The Strawberry Begonia is a fast-growing indoor plant native to Asia. Saxifraga stolonifera can be planted indoors, any time of the year and is considered an easy-care houseplant perfect for beginners. The plant is also easy to propagate and expand your Begonia collection.
Strawberry Begonia Appearance
The Strawberry Begonia grows to a height of between 6 and 18 inches (15 to 45.7 cm) tall and 12 to 24 inches (30.4 to 61 cm) wide. The foliage grows on long runners the plant sends out, with leaves clustering at the ends of the stems. The Begonia’s leaves feature red-tinted hairs on the surface, much like an African Violet plant. White blooms appear in spring, though they are not showy.
Strawberry Begonia Care: Lighting Requirements
Provide your Strawberry Begonia with bright, indirect sunlight. A place near an East or West-facing window is ideal. Avoid direct sunlight as it will scorch the foliage and often creates holes in the leaves.
Watering Your Strawberry Begonia
Provide plenty of water for your Begonia during the spring and summer growth months. Water when the top 2 to 3 inches of soil is dry. Water until the moisture runs through the pot’s drainage holes. When watering, avoid pouring the water directly onto the leaves. Leaves with hairs on the surface hold moisture, which promotes fungal issues. Reduce water in the winter, providing just enough to keep the plant hydrated.
Soil and Fertilizer Requirements
For proper Strawberry Begonia care, grow your plant in a light, well-draining soil. Add peat or perlite to the soil to increase drainage. Feed your Begonia once per week in the spring and summer. Use a diluted fertilizer with micronutrients to encourage both growth and blooms. Slow-release fertilizer pellets also work well.
Temperature and Humidity Levels
The Strawberry Begonia prefers cool temperatures. Keep your plant in temperatures between 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 23.8 C). Avoid high heat as it stunts growth and affects the Begonia’s health. Moderate to high humidity levels help the plant thrive. Average household humidity levels are acceptable, but homes with low humidity can supplement by placing a tray filled with pebbles and water under the plant’s drip tray.
Variegated Strawberry Begonia
There are several varieties of Begonias. Variegated Begonias need extra attention paid to their watering schedules and temperature levels. The Tricolor variegation is smaller than other varieties and features a creamy-white halo around the leaf margins.
Propagating Your Strawberry Begonia
The Strawberry Begonia is easy to propagate from the many offset runners it produces. To propagate your plant, place a small pot filled with a light potting soil beside the mother plant. Keeping the runner still attached to the mother plant, carefully press the runner into the soil. Leave this set up for a few weeks, until the offset has established its own root system. Once the new plant’s roots have grown, snip the stem connecting the new plant from the mother plant.
Common Pests and Diseases
Mealybugs, mites, and scale are the most common pests to watch for on your Strawberry Begonia. Mealybugs are soft, white, and waxy insects. Their eggs have a “woolen” substance surrounding them. Scale are small, round insects with either soft or hard bodies. The insects leave a sticky, honeydew residue on the plants after feeding on them. Remove both pests with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. For larger infestations, spray the plant with a soap and water mixture. Mites are another pest that infest Begonias and leave yellow speckles on the leaves. Remove affected leaves and use a miticide to remove the infestation.
Root rot and leaf spot and two common diseases of Begonia. Root rot is a result of overwatering your plant, while leaf spot results from water sitting on the leaves and high temperatures. Treat root rot by reducing watering and trimming away any dark and mushy roots. Replant the Begonia in a clean pot with fresh soil. For leaf spot, remove affected leaves and treat the plant with a houseplant fungicide.
The Strawberry Begonia plant is a low-maintenance houseplant with showy, textured foliage. There are several varieties, and all are easy to propagate. Both novice and experienced houseplant enthusiasts will appreciate adding this Begonia to their collection.
Strawberry Begonia FAQ
Repot your Begonia every spring as the plant hates to be root bound. Increase the size of the pot and provide fresh soil.
Yes, it is common for Begonia’s growth to slow, or even stop, during the dormant winter months.
Strawberry Begonias do well in USDA zones 6 to 9.
Yes, Begonias are considered toxic to pets and humans, especially if the roots are ingested. Keep this plant away from pets and small children.
Yes, use sharp shears to remove any wilted or dead leaves, which encourages energy to go towards healthy growth.