Strawberry Plant

Introduction to the Strawberry Plant Page

Do you want to learn about the strawberry plant? If you are seeking knowledge or information about the strawberry fruit or strawberry plant, you’ve landed in the right spot! This site (Strawberry Plants .org) will provide as much information as possible to help you understand the intricacies of strawberry plants.

We are passionate about everything related to the strawberry plant here. We hope that passion shines through. We are glad that you have found us and hope to be able to serve your informational needs. We want to see more people gain a respect for and interest in strawberry plants. If you have a question about the strawberry plant or the delicious fruit they produce, feel free to ask!

How the Strawberry Plant Page Works

This main Strawberry Plant page serves as a hub for everything related to the strawberry plant itself. It covers the basic information needed to familiarize you with the strawberry plant. The basics of strawberries and the plants that produce them will be explained in the top part of the page, and a directory of links to pages with more detailed or complex information on strawberry plants will be included at the bottom.

On this page you can find basic information about scientific classification of strawberries, strawberry plant anatomy, the history of strawberry plants, strawberry plant diseases and pests, the nutritional value of strawberries, and more! If the answers to your questions about strawberry plants aren’t explained in the sections below, there is a good chance that the linked pages will contain the information you are seeking.

There is a wealth of strawberry plant information here, and there is much more that will be added. So, the links at the bottom will be updated with new information regularly. We will stop updating when there is nothing left to write about the strawberry plant! Again, if you have a specific question about strawberry plants, feel free to use the comments or the form on the About page to ask.

Strawberry Plant Scientific Classification

The strawberry plant is actually a relative of the rose, hailing from the Rosaceae family. The genus of strawberry plants is Fragaria, and there are over twenty species. Additionally, there are numerous hybrid strawberries and many varieties of cultivars.

The most commonly grown strawberry plant species is Fragaria x ananassa, or the Garden Strawberry. Virtually all commercial strawberry growers use one of the cultivars of the Garden Strawberry in their farming operations. However, there are many other strawberry plant species grown in home gardens around the world.


Scientific Classification: Strawberry Plant

 







Kingdom:



Plantae




Division:



Magnoliophyta



Class:



Magnoliopsida



Order:



Rosales




Family:



Rosaceae




Subfamily:



Rosoideae



Tribe:



Potentilleae



Subtribe:



Fragariinae



Genus:



Fragaria




Species:



over 20 different species

When it comes to differentiating and classifying the numerous strawberry plant species, the number of chromosomes the plant has is the key. All strawberry plants share seven common types of chromosomes. To distinguish between species, the number of pairs of these chromosomes must be determined. Some strawberry plant species are diploid, meaning they have two sets of the seven chromosomes (14 total). Others are tetraploid (4 pairs, 28 total), hexaploid (6 pairs, 42 total), octaploid (8 pairs, 56 total), or decaploid (10 pairs, 70 total).

Generally, the strawberry plant species with higher chromosome counts are more robust, grow larger as plants, and produce bigger strawberries. Exceptions do exist, however. For more information on the different cultivars and types of strawberry plants, see the Strawberry Varieties page.

Strawberry plants are genetically robust and can adapt to various climates. They are easily found virtually everywhere, except Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, which have no indigenous forms.

The Anatomy of a Strawberry Plant

As with any biological organism, the anatomy of a strawberry plant can be quite complex, depending on how deeply you delve into the microscopic world. For the sake of this page, a basic overview is presented.

There are five basic anatomical structures that make up a strawberry plant’s being. They are the leaf, root system, crown, stolon (more commonly called a “runner”), and daughter strawberry plant. See the labeled strawberry plant picture below:

strawberry plant anatomy

The leaves and the roots of a strawberry plant engage in photosynthesis or absorb water and nutrients from the soil in order to facilitate growth and reproduction. As the top three inches of soil contain about 70% of a strawberry plant’s roots, they are particularly susceptible to drought conditions. If you plan on growing strawberry plants, gain success by learning from the Growing Strawberries page.

The productive engine of a strawberry plant is contained within the crown. It is from this region that strawberry plants produce both runners (stolons) and flowering fruit stalks that eventually yield strawberries. Containing the growth energy of a plant by clipping runners and early flower buds can cause crown multiplication, which will often result in more, higher-quality fruit per plant in subsequent years.

