Ideas for Rising Strawberry Geraniums Open air

In case you’re accustomed to strawberry geraniums, you then in all probability know them finest as beautiful houseplants. However do you additionally know that they are often simply as dazzling when grown outside?

In a small indoor pot, Saxifraga stolonifera produces lil’ plantlets that dangle over the perimeters by way of fairly crimson stolons. Cute and stylish, but compact and contained.

Out within the backyard, nevertheless, these runners enable a person strawberry geranium to blanket an space with a beautiful mat of foliage and flowers, making it an ornamentally vital panorama planting.

A vertical image of the hairy, green-and-silver leaves and red stems of a strawberry geranium (Saxifraga stolonifera) plant. There's also green and white text in the middle and at the bottom of the image.

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Put one in an out of doors planter, and your placement choices improve all of the extra.

The “hows” of indoor and out of doors cultivation are fairly related, however the latter requires suggestions and methods {that a} strictly indoor grower might not know.

On this information, we’ll break down all the pieces that you must know for rising these perennials within the nice outside. Propagation, cultivation, upkeep… all of it and extra will probably be revealed.

Right here’s what we’ll cowl:

Shall we start?

Strawberry Geraniums 101

Often known as strawberry begonias, strawberry saxifrage, and creeping saxifrage, strawberry geraniums are herbaceous evergreen perennials from the Saxifragaceae household, which incorporates species corresponding to jade crops, astilbe, and coral bells.

So despite the title, they aren’t really associated to strawberries, geraniums, or begonias.

A horizontal overhead image of the scalloped leaves of strawberry geranium plants growing in a cluster outdoors.

Hardy in USDA Zones 6 to 9, S. stolonifera hails from temperate areas of China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, and is usually discovered rising in rocky cliffs, like many different species within the Saxifraga genus.

Able to rising out of the cracks of rocks themselves and fissuring them additional, strawberry geranium is one powerful buyer.

Forming three- to nine-inch-tall rosettes of furry, darkish inexperienced rounded leaves with reddish undersides and silver markings, strawberry geraniums unfold by way of their creeping crimson stolons, forming dense carpets of greenery.

Individually, every plant grows a couple of foot or two vast.

An overhead horizontal shot leafy green strawberry begonias growing as a ground cover outdoors.

These strawberry-esque stolons kind new rooted plantlets the place every one touches the soil.

If the stolons dangle over a container’s sides, then they don’t even want to the touch down in any respect to kind plantlets.

In spring, floral stems as much as 18 inches tall develop from the rosettes, every blooming with five-petaled flowers – three smaller pink petals up prime, and two bigger, magenta-speckled pink petals beneath.

Selection Choice

Step one in strawberry geranium cultivation is deciding on which one you need to develop. Past the usual species, you could have a few cultivars to select from.

For a deviation from darkish inexperienced leaves, you could possibly go along with the chartreuse foliage of ‘Harvest Moon.’

These in search of giant, silver-veined leaves would do properly with ‘Hsitou Silver.’

For a spread that’s delightfully crimson, I’d choose ‘Maroon Magnificence’ or ‘Stephanie.’

The previous has reddish hairs and blotches of crimson between the leaves, whereas the latter rocks particularly crimson stems and stolons.

Excited by a number of totally different colours? Strive ‘Tricolor,’ a spread that’s variegated in inexperienced, white, and pink hues.

You might additionally select ‘Variegata,’ which flaunts distinguished white to pink leaf margins.


If this one sounds interesting, you could find three-inch ‘Variegata’ crops obtainable by way of Amazon.

Strawberry Begonia

If you wish to get your arms on the species plant, it’s obtainable in three-inch containers from Bubbleblooms by way of Amazon.

Propagation and Placement 

First issues first: you and your backyard have to be in USDA Hardiness Zones 6 to 9 to efficiently develop strawberry geraniums outside year-round.

In colder areas, you’ll should develop them as annuals, or maybe in containers or hanging baskets that may be introduced indoors earlier than temperatures begin to dip under -10°F.

A cool factor about strawberry geraniums is the way in which they will fill out an adjoining empty space on their very own, with no gardener’s assist.

A horizontal shot from overhead of green strawberry geranium leaves with white variegation.

However if you wish to pace up their enlargement, develop some strawberry begonias in one other zone of your backyard, or replenish some spare out of doors containers you’ve bought laying round, you then’ll want to begin propagating.

The simplest methodology is to take plantlet cuttings – ideally in spring, after your space’s remaining frost date.

To do that, choose plantlets with at the very least 5 mature leaves and minimize them away from the mum or dad with a pointy and sterile blade, ensuring to go away an inch of stolon stem connected.

A horizontal image of a potted strawberry geranium sitting on a white surface and illuminated with bright light.

If the plantlets have already got roots, then you may plant them immediately in planting holes ready in moist, fertile, well-draining backyard soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0.

Make certain the planting websites are in full to half shade and house the crops one to 2 ft aside. In case you’re making an attempt for a floor cowl, by no means concern – the crops will fill within the house in between!

Plantlets sure for containers ought to go in pots, planters, and/or hanging baskets full of a 50:50 mixture of perlite and peat moss or coconut coir.

Make certain there are drainage holes on the backside of the pot, with at the very least an inch between the foundation system and the container’s sides.

A horizontal shot of a shaded outdoor mass of Saxifraga stolonifera plants blooming with clusters of delicate pinkish white flowers.

For plantlets with poor or non-existent root improvement, deal with these as stem cuttings and set them in water, retaining the leaves above the water’s floor, which ought to promote root improvement.

To drag this off, fill a tall, slender glass with filtered or distilled water, and even rainwater that you’ve collected.

