Why will I love it?
With its rosette of fuzzy, dark-green leaves – silver-grey veins on top and a striking red underside – the strawberry geranium (Saxifraga stolonifera) is a wooer. One of its many names is “mother of thousands”, referring to the way it sends out reddish-pink, threadlike stolons, with plantlets that hang like parachutes. In late summer, blooming clusters of small, cream flowers with distinctive pointed petals are a delight.
Light or shade?
Bright, indirect light to partial shade.
Where should I put it?
In a hanging basket or on the sill of an east-facing window.
How do I keep it alive?
This plant enjoys relative humidity, so mist frequently or place the pot in a dish of wet pebbles. It’s a fast grower, so requires frequent watering during the growing season, but avoid getting the leaves wet to reduce the risk of fungal infection. In winter, it enters a period of dormancy, so needs less water, but the compost shouldn’t dry out. It prefers cool conditions (10C–15C) but can adapt to room temperature.
Did you know …
It is one of the few houseplants that can survive outside in the UK. Place in a shady, sheltered position in well-drained soil.