The daughter plants are maintained by the runners until their root bud comes into contact with soil and establishes an independent root system. At that point, the runner will dry, shrivel, and eventually separate completely leaving a new and independent strawberry plant clone.

A Brief History of the Strawberry Plant

For a brief history of the strawberry plant, it is easiest to begin with Fragaria vesca. This species of strawberry plant is native throughout the Northern Hemisphere and goes by many different names. The varying names for Fragaria vesca include: the woodland strawberry, wood strawberry, wild strawberry, European strawberry, fraises des bois, and alpine strawberry (more specifically, the alpine strawberry plant is generally understood to be of the cultivated, everbearing type).

Genetically, an ancestor to the Fragaria vesca species (which is diploid) likely formed a hybrid strawberry plant with an ancestor to the Fragaria iinumae (which is also diploid) to eventually produce the octoploid strawberry plants. The exact hybridization and speciation process that resulted in the formation of an octoploid strawberry plant is not currently known. However, both Fragaria virginiana and Fragaria chiloensis (both octoploid) appear to be genetically identical, and, as a result, all the cultivated varieties of garden strawberries also carry the same genetic complement.

Fragaria vesca strawberries have long been consumed by humans. Archaeological evidence suggests human consumption as far back as the Stone Age. The first cultivated strawberries were grown in ancient Persia. The fruit from these Persian-cultivated strawberry plants was referred to as Toot Farangi. The seeds of this strawberry plant traveled both east and west along the Silk Road and were being widely cultivated from Europe to the Far East.

The first recorded documented botanical illustration of a strawberry plant is believed to be from 1454. A depiction in Herbaries was included as a figure.

Additionally, the American Indians were already consuming native strawberries and using them for culinary purposes prior to the arrival of European colonists. It is believed that Strawberry Shortcake was developed by the colonists by modifying an Indian recipe that created “strawberry bread” by mixing and then baking crushed strawberries with cornmeal.

By the 18th century, Fragaria vesca began to be replaced by Fragaria x ananassa, the Garden Strawberry. This transition occurred because of the desirable traits exhibited by the newly bred strawberry plant: larger fruit and greater variation (easier to breed). The first strawberry hybrid, “Hudson,” was developed later (1780) in the United States.

This new strawberry plant (the Garden Strawberry) was bred in 1740 in Brittany, France, from a North American strawberry plant and a South American strawberry plant. The colonists had been shipping North American strawberry plants back to Europe as early as 1600, and the conquistadors had identified another strawberry plant variety they called “futilla.” The Fragaria virginiana plant was noted for its pleasing flavor and came from the eastern region of what would become the Untied States of America. The Fragaria chiloensis was noted for its large size and was brought by Amédée- François Frézier from the regions of Argentina and Chile. The breeding was a success as the Garden Strawberry plant has now become the strawberry plant of choice for most commercial and home strawberry growers.

In the early 19th century, strawberry plant cultivation increased dramatically in the United States as ice cream with strawberries became a popular dessert. New York became a strawberry hub in those days. Railroads and refrigerated rail cars allowed the production of strawberries to spread, most notably to Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana.

Currently, the vast majority of North American strawberries are grown in California (about 75%).

With strawberry plant selection and breeding practices, cultivars have been created that have drastically increased the size of the strawberries. The early strawberry plants had fruit that was very small. Now, many strawberry plants will produce berries that require multiple bites!

Also, with the onset of genomics and gene mapping, the alpine strawberry plant has now become the focus of strawberry plant research. Since it is easy to propagate, has a reproductive cycle of 14-15 weeks in a controlled environment, and has a very small genome size, this strawberry plant has become adopted as a genetic model for the Garden Strawberry specifically and the Rosaceae family generally. It is used as an indicator plant for disease research.

Strawberry Plant Etymology

There is some disagreement as to how the strawberry plant got its name. It is generally accepted that the English word “strawberry” comes from the Old English “streawberige” or the Anglo-Saxon “streoberie” (sometimes also spelled “stroeberrie”). Regardless, it was not spelled in the modern fashion until about 1538. It is likely that the straw that was traditionally used as mulch and to keep the weeds out and berries clean gave rise to the name. However, some argue that the straw-like appearance of the strawberry plant runners led to its current English name.

