Strawberry Begonia, Strawberry Geranium, Roving Sailor
Saxifraga stolonifera

Family: Saxifragaceae (saks-ih-frag-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Saxifraga (saks-if-FRAG-uh) (Info)
Species: stolonifera (sto-lo-NIF-er-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Saxifraga sarmentosa
Synonym:Saxifraga veitchiana
Synonym:Saxifraga stolonifera f. cuscutiformis
Synonym:Saxifraga stolonifera var. immaculata
Synonym:Saxifraga veitchiana
View this plant in a garden

Category:

Groundcovers

Perennials

Height:

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing:

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade

Full Shade

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Evergreen

Variegated

Blue-Green

Velvet/Fuzzy-Textured

Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Plant is viviparous

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama

Bessemer, Alabama

Brewton, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama

Montgomery, Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Wetumpka, Alabama

Chino Valley, Arizona

North Little Rock, Arkansas

Alameda, California

Brentwood, California

Clayton, California

Long Beach, California

San Francisco, California

San Jose, California

Santa Ana, California

Lewes, Delaware

Bartow, Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Gulf Breeze, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Atlanta, Georgia

Canton, Georgia

Marietta, Georgia

Stockbridge, Georgia

Jeffersonville, Indiana

Louisville, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Lewiston, Maine

Baltimore, Maryland

Takoma Park, Maryland

Marlborough, Massachusetts

Warren, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Eupora, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

Piedmont, Missouri

Saint Louis, Missouri

Neptune, New Jersey

Pedricktown, New Jersey

Pequannock, New Jersey

Bronx, New York

Coram, New York

Ronkonkoma, New York

Burlington, North Carolina

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Cleveland, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Toledo, Ohio

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Eugene, Oregon

Sherwood, Oregon

Walterville, Oregon

Barto, Pennsylvania

New Hope, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Aiken, South Carolina

Chapin, South Carolina

Nashville, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Belton, Texas

North Richland Hills, Texas

Quinlan, Texas

Rowlett, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Cascade, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

Bellingham, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Puyallup, Washington

Richland, Washington

Charleston, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

21
positives
3
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Apr 26, 2015, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

Not sure why someone rated it a zone 7. This was a plant I grew up with in zone 6. I don't see it as much as I used to. It makes a great groundcover and also looks nice trailing out of containers. I love how easily new plants start without anything approaching be invasive. I'm not sure exactly how cold hardy it is, but mine survived the last two winters with temperatures below zero for weeks and it's container frozen solid. I'm guessing it's probably hardy to 5. While it is usually evergreen, it may lose. It's leaves in especially harsh winters, but the still come back, so be patient. I think it may reseed a little as well because I have a few tiny plants not attached to stolons.

Neutral

On Apr 11, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Here in Boston Z6a it survived several winters but did not thrive. Perhaps it would have done better with some soil improvement and winter protection. It was in open deciduous shade.

Positive

On Apr 11, 2015, longlayers from Fall River, MA wrote:

Have always been intrigued by this little plant ever since I saw a picture and detailed information about it in an old houseplants book from the 70's when I was 15 years old. Always wanted one however didn't feel comfortable buying a large hanging basket specimen considering they propagate so easily and freely. Just this past week I came across a small plantlet for sale at a nursery in a 2 oz Dixie cup for 99 cents. I put it in the base of a tall angelwing begonia in a 12 inch pot hoping it will spread over the summer. I would really like to root some plantlets in the garden and see how they fair in my zone 6b winter. Very attractive plant and if grown singularly without competition grows to a handsome size with thicker stolons and taller flower spikes.

Positive

On Apr 2, 2014, ImpatientGardener from Bessemer, AL wrote:

Really like this plant. It covers ground fairly slow; but is easy to remove and keep where you want it. It overwinters well in Hueytown, Alabama. I have left it outside in pots - and have some in ground. It has a little shelter from trees. I was afraid that our hard winter this year would get it but it withstood the low temps and changes. I'm dividing some this week to give away.

Positive

On Aug 20, 2013, foxhead128 from New York, NY wrote:

This seems to be an easy plant to grow, and I do like the look. I received mine in the mail a few weeks ago, and it's been doing quite well in a north-facing window. I water it about once a week; it doesn't seem to mind if water is left behind in the saucer.

