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How to Start a Baby Strawberry Begonia


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Strawberry begonias grow in thick, closely spaced bundles low to the ground, making them ideal for ground cover. They thrive in full sun to full shade and like moist, well-drained soil. Identified by round, silver-veined, dark green leaves, the strawberry begonia produces tall stems topped with white flowers during spring bloom and small, red-stemmed runners later in the year. Their bright red stems—similar to strawberry plant stems—may be where the strawberry begonia gets its name.
Plant your strawberry begonias under trees, on steep hillsides and in bare patches where nothing else will grow. You don’t need to purchase many of these plants; they self-reproduce and send out baby plants on thin red vines. Just help them root, and you’ll have pretty ground cover in no time.

Difficulty:
Moderately Easy

Instructions

things you’ll need:
  • Mature compost
  • Water
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Scissors
  • Soft twine
    1. Check your strawberry begonias for tiny leaves on long, red stems. When these stems are about six inches long, lift them gently off the ground and mulch around the plant with about an inch of compost. This gives the baby plants plenty of nutrients to feed on.
    2. Examine a baby plant’s stem for leaf nodes or tiny bumps on the stem. Make a small hole in the compost with your finger and gently place a node into it. Choose a node at least four inches away from the leaves. Cover the node with compost, pressing it down gently.
    3. Water your baby strawberry begonias thoroughly after planting, until the soil is damp but not squishy. Water them this way every other day until they reach maturity, then water them as often as you do the other adult plants.
    4. Lift the leaves of the buried stem so they are perpendicular to the compost. Push a Popsicle stick into the compost next to the leaves. Use scissors to cut lengths of soft twine to tie the stem just under the leaves to the stick, staking it in place.
    5. Check on the staked baby plants each day. When they begin to darken and grow bigger, tug on them gently. Their roots should resist being pulled; snip the red stems of the rooted baby plants close to the mother plant.

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