plant needs water by sticking your finger into the soil till your first knuckle. If it feels moist, do not water.
The correct way of watering its pot by watering it thoroughly until excess water starts to flow out of its drainage hole. Also, use lukewarm water to water this exotic plant.
Begonia Black Fang prefers acidic to neutral soil. The preferred pH range is 5.5 – 7.5 for this plant. You can maintain the acidity of the soil by adding a little peat moss. You can also do so by spraying the soil with diluted vinegar.
Use well-draining, organic soil for this plant. You can use an all-purpose potting mix for this plant. Add compost to the soil to increase its organic content. You can also add perlite to increase its aeration. Better aeration allows more oxygen to pass through and allows the roots to breathe.
This plant needs bright, indirect light to carry out photosynthesis. Direct sunlight is not appreciated because direct light exposure can burn its leaves and fade its color. Low light conditions also have a similar effect. This is why you should keep this plant in a spot where indirect sun rays fall upon its foliage.
A north or east-facing window is preferred for its placement. If you want to place it on any other window sill, cover the window with a curtain to prevent the afternoon sun from burning its foliage.
The optimum temperature range for this plant’s growth is 12°C to 25°C. This plant cannot tolerate temperature extremes. It must be kept just warm, not too cool nor too hot. You should not grow this pretty plant outside in winters, as it is susceptible to cold injuries. In summers, keep it in a cool spot inside your home so that its leaves do not burn from the heat. But keep in mind not to place this plant in the way of hot or cold drafts. If the temperature rises too much, you can keep the plant in your bathroom, as it is relatively cooler than other rooms in summers.
High humidity is best for this plant’s lush growth. The humidity must be kept above 70% to keep the shine of the leaves. If the humidity falls below this level, the plant’s foliage starts to lose its color and freshness. The right amount of moisture keeps the foliage in perfect health. You can regulate the humidity around this plant in several ways. Try keeping this plant above a pebble tray. As water evaporates from the pebbles, the moisture goes directly to the plant. This provides the plant with the necessary humidity to keep its foliage fresh and shiny. You can also increase the humidity around the plant by keeping it in a group with other plants. Their collective transpiration rate increases the humidity.
This pretty plant is not much of a foodie, but it still needs to be fertilized once every three weeks. You should use the general liquid fertilizer to add to its roots. This fertilizer must have a 10-10-10 NPK value; it must contain all the essential micronutrients for the plant’s growth. Never add the fertilizer directly to the plant’s soil; always water the soil before watering. Moist soil protects the plant’s roots from burning. The fertilizer must be diluted to 1/3rd of its strength before adding to the plant.
Grooming and Pruning
This Begonia plant is as easy to prune as other houseplants. The best time for pruning and cutting its old foliage is at the beginning of the growing season. During these days of active growth, new leaves and stems will immediately take the place of the pruned ones. You should always prune the bottom leaves first that are near to the base. Also, disinfect your gardening shears before using them on your plant. You can use 70% isopropyl alcohol or ethanol to sterilize your blades.
This plant does not like to stay root-bound. When its roots take all the place in the pot and take hold of all the soil, its growth rate slows down. This is when this plant needs to be moved to a new pot. This does not happens every year. You should re-pot it only when it is root-bound or when you see any outgrowth from its drainage hole. This normally happens after every two years. Re-pot your plant to a pot that is one size bigger than the previous one. The best time to move this Begonia to a new home is in early spring because these are the days of active growth.
Propagation of Begonia Black Fang is as easy if you know the basic rules. You can propagate this plant through rhizomatous divisions and by leaf cuttings. Rhizomes are easy to propagate as the method is similar to propagating seeds. All you have to do is take rhizome divisions and plant them into the potting mix. The best time for propagating this plant is from early spring to early summer.
Propagation by Leaf Cuttings
- Take a healthy leaf from your Begonia plant.
- By using a sharp knife cut the leaf into stamp-sized pieces.
- Each piece must have a vein running along its length.
- Take a separate container and fill it with compost.
- Place the leaf upright into compose.
- Water the leaf and cover the container with a polythene bag.
- Place it in a warm spot that receives bright, indirect sunlight.
- In several weeks, new roots and shoots will grow out of the soil.
- This will be the time when you will move the baby Begonia to a proper pot.
If you love to grow unique houseplants in your home, this black beauty is a great choice for you. Begonia ‘Black Fang’ is a beautiful perennial plant that is so loved by gardeners for its appealing appearance and unique colored foliage. It is a low-maintenance plant that can be grown in small pots. You can also grow it in a terrarium or your home garden; this plant stays happy in all spaces.