Positive

On Jun 16, 2013, Dean48089 from Warren, MI (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is one of my favorite "That can't be hardy!" plants. It's perfectly winter-hardy here in my Zone 6b garden, as long as it's in a moist, shaded spot. It's not keen on sweltering heat and so, like violets, may go dormant in the summer but will return as soon as the temperatures return to comfortable levels. In the winter make sure it has snow cover or a good mulch so that the crowns and roots don't dry out. When I first started growing it a friend of mine, who lives on the Zone 6a side of the 6a/6b border, told me that he had to eradicate it from his garden because "it took over." This is a person who likes wide open spaces between every plant in his garden, and the strawberry begonia broke that rule. In my garden, where I don't like open space, it worked out just fine. A very ni... read more

Positive

On Jan 26, 2013, rkruvand from Huntsville, AL (Zone 7a) wrote:

When I lived in St Louis, Zone 5, I had a hanging basket of this plant in the house. One summer I put the pot in the shade outside. A few stolons hanging over the pot rooted in the ground, but I expected them to die over winter. To my surprise they came back in the spring. In my zone 5 garden they died to the ground in winter so they spread slowly. I took a pot of them with me when I moved to zone 7 and put them in the ground. Here they are evergreen and spread like crazy. I have given them to everyone I know and now I have to throw away extras every spring.

Neutral

On Dec 2, 2012, adheesh from Fussa Tokyo
Japan wrote:

Here in japan the plant is called " Yuki no shita" ( under the snow )
A wild edible , tempura.

Positive

On Apr 12, 2011, Erutuon from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

I planted some strawberry saxifrage last summer expecting them to die when winter came, but they survived the winter with only a little bruising of the young leaves at the crown. Probably this is just because of our 2-foot snow cover this year, which must have shielded the plants from full zone 4-5 temperatures. We'll see if they survive next winter.

Positive

On Feb 27, 2011, Amoena from Nashville, TN wrote:

I got a few starts of this plant in late summer of 2010, to plant out as an evergreen groundcover in zone 6b. While they were cute, I was not initially impressed with their growth. However, as of today, 2/27/2011, I must say that I am very impressed, as we have had a hard winter, with temps dipping to 5 degrees once, and 8 degrees twice. Since the fall, the plants have tripled in size, and made a great deal of daughter plants! Not only that, but they look great, with no signs of freeze damage.
UPDATE 3/6/2012 A year later, I have to say, this is my new favorite plant! As a good ground cover should, they politely cover area quickly, (and are easy to remove where unwanted.) The abundant blooms are charming, (if not show-stopping.) And unlike the Heucheras they are replacing, t... read more

Positive

On Jun 12, 2010, booster25 from Prestonsburg, KY wrote:

I love my Strawberry Begonia and have had it for about 2 and 1/2 years now. My only problem with it is, the taller it gets, it falls over and i can't make it stand up straight anymore. DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY IDEAS ON WHAT TO DO FOR IT? IS THIS NORMAL FOR THIS PLANT? Should it be a hanging plant that lays over?? I love it so much and i hate it falling over, b/c it looks sad! :o( Any advice would help me greatly!

Thanks!

Positive

On May 12, 2010, Sfmo from San Francisco, CA wrote:

Got it from nursery, it sold as a indoor hanging basket plant. After few months later, I found it grows slowly and looked suffering. I've replace it everywhere in the house, bright light, part shade, all shade. Watered it frequently, misted it every other day, sometimes kept it a little dried. It JUST not happy at all. I was so frustrated about this princess! I could not think of any other method to take care of it. Thus, the last method, put it outdoor with partial shade/partial sun. Guess what? It started to grow like crazy, grow 2 times bigger in just 2 months. There were lots of flower stems that popped out, even on their babies (runner). What a diva!

Neutral

On May 6, 2010, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

In my area, once temps hit 80-85, plant goes dormant. Very pretty and spreads nicely but if you want a permanent groundcover and you live in a warmer climate, this one is not the best choice. When I first started growing this plant, it was planted in a shady and moist area. It still goes dormant on me in the summer. I also planted it as companion plant in a tropical pot, brighter location, it went dormant in a week! I know it's not dead, but it requires more attention than I'm willing to devote.