If the leaves aren’t supported and stored out of the water by the lip of the glassware, then the vessel isn’t skinny sufficient. If the stem isn’t utterly submerged, then that you must add extra water.

Plant Propagation Tubes

Want some glassware? Do this hanging, three-tiered picket check tube station with 15 included tubes, obtainable from Amazon.

Place them in an space with vivid, oblique gentle indoors and alter out the water each three days. After a couple of weeks, the plant ought to have grown two-inch roots – at this level, they are often moved into their everlasting properties.

When you have a big specimen that wants repotting in spring or summer time, you too can divide your crops to amass new specimens!

To divide an current plant, water it 24 hours earlier than eradicating it from the bottom or container, brushing away the soil from the roots, and splitting it at its horizontal rhizome.

Make certain every division has a good, proportionate quantity of roots and shoots, after which they’re able to go within the floor or a container. Dig planting holes giant sufficient to suit the foundation techniques, then decrease the divisions in.

A close-up shot of a Saxifraga stolonifera flower stem bearing delicate pinkish white flower petals in an outdoor garden.

Add a little bit of humus like rotted manure or compost as you backfill the planting holes, and deeply water the foundation zone of your crops instantly after backfilling, which’ll give them a pleasant begin to their new lives.

In case you’re transplanting nursery begins, dig holes the identical dimension because the container the crops are rising in, and be certain that they’re sitting on the identical depth as they had been of their authentic pots.

Rising Necessities

So you could have some positioned and settled strawberry geraniums in your backyard, whether or not within the floor or in a container. Now what?

A vertical overhead shot of a colony of strawberry geraniums growing to the right of gray hardscape outdoors.

You’ll must irrigate them frequently within the absence of rain, for one.

Permit the highest inch or two of the encircling soil to dry earlier than watering deeply. In fall, your watering frequency will naturally go down because the plant’s transpiration charges lower – and in winter, when temperatures dip under freezing, you received’t need to water in any respect.

Month-to-month purposes of a balanced fertilizer will assist hold your crops well-nourished.

Jack’s Traditional Fertilizer

For an efficient product, do this water-soluble, 20-20-20 fertilizer from Jack’s Traditional, obtainable by way of Amazon.

Upkeep Ideas

As with many crops, it pays to prune lifeless, broken, or diseased plant tissues everytime you occur to note them.

Your specimens will look higher and be a lot more healthy when you do that frequently.

Strawberry geranium flowers are undoubtedly fairly, however when you’re going for a solely foliar aesthetic, then you may pinch again the flower stems as they seem.

A horizontal overhead shot of strawberry begonia plants growing among rocks in an outdoor rock garden.

Potted strawberry begonias will must be divided or repotted as they outgrow their containers.

When repotting, select a container the subsequent dimension up, or one that gives at the very least an inch or two between the roots and the container’s sides.

Since strawberry geraniums are vulnerable to spreading, you’ll need to sometimes test the perimeter of your planting space to make it possible for no crops escape their supposed zone.

In the event that they do, you then’ll must promptly pull them up and both replant or toss them within the compost.

A horizontal shot of the sun-kissed tops of green Saxifraga stolonifera leaves growing outdoors.

Though they received’t die again, dormant specimens grown in USDA Zone 6 and seven do properly with a layer of mulch for extra winter safety.

For ease in shifting round, go along with a lightweight mulch corresponding to pine straw or finely shredded wooden chips.

In climates colder than USDA Zone 6, your strawberry geraniums will must be introduced inside by the point temperatures dip under -10°F and cared for till the next spring.

You’ll be able to study extra about rising strawberry begonias indoors in our information.

Pest and Illness Administration

The easiest way to forestall pests and illness points in a plant is to take care of it correctly and hold it wholesome.

Following the above suggestions, together with utilizing sterilized gardening instruments and disease-free rising mediums, ought to assist tremendously.

A horizontal image from overhead of a bunch of Saxifraga stolonifera plants growing on an outcropping of rusty brown stone outdoors.

However when pests like aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and whiteflies infest and feed in your crops, they will endure from signs corresponding to leaf chlorosis, dieback, desiccation, and even dying.

Plus, secondary points like honeydew secretion and sooty mould formation can rear their ugly heads.

Sturdy sprays of water can knock pests off of plant surfaces, whereas sprays of horticultural oil and insecticidal soaps will really kill them.

Any tissues severely infested with and broken by bugs ought to be pruned away.

A vertical shot of a white spray bottle of Monterey's Ready-To-Use horticultural oil placed in front of a white background.

Monterey Horticultural Oil

Monterey gives ready-to-spray and concentrated horticultural oil by way of Arbico Organics.

A vertical shot of a white-and-gold bottle of Bonide's Insecticidal Soap in front of a white background.

Insecticidal Cleaning soap

You will discover Bonide multi-purpose insecticidal cleaning soap at Arbico Organics, as properly.

There aren’t many notable illnesses that afflict strawberry geraniums, though root rot can happen when gardeners overwater or when they’re rising in soil that lacks satisfactory drainage.

To cease root rot from progressing, instantly cease overwatering and shield your specimens from extreme rainfall, if potential.

To forestall the issue altogether, at all times you’ll want to plant in well-draining soil or rising medium.

A Actual Candy Floor Cowl

Though S. stolonifera isn’t candy like an precise strawberry, its look is fairly savory. Wouldn’t you agree?

A horizontal shot of the light green, fuzzy leaves of strawberry begonia (Saxifraga stolonifera) growing outside in partially lit conditions.

Whether or not you place them within the floor or in swanky containers outside, strawberry geraniums will actually brighten up your out of doors panorama.

Any questions, ideas, experiences of your individual to share? Head on right down to the feedback part.

And for extra enticing foliage crops so as to add to your panorama, try these guides subsequent:

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