The genus name under which the strawberry falls, Fragaria, derives from the Latin word for strawberry, “fraga.”  And, “fraga” itself is a derivative of “fragum,” which means “fragrant” and accurately characterizes the olfactory sensation that characterizes freshly plucked strawberry fruits!

Strawberry Plant Diseases

There are quite a few diseases that affect strawberry plants. The strawberry plant’s leaves, roots, and fruit are all susceptible to a variety of diseases, depending on the resistance of the strawberry plant cultivar being considered. This is a summary of the most common strawberry plant diseases:

Red Stele Root Rot
A strawberry plant’s roots are damaged by red stele root rot (also known as Lanarkshire disease). The disease is caused by a fungus living in the soil, and its presence is confirmed in a strawberry plant that has a red core to its roots. The fungus is particularly prevalent in the northern two-thirds of the United States. Heavy clay soils with poor drainage that remain saturated with water during cool weather are most at risk. The fungus that causes red stele root rot is Phytophthora fragariae, and, once established, can remain alive for at least thirteen years (maybe longer), regardless of crop rotation.

Strawberry Plant Leaf Spot
strawberry plant leaf spotLeaf spot is caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella fragariae and manifests as dark purple to reddish-purple spots on multiple parts of the strawberry plant. The round spots are usually between 1/8 and 1/4 inches in diameter and most easily seen on the leaves of an infected strawberry plant. However, the petioles, stolons, fruit stalks (pedicels), and strawberry caps (calyxes), and ripe strawberries can also be infected. The center of the spots eventually become almost white with tan or gray intermediate steps. The parts of the strawberry plant affected by this disease are the young, succulent ones.

Strawberry Plant Leaf Blight
strawberry plant leaf blightThe fungus Dendrophoma obscurans (also known as Phomopsis obscurans) causes leaf blight, and it typically does its damage after harvest. One to six enlarging, elliptical or angular blemishes will develop on the leaflets and growing up to one inch in width. The spots begin with a reddish-purple color. As they enlarge, they develop a dark brown center that is surrounded by a lighter brown area with a purplish border. This fungus almost exclusively attacks weaker, slow-growing plants and usually ignores youthful runner plants. Dendrophoma obscurans can also cause a spreading, pink, soft rot at the stem end of a strawberry.

Strawberry Plant Leaf Scorch
Leaf scorch is caused by the fungus Diplocarpon earliana, which attacks the strawberry plant’s leaves, calyxes, petioles, runners, and pedicels. In the early stages, it looks like leaf spot. Later, the lesions develop black spots as the fungal fruiting bodies are produced, but, unlike leaf spot, the centers of the lesions will remain dark purple. Strawberry plant leaves with a severe infection will shrivel and appear scorched. Rarely the fungus will infect green strawberries causing reddish brown spots or flecks to be visible on the unripe fruit.

Strawberry Gray Mold
gray mold strawberry plantIf a strawberry plant is infected by gray mold, fruit production is likely to be particularly devastated (expect 80-90% loss of both flowers and strawberries). It is caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea, and wreaks havoc during rainy and cloudy periods just before or during harvest. Strawberries touching dirt, another infected or rotting strawberry, or dead leaves in dense foliage are most commonly affected. The fungus causes infections that manifest as soft, rapidly-growing spots that are light brown in color. The fruit will dry out, darken, and become covered with a dust-like, powdery layer of fungus spores, which gives the gray appearance.

Strawberry Plant Leaf Variegation
Leaf variegation is a mysterious disease, and its cause is currently unknown. It also goes by many other names, including: June yellows, spring yellows, chlorosis, Blakemore yellows, and non-infectious variegation. The disease usually (but not exclusively) occurs in strawberry plants that have Howard 17 (Premier), Blakemore, or Auchincruive Climax cultivars in their plant ancestries. Affecting only flowers and leaves, the disease manifests on new leaflets in the spring as yellow or white streaks or spots and a puckering of the leaflet. While onset is unpredictable, the strawberry plant will progressively manifest worsening symptoms until it dies two to three years later as a dwarfed and unproductive shell of its former self.

Verticillium Wilt of the Strawberry Plant
strawberry plant wiltVerticillium wilt is caused by a very common soil fungus called Verticillium alboatrum. For new strawberry plantings, symptoms usually manifest as new runners are being produced. Older plantings are usually affected just before harvest. Affected strawberry plants will show different symptoms depending on the cultivar, and affected plants must be tested for definitive diagnosis. The symptoms are not easily distinguished from other strawberry plant root diseases or winter injury. Once established, the fungus will likely survive for 25 years or more.

