The Strawberry Begonia, botanical name Saxifraga stolonifera, is a beautiful flowering plant that can be found in the wild throughout China, Korea, and Japan. Interestingly enough, the Strawberry Begonia has no relation to strawberries or begonias (Although its growth patterns somewhat resemble strawberries).
The plant does bloom with small white flowers in the summer, but the leaves are undoubtedly the main attraction here. It has round or heart-shaped green leaves often variegated with red undersides that grow from rapidly spreading stolons.
The flowers appear on long, thin stalks that can reach up to 18 inches in height. They are easily identifiable by the significant difference between the sizes of the petals. Each flower has five petals, with two being larger than the rest, resulting in a distinct look that makes them quite recognizable.
- Saxifraga stolonifera Main Characteristics
- Strawberry Begonia Care
- Propagating Strawberry Begonia
- Potting and Repotting Strawberry Begonia
- Common Pests
- Common Problems
- Strawberry Begonia (Saxifraga Stolonifera) – Growing Tips (Video)
Saxifraga stolonifera Main Characteristics
|Common Name||Strawberry Begonia|
|Botanical Name||Saxifraga stolonifera|
|Synonyms||Adenogyna sarmentosa, Diptera sarmentosa, Ligularia sarmentosa, Robertsonia sarmentosa, Saxifraga sarmentosa|
|Native Range||China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan|
|Common Cultivars||Maroon Beauty, Tricolor|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||7 to 9|
|Mature Size||Height: 0.5-1.5 feet; Spread: 1-2 feet|
|Bloom Time||May to June|
|Propagation methods||by seed, by plantlets|
|Sun||Part shade to Full shade|
Strawberry Begonia Care
Overall, the Strawberry Begonia doesn’t require much care to thrive — making it a perfect choice for beginners. These plants are fairly tolerant of neglect, but there are still some things to consider when caring for one of them. Here’s what you need to know.
Light and Location
Strawberry Begonia does best in partial shade. It can tolerate deep shade as well, but not for long periods. So, remember to provide some bright light now and then to keep the plant happy. Avoid harsh sunlight at all costs, but a little morning sun now and then promotes vigorous growth.
This plant is perfect for shady areas. It is often planted outdoors in the shade as a groundcover if winter hardy. Indoors, it is ideal for hanging baskets; the stolons tend to overflow and often end up hanging off from the sides of the basket, making for an attractive display.
Strawberry Begonia requires moderate watering from spring to autumn. Water them only when the top layer of soil feels dry to the touch. During the winter months, water them sparingly or not at all.
Keep in mind that this plant is at high risk of fungal diseases. Prevent water from splashing on the leaves to prevent any chances of anything untoward occurring. Water from the bottom, and you’ll be fine.
The ideal temperature for growing Strawberry Begonia is between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. They can tolerate temperatures down to about 45 degrees but will not thrive in sweltering climates. Keep the plants in a cool environment, and you’ll be fine.
Strawberry Begonias do best in moist environments. So, if your environment is naturally humid, you’ve nothing to worry about. But, if you live somewhere dry, don’t mist the leaves! Remember, these plants can get fungal problems if moisture gets on the leaves. Find alternative solutions to increase humidity, but average room humidity is fine unless your location is extremely arid.
Strawberry Begonia plants do not require a lot of fertilizer to thrive. A diluted liquid fertilizer applied every two weeks in the growing season should be sufficient. Don’t feed in the winter.
Propagating Strawberry Begonia
Saxifraga stolonifera can easily be propagated using offsets. An offset or a plantlet is a small plant produced naturally due to the growth of the parent plant. Offsets can be removed from the parent plant and transplanted to another location. In the case of Strawberry Begonia, these offsets are plentiful.
- Pick any plantlet you like and bury it in the soil of the same pot as the mother or a fresh pot without severing the connection from the parent plant.
- The plantlet will naturally form its own roots in a few weeks.
- Then, you can separate it from the mother and plant it in a fresh pot and treat it as a mature plant.
Potting and Repotting Strawberry Begonia
Strawberry Begonia is not a picky plant when it comes to soil. You can use any kind of compost or potting material that will provide good drainage, and you’ll be good to go. A fast-draining mix works best because this will help prevent root rot, which is likely to occur if you choose soil that holds water. These plants are aggressive growers, and you’ll most likely need to repot every year. Try to do it in spring to recover any damage done to the roots during repotting in the growing season. Repot as you would any other plant.
- Gently take the plant out of the pot. Be careful with the roots and stolons; they are delicate.
- Replant the root ball in a fresh pot filled with the appropriate potting mix.
- Tamp down on the soil to secure it in place.
Saxifraga stolonifera can become infested by aphids and spider mites. You can control these pests easily with insecticidal soap, provided the infestation isn’t too severe. Also, be on the lookout for slugs; they can also sometimes appear.
Brown Patches on the Leaves?
Chances are, your plant has been exposed to harsh sunlight. Move the plant somewhere shadier or even in deep shade for a couple of weeks. The leaves usually won’t recover, so just remove the affected ones.
Is the Plant Wilting?
If the leaves are drooping and the plant appears to wilt, this is due to overwatering. This often occurs in the winter months, as the plant needs less and less water the colder it gets. So hold off on the water and wait for the plant to recover. If it doesn’t, check for root rot and remove any affected roots.
Are The Runners Turning Brown?
The plant needs more moisture. So, increase the humidity and the watering frequency. Just remember not to overcorrect; overwatering can result in root rot.
Strawberry Begonia (Saxifraga Stolonifera) – Growing Tips (Video)
How to propagate Saxifraga stolonifera?
Although you can propagate Saxifraga stolonifera using seeds and offsets, it is much easier to propagate this plant using offsets. These plantlets form naturally, and all you have to do is push them down slightly into the soil, so they become buried, and they’ll root on their own. Afterward, just replant them into a fresh pot.
How to pot Strawberry Begonia?
All you need to do is pot one of these in a pot with drainage holes and a bit of potting soil. Any light potting soil that is well-draining will do the trick. Fill the pot with the soil and place the plant inside. Push the soil around to cover the roots and tamp down slightly.
How to care for a Strawberry Begonia?
Place the plant somewhere shady and out of the direct sun. Keep the temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit with moderate humidity. Water moderately from spring to summer and sparingly in winter. Ensure good drainage and repot yearly in spring.