Strawberry begonia plants are a good choice for the indoor gardener who wants a compact and rapidly growing houseplant. Saxifraga stolonifera, also called roving sailor or strawberry geranium, grows and changes quickly in an indoor atmosphere. Strawberry begonia care isn't complicated and growing them is just as easy.
Strawberry Begonia Houseplant
Little room is necessary for growing strawberry begonias. This tough little plant sends out runners similar to a strawberry plant, hence the common name. Strawberry begonia plants may have solid green foliage or variegated leaves edged with cream colors. The leaves have a heart shape. You may have heard of the strawberry begonia houseplant and wonder, are strawberry begonia and strawberry geranium the same? Info about the strawberry begonia plant indicates they are. As with most plants, several common names are given to this member of the Saxifrage family. Though commonly called a strawberry begonia or geranium, this plant is not a geranium nor is it a begonia, although it resembles them both.
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. This plant likes cool temperatures, 50 to 75 degrees F. (10-24 C.). Often, you'll find strawberry begonia plants growing as an outdoor groundcover, where it is hardy in USDA Zones 7 through 10. This is a good place to get a start for an indoor plant.
Strawberry Begonia Care
Care of the strawberry begonia houseplant includes watering sparingly and fertilizing monthly during the growing season. Let the soil dry out between waterings to an inch (2.5 cm.) deep and feed with a balanced houseplant food. Promote spring flowering by letting strawberry begonia plants rest for a few weeks in winter in a cool place. Withhold fertilizer and limit watering during this time to be rewarded with sprays of small, white flowers in spring when regular care is started again. Growing strawberry begonias usually complete their lifespan in three years but are easily replaced from the numerous runners sent out by the plant. If you wish for more strawberry begonia plants, place small pots filled with moist soil under the runners and allow them to root, then snip the runner off from the mother plant. When the new runner is established, it can be moved into a larger container with two other little plants. Now that you've learned how and where to grow strawberry begonia, add one to your houseplant collection and watch it thrive.
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Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.
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