Leather Rot (Crown Rot) of the Strawberry
strawberry plant pathogenLeather rot (also known as crown rot) is caused by the fungus Phytophthora cactorum and affects strawberries in poorly drained soils where there is or has been standing water. Most commonly, the fungus causes brown areas or brown outlines to form on green strawberries. The infected strawberries will have an unpleasant odor and bitter taste. Mature strawberries that are infected may look completely normal and taste terrible. Excessive rainfall in May, June, and July often create the optimal conditions for this fungal infection.

Strawberry Plant Pests

In addition to the strawberry plant diseases mentioned above, there are also numerous strawberry plant pests that can damage or kill your strawberry plants. Here is a summary of the common strawberry plant pests:

Strawberry Crown Borer (Tyloderma fragariae)
These strawberry plant pests are about 1/5 of an inch long and have three spots on their wing covers. They are flightless weevils that feed on strawberry plant crowns to open holes, into which they then lay their eggs through the middle of June. The hatched larva will bore into the crowns causing damage to the growing strawberry plant. The grubs will form a pupa and subsequently become a weevil to feed on the plant’s leaves.

Strawberry Root Weevil (Otiorhynchus ovatus)
strawberry plant root weevilRoot weevils are about 1/3 of an inch long and have wing covers distinguished by many rows of small pits. Adult weevils will lay eggs into the soil. Hatched larvae will burrow through the soil and feed on the roots and crowns of a nearby strawberry plant causing damage or death. The adult weevils will feed on the leaves.

White Grubs (Phyllophaga)
strawberry plant pest june beetleWhite grubs range from 1/2 to 1 inch and eventually become the large May or June beetles (also called “June bugs”) common to many parts of the United States. The grubs burrow into the soil and overwinter twice before taking beetle form. Consequently, the grubs can do damage to the roots of strawberry plants for multiple years as they feed.

Strawberry Rootworm (Paria fragariae)
Adult beetles are shiny, oval-shaped, dark brown to black, about 1/3 of an inch long, and display four blotches on their wing covers. Adults feed on the leaves through early fall and can cover strawberry plant foliage with holes. The larvae burrow into the soil and feed on the roots.

Strawberry Root Aphid (Aphis forbesi)
Also known as the strawberry root louse, this small strawberry plant pest is about 1 mm in length, has a oval and dark bluish-green body, and has a yellowish head. They feed on the roots and crowns of strawberry plants and can be quite numerous if infestation occurs.

Strawberry Leafrollers (Ancylis comptana fragariae)
The adult moths emerge in April or May to lay their eggs on the strawberry plant, usually on the underside of the leaflets. The translucent eggs then hatch and the larvae feed on the epidermis of the leaves, secreting silk threads as they go to tie the leaflets together. Other species of leafrollers also feed on the strawberry plant, but none of them usually cause significant damage to the overall strawberry planting.

Strawberry Mites (Tetranychus urticae and Steneotarsonemus pallidus)
strawberry plant spider miteThe two-spotted spider mite and the cyclamen mite can wreak havoc on strawberry plants. The spider mites damage leaf surfaces in order to feed on sap, while the cyclamen mites feed on new, unfolding leaves and blossoms. Both will cause leaf death and drop, and the cyclamen mite causes distorted fruits.

Strawberry Clipper (Anthonomus signatus)
Also known as the strawberry weevil, these pests are about 1/10 of an inch long, dark reddish-brown, and have a long and slender, curved snout. The adults feed on pollen inside the almost-mature flower, subsequently laying an egg inside the flower. They then girdle the bud to prevent opening and clip the stem so that it hangs or falls to the ground.

Tarnished Plant Bug (Lygus lineolaris)
strawberry plant pest lygusAlso known as the Lygus bug, these strawberry plant pests are about 1/4 of an inch long and are distinguished by a yellow “V” marking on their back just behind the head. In the spring they feed on strawberry plant flowers which results in disfigured and knobby strawberries.

Slugs (Agriolimax and Arion species)
strawberry plant slugSlugs will eat deep holes into strawberries and leave slime trails over the strawberry plant. The damaged strawberries will begin to decay quickly. Slugs can do great damage to a strawberry harvest.

