Strawberry begonia is a beautiful plant that can be grown indoors. However, if you’re not sure how to grow or care for it properly, your plant will die. We’ve put together this guide to help you with the process of growing strawberry begonia indoors and keeping your plants healthy and happy. Read on!
This plant’s botanical name is Saxifraga stolonifera. The genus name is derived from saxum, the Latin word for rock and frangere, which means to break. Stonofilera means the plant puts out stolons. Other names are creeping saxifrage, mother of thousands and strawberry geranium.
Saxifraga stolonifera is a member of the Saxifrage family. Despite some of these common names, this plant isn’t a geranium, begonia or strawberry but belongs to the Saxifragaceae family.
Where to Grow Strawberry Begonia
Grow strawberry begonia plants in a brightly lit area such as an east or west window not blocked by outdoor trees. Strawberry begonia likes cool temperatures. You’ll mostly find Saxifraga stolonifera plants growing as an outdoor ground cover where it’s hardy in USDA zones 7-10. This is a good place to get a start for an indoor plant.
Strawberry Begonia Care
Strawberry begonia plants are very easy to grow and care for, rewarding for amateur houseplant parents. They hate too much humidity and warmth, which can encourage fungal problems and are susceptible to root rot if they’re watered too heavily.
Strawberry geranium plants are also colder tolerant. For best results, it’s important to faithfully repot your plant every spring as they also don’t like being pot-bound and won’t grow to look their best. Growth may also stall or even stop during wintertime.
Flowering and Fragrance
While the plant itself doesn’t get big, the flower stem growing from the center may reach up to 10 inches. The branches or stems produce small white flowers that appear in the summer months. Also, the plant doesn’t always flower, especially if it doesn’t get enough sunlight throughout the year. This plant is still a decorative addition to any room, even without flowers.
Size and Growth
As a houseplant, Strawberry Begonia is best kept in a decorative container. It grows big enough to fill up a smaller pot and has thick hairy leaves that grow from the center with multiple branches. The stalks are red, while the veins often feature silver patterns.
This plant does best in a bright window but doesn’t like bright sunlight. Placing it in an east or west-facing window is the best solution as long as the area doesn’t get too hot or too dry. The strawberry begonia likes bright light and cool temperatures. Letting your plant get any direct rays from sunlight can burn the plant and put holes in its leaves.
The soil for this plant should be moist but not wet. An even moisture content in the soil is essential to keep it healthy and looking good. The best way to do this is by letting the top inch of your potting mix dry between watering.
Ensure there is good drainage by putting the plant in a pot with drainage holes. If the pot has only one large hole, lay some bits of an old broken terracotta pot at the bottom before adding soil.
This plant needs consistently moist ground, so make sure you water it frequently during warm weather months and avoid overwatering as this can result in root rot. Water the plant less during the winter months but don’t completely dry out.
The Strawberry begonia plant doesn’t like to be over-fertilized. It should be fertilized once a month with a diluted fertilizer or time-released pellets during the growing season.
Temperature and Humidity
The strawberry begonia plant might go dormant during the cold season. You should know that the strawberry begonia is cold tolerant and will spring back even if the room temperature gets as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. When it comes to humidity, strawberry begonia plants can thrive in moderate to high humidity but will not need most average levels increased in the home.
Repotting Strawberry Begonia
When it comes to repotting strawberry begonia, you should know that this houseplant is a fast-growing plant and is sure to outgrow its pot. You should tell if the plant needs to be repotted because its roots will start to emerge from the drainage hole. To keep up with its rapid growth, repot your plant every spring to wait for the bloom time early summer. You should also learn how to grow strawberries from seed.
Propagating Strawberry Begonia
This plant not only grows quickly, but it’s also fecund. If you propagate the plantlets, you can either tuck them into the soil shared by the mother plant or tuck them into the soil in their small pots. The plantlets will root out after a few days.
After that, you can cut the runner and let them develop on their own and give them as gifts to your loved ones. They’re clones of the mother plant.
Suggested Saxifraga Stolonifera Uses
The strawberry begonia is a compact little plant with longer runners. It looks best in a hanging basket or placed on a shelf as a houseplant, allowing the runners to dangle from the pot.
Indoors or on your porch, strawberry begonia makes a beautiful hanging plant. When grown outdoors, it’s often used for ground cover, thanks to the creeping foliage and runners.
Common Pests and Diseases Encountered by Strawberry Begonia
The hairy leaves of strawberry begonia shouldn’t get wet, for moisture encourages the growth of fungi. As with many fleshy plants, aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs can plague your strawberry begonia if not watched carefully.
You should learn how to control aphids and other pests on your plant. For instance, if you spot the sign of an infestation, spray them with insecticidal soap. Judicious watering will also prevent root rot. Also, get rid of the dead leaves as soon as you see them.
Final Thought on Growing Strawberry Begonia Indoors
As you can see, growing and caring for strawberry begonia indoors is relatively easy and also rewarding. Although it takes time for the plant to grow flowers, you’ll be amazed by their beauty when they do. Just pick your spot well. If you want them in a pot that already has other plants, put them in the corner or at the back of the pot so they won’t compete with others for sunlight.