Strawberry Begonia Care: Growing Strawberry Begonias Indoors
The following are some of the most common questions and concerns regarding strawberry begonias. Please read through all of them before posting your question or concern! If you have any other questions not addressed here, please feel free to ask it in our forum. Thank You For Visiting Our Site!
Q: What is the best way to grow strawberries?
A: There are many ways to grow strawberries. Some prefer growing them in pots, others like growing them in soil, and still others like growing them in containers. However, if you want to maximize the amount of fruit produced from each plant then you will need a combination of both methods.
Potting up strawberry plants is a good option for those who do not want to deal with the hassle of watering and fertilizing their plants every time they are ready to harvest. Potting up strawberry plants requires less space than growing them in soil, but does require extra attention when it comes to maintaining the soil around the plant. A well-potted plant will produce more fruit per square foot than one that is poorly potted.
Q: How can I maximize my yield with potting up?
A: The most important thing when potting up strawberry plants is to keep them in a large enough container to ensure that the plant can have a long and healthy life. A 10-gallon container would be the smallest size suitable for potting up a strawberry plant.
Q: How do I know if a container is suitable for growing my strawberry plants?
A: A good rule of thumb is that the pot should have at least one gallon of soil for every inch of the diameter of the plant’s root mass. For example, if you have a 10-inch diameter root mass then the container would need to have at least 10 gallons of soil.
Q: What types of containers are suitable for growing my strawberry plants?
A: Any type of container that can hold soil and has a drainage hole is suitable. This includes, but is not limited to: buckets, garbage cans, tubs, wooden boxes, and window pans. The most commonly used containers include the 5-gallon bucket or plastic nursery container (plastic nursery containers tend to dry out more quickly than a bucket, so they need to be monitored more frequently).
Q: How do I go about potting up a strawberry plant?
A: First, take the plant out of its current container and loosen up the roots. If the plant is growing in a small and crowded nursery tray (e.g., four-inch pot) then it will probably be best to remove it completely from the container by gently pulling it out or cutting away the sides of the container.
Once the plant is out of its container, you have several options to pot it up. One option is to place the entire root mass into a bucket and fill it with soil. You can also choose to cut off some of the root mass and place that into a bucket or other suitable container.
Another option is to cut the root mass into smaller sections (if necessary) and plant each section into its own container. This is especially handy if you only have a few plants that need to be potted up, because it will allow you to fit several plants into the same amount of space.
Q: I’ve heard that some types of mulch are harmful to plants.
What types should I stay away from?
A: Some types of mulches are harmful to plants because they are known to attract pests such as the dreaded cutworm. Mulches that are known to attract pests include: cocoa, coffee, and bayen mulch. If you choose to use one of these materials then it would be best to place something like landscape fabric under the mulch before applying it around the base of the plants. This will prevent the mulch from coming into direct contact with the roots.
Q: Do I really need to water my plants every day?
A: During the peak of the summer, a good rule of thumb is to water your plants once every one or two days. You will need to watch them closely and gauge how often you need to be watering them. The best way to tell whether a plant needs water or not is to tug very gently on the stem. If it feels firm then the plant doesn’t need water. If it feels soft then it needs water right away. Also, keep in mind that your plants will need more water as they grow.
Q: What kind of fertilizer do I use for my strawberry plants?
A: You should use a high-phosphorus fertilizer. Fertilizers are usually labeled with three numbers such as 10-10-10 which stand for the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in that particular fertilizer. You will need to use a fertilizer that has a higher concentration of phosphorus since this is what strawberries need to thrive.
Q: I’ve heard that it’s important to mulch my plants.
What type of materials should I use?
A: There are several types of materials you can choose from when mulching your plants, such as straw, grass clippings, or shredded bark. It is usually a good idea to use some sort of mulch, as it helps retain moisture in the soil and keeps down the weeds. The type of mulch you choose is completely up to you, but be aware that you don’t want to place anything too thick over the crown of the plant because this could cause problems with new growth.