Birds
Birds will find a way to rob at least some of your strawberries from your strawberry plants before you are able to pick them. To minimize the loss, plant more strawberry plants than you need, and cover the area with bird netting to keep the thieves out as much as possible.

strawberry nutrition factsThe Nutritional Value of Strawberries

The fruit of the strawberry plant is packed with beneficial nutrients, particularly Vitamin C and flavonoids. One cup of strawberries weighs approximately 144 grams and contains between 45 and 50 calories. Strawberries are over 90% water, 7% carbohydrates, about 2% fiber, and less than 1% each of protein, fat, and ash.

Strawberries are also a dietary source of minerals and vitamins. The following minerals are in strawberries, in descending amounts: potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, and selenium. Strawberries are also a good source of the following vitamins: Vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E. Additionally, strawberries contain 18 different amino acids.

Basically, unless you have a strawberry allergy, you can’t go wrong eating fresh, clean strawberries. They are quite good for you!

Strawberry Allergies

Some individuals have allergic reactions to strawberries if they consume them. The most common of these is called oral allergy syndrome. However, allergic symptoms similar to those of hay fever are also prevalent. Skin problems such as dermatitis or hives can also occur, and, in serious cases, breathing problems can develop.

The specific allergen responsible for provoking the reaction is thought to be tied to a protein named Fragaria allergen 1, or Fra a1 for short. This protein is thought to be involved in the ripening process the berries go through. Consequently, strawberry plant cultivars that produce white, pale, or yellow “golden” fruit due to their lacking Fra a1, may be able to be consumed by individuals normally allergic to strawberries. The Sofar cultivar is thought to be virtually allergen-free.  For more details, see the Strawberry Allergy page.

Strawberry Plant Lore and Trivia

The fruit of the strawberry plant has been around for a very, very long time. Being as delectable as it is, it is no surprise that it has had an impact on various cultures and has been inserted into literature through the ages. These strawberry plant facts may satiate those curious about strawberry lore.

In ancient Roman times, the strawberry was a symbol for the goddess of beauty, love, and fertility, presumably due to its red color and being shaped like a heart. In fact, legend still holds that breaking a “double” strawberry in half and then consuming it with a member of the opposite sex will cause the pair to fall in love.

Medieval stone masons used depictions of strawberries etched or carved on alters, in churches, and in cathedrals to symbolize righteous perfection.

It is also reported that the second wife of King Henry VIII had a birthmark on her neck shaped like a strawberry. Supposedly, this birthmark cemented her status as a witch. Regardless, she died at the hands of the executioner in 1536.

Shakespeare also decided to use the strawberry as a symbolic decoration on Desdemonda’s handkerchief in Othello.

The delicate fruit of the strawberry plant has always represented purity, passion, and even healing. Herbal teas are made from the leaves, stems, and flowers. It is believed that the strawberries and other parts of the strawberry plant can alleviate or aid in the treatment of various diseases or disorders including: diarrhea, gout, kidney stones, bad breath, throat infections, fevers, inflammatory conditions, fainting, melancholy or depression, and diseases of the blood, spleen, and liver.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Madame Tallien, a social figure during the French Revolution, is reported to have found a unique use for strawberries: bathing. The socialite and fashoinista is reported to have bathed in the strawberry juice of over 20 pounds of strawberries for its healing properties.

Indeed, strawberries still have ceremonial roles today. In parts of Bavaria, the people still perform the yearly rite of tying little baskets of wild strawberries to the horns of their cattle. They do this as an offering to elves. They believe that the elves crave the sweet berries and will help the cattle produce abundant milk and healthy calves in return.

The Strawberry Plant: Conclusion

Many volumes of information and details could be written about the strawberry plant. Hopefully, you’ve found what you were looking for on this page. If not, feel free to contact us or leave a comment regarding the information you are seeking.

And, be sure to check back often for updated articles on the various aspects of the strawberry plant! New articles will be posted below with links.

More:

Strawberry Pollination
Strawberry pollination is not very difficult. However, pollinating strawberries has some surprising benefits. Learn why and how to pollinate strawberries.  The benefits are multitudinous!

Strawberry Plants with Yellow Flowers
Do strawberry plants have yellow flowers?  If you’ve found strawberries with yellow flowers…you haven’t.  Strawberry plants with yellow flowers are the false strawberry weed.  Details are here.

