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How to Care for Strawberry Begonias

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How to Care for Strawberry Begonias

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Overview

Strawberry begonia, also known as mother-of-thousands or Saxifraga sarmentosa, is a popular perennial houseplant grown for its attractive foliage. The plant produces slender red runners that bear small plantlets at their ends, and the leaves are covered in fine hairs and silver markings. Small, white flowers appear in summer, but are considered insignificant. Strawberry begonias reach about 9 inches tall and gardeners typically grow them in hanging baskets or small, decorative pots. These slow-growing, tender plants require only basic care to thrive indoors, and add color and interest to the indoor garden.

Step 1

Place strawberry begonias in a location that receives six to eight hours of full sunlight during spring and fall, and partial sunlight during summer. Maintain an average temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 40 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

Step 2

Fill a shallow tray with small pebbles, and then add water until the pebbles are submerged. Set the plant's container on top of the tray and replenish the water as often as necessary. This keeps the relative humidity of the air high, which is essential for the plant's health.

Step 3

Water plants once each week during the spring, summer and fall, allowing the soil to dry slightly between applications. Decrease the frequency of watering to once every two weeks during winter, when the plant is in a state of dormancy.

Step 4

Feed strawberry begonias once per month during spring and summer, using a balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer. Do not feed during fall and winter, when the plant is not growing as actively. Apply at the rate recommended by the manufacturer.

Step 5

Re-pot each year during early spring, just before active growth resumes, to provide a fresh growing medium and additional space for root growth. Use a well-drained, moist potting soil and a container 2 to 3 inches larger in diameter than the previous planter.

Things You'll Need

  • Shallow tray
  • Pebbles
  • Fertilizer
  • Potting soil
  • Container

References

  • Texas A&M University: Strawberry Begonia
  • Michigan State University Extension: Saxifraga---Strawberry Begonia
  • "The Houseplant Expert;" D.G. Hessayon; 1996
Keywords: strawberry begonias, Saxifraga sarmentosa, mother-of-thousands

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.