Positive

On May 6, 2010, murchik from Pedricktown, NJ wrote:

First started outdoors in summer of 2009. Just a couple of plants that I divided and put in the front row of morning only shade garden. Spread readily, but not aggressively; stayed evergreen over unusually cold and snowy winter and did not seem to be bothered by rabbits at that! Rabbits usually munch on anything that stays evergreen in my garden. Even if it's something they don't eat - they nip it at the ground level and spit it out.
This spring I have a nice edging of strawberry begonias and they are starting to bloom now. Dainty little flowers that I think are very pretty if you give them a close look.
Easy and carefree plant for the front of shade garden. Will make a good groundcover for shaded areas.

Positive

On Aug 4, 2009, dalmatian_fan87 from Cascade, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

i seem to never have luck with this plant outside....it gets COVERED in those nasty white mealy bugs every time, however it is really taking off in my little terrarium. And i also have some sitting in a pot in the window.....both seem to be doing ok.

Positive

On May 4, 2008, clcg1 from Cleveland, OH wrote:

this plant is hardy in zone 6 possibly zone 5.i winter tested it in my yard in two places,one totaly exposed in a pot in the middle of my yard and another planted against my house.both survived the winter here in cleveland ohio in almost perfect condition,and they are starting to send up a lot of new leaves.i look forward to seeing it flower and plan on planting more of it in my yard this year.i never had any luck growing it as a house plant,but as an outdoor perrenial i think it is well worth growing.

Positive

On Apr 29, 2008, mellymass from Metrowest, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I bought this plant about 2 years ago from a lady in GA. What started out as 5 small plants has spread three times that much in my garden. During the winter I covered them with mulch and was surprised to see green peaking out from the snow each time it melted. I really love this plant super easy to take care of. IMO it may be on the evasive side for those who dont have much space to spare.

Positive

On Jan 14, 2006, Anitabryk2 from Long Island, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

This plant did horribly in the house - instead of discarding it, I decided to plant it outside. Who knew!!! It loves it. The most beautiful little flowers. I must state that it does not like sun. The spot I had put it in first got afternoon shade until the tree was taken down. Then I needed to move it as it started stressing and dying on me.

Glad I came across this while looking up something else. I never knew what the plant was!

Positive

On Mar 31, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I received a plant from Toxicodendron. It spread all through the summer thriving in filtered shade. In March, the "stolens" were produced and new plants started forming (see photo). It also started to flower near the end of March. It did not go dormant during the mild freezes in the winter and stayed a beautiful green. This is a great plant and I am going to start it in several other places in my yard.

Positive

On May 26, 2004, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant seems hardy here in Zone 6 of Missouri, too. I have had it planted outside for 3 years now. It looks a little bit tired after the winter, but basically stays evergreen all year. A thick groundcover can be quickly formed if the stolons are moved back into the patch to cover any bare spots. The dainty white flowers are a bonus; I cut them off after the bulk of the blooms have opened. Keep moist and in dappled or part shade for best results.

Positive

On May 25, 2004, wnstarr from Puyallup, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Edgewood, Washington
I have this delightful little plant in my flower bed and in pots on the deck. And it has survived outside for years. In the winter it dies down completely but comes back again in the Spring. It has even survived temps down to the teens. And I thought it was a tender houseplant. Nature never ceases to amaze me. Be adventurous and stretch your and a plants limits. You might be pleasantly surprised. Happy gardening.

Positive

On May 25, 2004, DiOhio from Corning, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant is hardy to zone 6. I'm in 6A and it does well.

Positive

On Jan 7, 2003, Azalea from Jonesboro, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Another common name for this plant is "Strawberry Geranium".

Positive

On Dec 13, 2002, ideboda from T-village ;) - Friesland
Netherlands (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant is also known as Mother of Thousands or Aaron's beard. It can be used as a houseplant, preferably in a hanging pot or basket, so that the young plants growing on long thin "stolons" coming out of the center of the plant (just like the leaves that form a rosette), can hang down freely. Sometimes there are hundreds of young plants on dozens of stolons.
The easiest way to propagate this plant is taking young rosettes from the stolons and planting them in potting-soil. They root easily.
To get flowers, however, it seems the plant has to get some frost, so in winter it should be outside to get this particular inflorescence with the pretty white flowers in June.