Wilting Strawberry Plants
Do you have wilting strawberry plants? Why do strawberry plants wilt? See this post to learn about what causes strawberries to wilt and the why behind the top five causes of wilted strawberries look no further.

Nitrogen Deficiency in Strawberry Plants
Do you have strawberry plants with yellow leaves? Nitrogen deficiency in strawberry plants often causes strawberries with yellow leaves. Learn how to remedy nitrogen deficiency in strawberries.

Strawberry Seedlings
Learn about newborn strawberry plants here: planting strawberry seedlings, handling strawberry seedlings, hardening strawberry seedlings, and everything about the strawberry seedling!

How Many Strawberries Do Strawberry Plants Produce?
Find out all you need to know about the quantities of strawberries you can expect to harvest: by plant, by row foot, or by acre.  Use this info to plan ahead for your needs!

Thrips & Strawberry Plants
Thrips and strawberry plants just don’t mix. Thrips are simply a pain in the stamen for all strawberry lovers. Information on thrips and strawberry plants is here!

Strawberry Allergy
Do you have a strawberry allergy? Being allergic to strawberries or having strawberry allergies is hard. Being allergic to strawberry proteins diminishes enjoyment!  Strawberry allergy details are here.

Genetics of Strawberry Plants
The genetics of strawberry plants and strawberry genetics are discussed here.  Learn about the strawberry plant genetics for different strawberry plant species.

Life Cycle of Strawberry Plants
The life cycle of strawberry plants & the growth cycle of strawberry plants are unique.  Learn about the life arc of the humble strawberry plant here.

Tarnished Plant Bugs & Strawberry Plants
Tarnished plant bugs damage strawberries.  They cause a deformed nubbin strawberry to form & are very hard to kill.  Information on tarnished plant bugs & strawberry plants is here.

What Type of Plants Are Strawberry Plants?
What type of plant is a strawberry plant?  The answer is here.  Find the plant type of strawberry plants and details about strawberry plant scientific classification.

Medicinal Uses of Strawberry Plants
There are quite a few medicinal uses of strawberry plants.  Strawberry plant compounds & strawberry plant chemicals have many uses in herbal and natural remedies.  Learn about the medicinal uses of strawberries within this post.

Compounds in Strawberry Plants
Use this database of compounds in strawberry plants to identify and target useful strawberry compounds.  This may be of particular use to herbalists or other ethnobotanists.

Strawberry Plants and Vitamin C
Strawberry plants and Vitamin C go hand in hand. The better the flavor, the better the berry, and the better the simple strawberry will benefit your health.

Prevent Cancer by Eating Strawberries
It may be possible to prevent cancer by eating strawberries. Ellagic acid prevents angiogenesis and may be a natural chemotherapy alternative. Eat strawberries!

Strawberry Flowers
Each strawberry flower turns into a strawberry. Here we discuss where strawberry flowers come from, strawberry flower care, & other info on strawberry flowers.

What Are Strawberry Plant Runners? (Stolons)
What are strawberry runners? The details of strawberry plant runners are here. Find out the benefits, drawbacks, & usefulness of runners on a strawberry plant.

138 comments to Strawberry Plant

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Sheila,
    This should help. Good luck!

  • Sheila

    Hi, I just found your site and it is great, very helpful. I was able to diagnose my leaves as having Strawberry Plant Leaf spot, the fungus Mycosphaerella fragariae. I could not find what to do about it. Can you guide me in the right direction to help my plants?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    raymon,
    No, there are no legitimate blue or black strawberries. There are yellow, white, red, and purple(ish) varieties. Good luck!

  • raymon

    may i asked if there are different color of strawberry fruits like blue yellow black and more coz i saw them at aliexpress when i am planning to buy strawberry seeds..

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Al Hayes,
    I’d start with a liberal application of diatomaceous earth. If that doesn’t work, follow up here. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Judy,
    Follow the instructions here. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Ann,
    You might have an infestation of mites or other pests that are feeding on the fruit. Try a liberal application of diatomaceous earth. Good luck!

  • Al Hayes

    Please help i’ve got tiny almost invisible whitish worms eating my berries. Help…. “THANKSAGAIN!”