Q: Are there any organic materials I should avoid?
A: It’s best to avoid putting organic materials around the base of your plants that have been chemically treated in some way. For example, it would be best to avoid using hay that has been treated with herbicides or mulch made from wood that had a preservative applied.
Q: How often do I need to prune my plants?
A: It is important to prune your strawberry plants during the first year after planting. It is best to do this immediately after flowering when all of the leaves have fallen from the plant. This will promote new, healthy growth. You can prune away more than half of the plant and it will still survive as long as you keep the soil moist. After the first year, you can begin lightly pruning in the early spring just as new growth begins. Be sure to only remove about 1/3 of the new growth.
Q: I’ve noticed that there are little red bugs on my plants.
Are these harmful to my plants?
A: Those are actually good bugs, not harmful at all! They’re called predator bugs and they eat a kind of insect that likes to feed on the sap in plants, hence the name ‘sap feeders’. You might see the sap feeders themselves, which look a little like tiny moth larvae. They’re a silvery-white color and get caught in the plants sometimes, but they do not cause any direct harm to the plants. You will probably always have some of these bugs in your garden, but you can minimize their population by keeping your garden free of weeds and maintaining good insect diversity
Q: I’ve noticed little webs popping up in my garden.
Are these a problem?
A: Oh, those are probably spider webs. While we tend to think of spiders as pests because many of them are, the insect-eating variety are good for your garden. It’s best to leave them alone unless they start building their homes in your strawberries!
Q: My strawberry plants have been infested with little bugs that look like little brown mushrooms.
What do I do?
A: Those are slug eggs. They aren’t harmful to the plants, but they can definitely ruin your harvest if you let them go too long before removing them. You’ll want to scrape those off and dispose of them as quickly as possible
Some people use a salt-water solution (2 tbs salt per cup water) to kill off any bugs that might be present on the plants. I usually just spray the leaves with a cup or two of white vinegar per 3-4 gallons of water to help keep the bugs away. You’ll want to do this about once a week while the weather is nice.
Q: My plants have little webs around the base, what do I do?
A: Those are called moth webs and they’re a good sign. Moths aren’t harmful to your plants but they like to lay their eggs in the soil surrounding them. As the larvae hatch and grow they eat some of the organic matter in the soil. This is good for you because it promotes nutrient cycling, but it can be bad because they can do damage by eating a lot all at once. Usually this isn’t an issue because moth larvae are easy to spot and you can remove them before they eat too much, but if you have a lot of plants and don’t keep up with things, you might suddenly find yourself with a lot to remove!
You can also take advantage of the situation by putting out a bowl of beer near the base of the plants. The moths are attracted to the beer and float over to it, getting drunk and dying. This will also attract more moths which will lay more eggs, which is fine since you’re going to remove them anyway!
If you don’t want to use beer for some reason, try using fruit juice instead. The moths are attracted to that as well.
Q. I’ve started getting a lot of flowers on my tomato plants, but they’re all white and fuzzy. I thought tomatoes had pretty yellow or red flowers.
A: It sounds like you’ve got apple snails laying eggs in your garden. Those eggs hatch into little snails that have a big appetite and can quickly destroy a small garden. Since they’re ants, there’s not much you can do about them except keep on top of them before they get out of control.
Sources & references used in this article:
Care of house plants (revised 1970) by G Taloumis – 2015 – Lulu Press, Inc
Care of house plants (revised 1979) by FF Rockwell – 1912 – McBride, Nast
Care of house plants (reprinted June 1957) by RE Widmer – 1970 – conservancy.umn.edu
Indoors plants, identification and culture by RE Widmer, LK Cutkomp, M Ascerno, FL Pfleger – 1979 – conservancy.umn.edu
Care of house plants by RE Widmer, LC Synder – 1957 – conservancy.umn.edu
Indoor Gardening: Artificial Lighting, Terrariums, Hanging Baskets, and Plant Selection by EE Rexford – 1911 – Penn Publishing Company