The Strawberry Begonia plant, or Strawberry Geranium as it is sometimes called, is neither a begonia nor a geranium, but rather a member of the Saxifrage family. It does have bluish-green, fuzzy leaves like those of a begonia and it does spread by sending out “stolen” or “runners” like a strawberry plant; but a Strawberry Begonia is really an evergreen native to Asia and a close relative of the Piggyback plant. A Strawberry Begonia produces a lovely, white flower with pointed petals and a bright, yellow center. Like a strawberry plant, new babies develop at the ends of each of the “stolen.” Indoors or on your porch a Strawberry Begonia makes a beautiful hanging plant. Outdoors it can also be an excellent ground cover in your garden.
Place a Strawberry Begonia in bright indirect light. Direct sun burns a Strawberry Begonia Plant and puts holes in the leaves.
If the top 2”- 3” of soil in the Strawberry Begonia Plant are still moist, do not water. When the top few inches dry out, water a Strawberry Begonia until water comes out the bottom drip holes. A Strawberry Begonia Plant needs less water in the fall and winter when it is resting. Always water a Strawberry Begonia from the bottom so no water collects on the hairs of the leaves.
Fertilize a Strawberry begonia Plant monthly during the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing with a balanced indoor plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Do not fertilize a Strawberry Begonia during the fall and winter.
Strawberry Begonias like cool temperatures and do not thrive when it is too hot. They prefer temperatures between 40-65 degrees(F).
A Strawberry Begonia does well in moderate to high humidity.
A Strawberry Begonia usually produces small white flowers in late spring or early summer.
Strawberry Begonias are fairly resistant to plant pests. If plant pests do appear, spray a Strawberry Begonia with an insecticidal soap such as Safer, at 1/2 the recommended strength.
Fungal and bacterial diseases can occur if water collects on the hairs of the leaves of a Strawberry Begonia. Keep the leaves dry and always water a Strawberry Begonia Plant from the bottom.
Use a a well-aerated houseplant soil that retains moisture but still drains quickly for a Strawberry begonia Plant.
A strawberry Begonia is a small compact plant that rarely gets taller than 12″; it does however send out numerous runners. Use a pot that is wider rather than deeper so some of the baby plants at the ends of the runners can plant themselves and grow near the Mother plant. Keep the plant a little root bound to prevent over watering.
Remove any yellow, dead, or damaged leaves from a Strawberry Begonia Plant as soon as they appear; if left on, dead leaves weaken the plant.
Strawberry Begonias can be propagated by plant division; but the easiest propagation method is to plant the tiny baby plantlets that grow at the ends of the runners. See full planting instructions in the FAQ section.
Like most plants, a Strawberry Begonia rests during the fall and winter.
Poisonous Plant Info
A Strawberry Begonia is a non-poisonous houseplant. It is not in the same family as “real” begonias (which are ALL poisonous).
Your Strawberry Begonia is probably getting some direct sun and warm temperatures during the day. The sun put the holes in the leaves and the high temperatures caused the plant to wither. Move your Strawberry Begonia back inside to a cool low light area, continue to water until it starts to recover; then move it back into bright indirect light.
Strawberry Begonias have many names. Saxifraga stolonifera is its scientific name and the nickname “mother of thousands,” came from its many leaves. A few of its other names are Strawberry Geranium, Beefsteak Geranium, Creeping Saxifrage, Creeping Rockfoil, Strawberry Saxifrage, Magic Carpet, and Aaron’s Beard.
There are a couple of ways to plant these baby Strawberry Begonias. In either case, wait until the baby is a decent size and has several of its own leaves before propagating it. The first method is to cut off the baby with a section of its stolen (runner) and plant it in a small pot. The second way is to place a small pot of soil next to the mother plant and pin the baby down using a piece of wire or an open paper clip leaving the new plant attached to the original plant until roots develop. I always recommend using soil that is very similar to the soil used in the mature plant.
The round soft velvety leaves of a Strawberry Begonia can be solid green or can be green with prominent white veins, which is the variety you seem to have. There is also a variety that has white tips.