  • Judy

    Hi, I planted strawberries quite a few years ago. They do fruit but they have tiny little fruit that ripen and right away they are very sweet in taste but they are very very small. How can I get them to grow larger. I do not currently have runners.

  • Ann

    My berries are very small, and they dry up just as the flower is turning into a berry

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Tatiana,
    Yes, the deficiencies should be reversible. Just amend the soil with the nutrients that are lacking. Most fertilizers have both nitrogen and phosphorus. The numbers tell how much N-P-K the fertilizer supplies. So, 10-10-10 fertilizer would be equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Good luck!

  • Tatiana

    Could you, please, tell me if the nutrition deficiencies reversible? I am thinking we got pretty bad Nitrogen and/or Phosphorus deficiency. Thanks in advance
    Tat

  • Mr. Strawberry

    sherry,
    Try this resource. Good luck!

  • sherry

    My strawberries have worms in the berry. The berry looks fine. If you let them sit a bit they come out. Sometimes they are showing when you pick them. They are grayish and hairy. I can’t find it in any description of pest.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    LAURIE,
    Strawberry plants can definitely live year-to-year. So, I’d just watch for the blossoms. If they are white, you have strawberries! If they are yellow, it’s a weed. Good luck!

  • LAURIE

    I have been told that strawberries can travel all over the yard. We had hurricane sandy and they have been gone. Now all of a sudden I think I have to very full and healthy plants in two different areas of the garden. (Ironically, I had tried to plant a small rose bush last summer in each spot.) Well this spring the rose bushes never came but the strawberry plants did. Again, I think that they are strawberries. I am hoping they are not weeds!! HELP!! Thanks!!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Holly,
    Some brown is normal. As long as your plants continue to do well, I wouldn’t worry about it. There are a few pathogens than can cause your crown to become diseased, but the leaves will die, followed by the plant dying, in those instances. If everything else looks fine, I would wait and watch for signs of stress on your plants. If you don’t see any, fret not! Good luck!

  • Holly

    Hello!

    I am new to growing strawberries. I planted them last spring. I am in southwestern Ohio. This year my plants look good and are flowering but the centers where the strawberry is forming has turned brown. Leaves are green and flower petals are white. Why are the centers of the flowers brown instead of yellow? Is this okay or do I have a problem? Thanks so much for your help!

    Holly

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Heather,
    It is called vivipary or viviparous germination. The seeds spontaneously germinate while still on the plant. It doesn’t make for a tasty strawberry, but is a normal, if infrequent, occurrence with strawberries.

  • Heather

    We have some Alinta strawberry plants but the strawberries themselves are all re shooting from the tiny seeds on the outside of the strawberry itself. What is the cause and what needs to be done? the berry just looks like a green hairy strawberry.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    katie,
    You might not be watering them adequately. I’d recommend reviewing this information. Good luck!

  • katie

    Hey Mr strawberry
    This is my first time growing strawberries my plants leaves keep browning and the flower buds look like tiny yellow fuzzy little strawberries but they haven’t grown.is there something wrong? What do i do? The plant keeps on growing

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Claire,
    The strawberry will be uniformly sweet if it is uniformly ripe. Often, strawberries are picked slightly too early. And, since the tip of the strawberry ripens last, it will be less sweet than the rest of the strawberry. Hope that helps!

  • Claire

    What is the sweetest part of the strawberry? I think it’s near the stem as opposed to the tip but can’t find anything to verify that.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Dar,
    Given appropriate care, each one of those leafy nodes on the runners will produce a completely new strawberry plant. Usually, a single plant will reproduce itself via runner many times over, so you can greatly multiply your plants, if space allows. View the video on the propagation page for an easy way to get the new plants growing on their own. With the hanging basket, you will have to figure some way of suspending the new growing pot for the new runners, however, or lower the hanging basket to the ground until the runner plants have rooted. As for the birds, you will need to surround the hanger with bird netting to keep them out. Once the plants stop producing berries, you can remove the netting. Good luck!

