This cute plant with an usual growth habit is commonly known as the Strawberry Begonia, but it's not actually a Begonia at all- it's Saxifragra stolonifera (a variegated one in the case of the plant photographed). This slightly hairy-leaved plant produces plant offsets (baby plants) along thin vine-like runners called stolons. Those offsets can be set onto soil and rooted, then clipped from the mother plant to produce a new plant! Though the common name is Strawberry Begonia, you'll find care for this plant is quite a bit easier than actual Begonias. Read on for our full care guide to Saxifragra stolonifera.
HOW TO CARE FOR SAXIFRAGRA STOLONIFERA:
Light requirements for Saxifragra stolonifera: Strawberry Begonias will do best in bright indirect (filtered) light. Be sure to protect leaves from any intense direct sun as they will burn. Keep in mind that the variegated type will need brighter light than the all-green form.
Watering tips for Saxifragra stolonifera: Water your Strawberry Begonia when the soil has dried 1/3 of the way down. Avoid getting water on the leaves, which can leave Saxifragra stolonifera vulnerable to fungal infections. Bottom watering most of the time will be the easiest way to keep the leaves dry, but at least every 3-4 waterings you should top water using a watering can with a narrow spout that you can direct into just the soil. (An occasional top watering is essential for flushing mineral salts from the soil that can build up from tap water in bottom-watered plants). If you need some help knowing how wet or dry your soil is, a moisture meter is a helpful tool that can take out some of the guesswork!
The best soil for Saxifragra stolonifera: Though it's not a Begonia, potting mix that doesn't drain super fast and can help hold onto some moisture is still good for Strawberry Begonias. Our Thirsty Tropicals Potting Mix is a great choice, but our Folia Favorite mix, or any potting mix formulated for indoor plants will also work.
Is Saxifragra stolonifera pet-safe? Saxifragra stolonifera is non-toxic to cats & dogs, according to the ASPCA, so you don't have to worry about curious pets sneaking a bite. If you're looking for more pet-safe plants, be sure to check out the Pet Safe category of the Plant Care Compendium!
How to style Saxifragra stolonifera: Because of the way the offset plants cascade down as Strawberry Begonias grow, we love this plant paired with a pedestal base pot like Forage, Nefta, or Cordoba; or in a hanging pot like the ones in our Hanging Planter collection.
Did you know? Because Strawberry Begonias are susceptible to fungal infection, it's best to keep this plant in average humidity with good air flow, and in moderate temps (50º-70ºF). Avoid especially hot rooms or very high humidity environments. If grown outdoors, planted in the ground, Saxifragra stolonifera is actually a ground cover, but when kept in a container it cascades down. Because of the way offset plants form on the stolons, this plant is very easy to propagate- simply set an offset plant onto a pot with potting mix in it, keep it relatively moist, and once roots form, clip the plant from the mother plant!
Looking to get your hands on this fun plant? We occasionally have Saxifragra stolonifera available in-store!