  • Dar

    Hello,
    This is my first time growing strawberries. I purchased 2 hanging baskets at a local farm, they both are doing well & have quite a few runners which I would like to plant in a garden bed.
    I love this web site & look forward to learning everything I need to know, so thank you:)
    I do have.a question, how can I stop the birds from eating my strawberries? As soon as the strawberry starts turning red, the come & take them. Any help is greatly appreciated, thank you in advance for your kindness, time & help! Dar:)

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Sherry,
    I’m glad StrawberryPlants.org has been helpful. That is why it is here! If your leaves are browning, you might have a nutrient deficiency or could possibly be watering too much. It sounds like you might have a pest problem also. To help with the pests, you can use conventional applications or liberally apply diatomaceous earth (food grade) on your plants. The DE will work its way into the joints of any bug with an exoskeleton and will cause cuts that will lead to the bugs dehydration and, ultimately, death. See this link for more on deformed strawberries, here for causes of wilting, here for nitrogen deficiency information, here for pest information, and here for how to grow. Good luck!

  • Sherry

    Dear Mr.S,

    This is my first year planting strawberries in Michigan. I love this website and it has helped me a lot. My plants are doing okay, some seems healthy and are producing runners. Some not so much. I’ve noticed a lot of little white jumping bugs after a couple days of rain. Should I be worried about them? Are they the reason why some of my strawberry leaves are browning? I’ve also noticed that the strawberries that appeared never make it. They shrivel, dried up, and died before they reach 1/2 cm. What should I do??? Thank you.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Tim Burke,
    If you have a problem with the big pests (deer, rabbits, etc.), you might want to get some traps (for the smaller) or deer repellent. If you have a infestation, this might get you started on identifying your problem (see entries 004 and 008). Additionally, you can liberally apply diatomaceous earth to your strawberry patch. It won’t hurt you or your plants, but anything with an exoskeleton will think twice before venturing too close. Good luck!

  • Tim Burke

    I’ve recently planted a few dozen strawberry plants, different varieties from different sources. The plants were bold and full at first. I removed all fruit, flowers and runners as presribed for first year transplants.

    Within just a few days I noticed loss of the most mature leaves right from the end of the leaf stem. The most likely “pest” would seem to be a browsing deer though we’ve seen no foot prints, perhaps a rabbit or ground hog, though none have been spotted. We’ve improved our fencing nonetheless.

    My question, is there a pest insect I should be looking for, such as a mite or a “cut worm” type critter that would only be removing the leaves from their stems?

    There is no other damage to the plants which seem to keep coming back, no discoloration in the leaves just “missing” mature leaves and the resulting inhibited growth.

    I fear at this rate I’ll lose the whole patch in a matter of weeks.

    Any suggestions? Many thanks
    Tim

  • Straw Berry

    Tim Vaughan,
    I am not aware of any automated process, but you can try these hulling methods. Good luck!

  • Tim Vaughan

    I am interested in removing the tops from strawberries in a processing operation. It occured to me that the leafy material of the tops are significantly different in physical properties and chemical makeup. I would be interested in knowing if you may be aware of a method that would easily remove the tops from the strawberry. Currently all this work is done by hand and it is costly and time consuming. I was thinking along the lines of exposing the fruit to some type of enzyme that would loosen or disolve the tops while leaving the rest of the fruit in tact. Any other method of removing the tops or ideas for this would be greatly appreciated.

  • Straw Berry

    audrey,
    Yes, technically speaking, the small “seeds” affixed to the outer surface of a strawberry are actually the fruits. They are called “achenes” and are attached to the accessory tissue of the strawberry. Hope that helps!

  • audrey

    Wad wounder if the seds are the fruit in the straberry??

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Marilyn,
    Strawberries do best in full sun. Good luck!

  • Marilyn

    Should I plant in a sunny or a shady location?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    michael ford,
    You probably actually do have Ozark Beauty strawberry plants. My guess is that the conditions in which you are growing them are deficient in some of the needed nutrients or environmentally unfriendly to them. That can cause low or no strawberry production. As to the red stems, see here.

  • michael ford

    we planted Ozark beauty strawberry plants the plants are about six inches tall and have regular strawberry leaves but they also have what appears to be little fuzzy things that appear to look just like strawberries but they are tiny and the bottom of the stems are red what kind of plants do I have

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Muriel Crowe,
    I’d recommend a liberal application of diatomaceous earth. The worms likely will not be able to withstand it, and it won’t do any damage to you or your plants. Good luck!

  • Muriel Crowe

    I live in British Columbia Canada and we have a small strawberry bed with a mixture of varieties. We are finding that as the larger berries ripen on the lower side they have a small hole which has 6 or so tiny worms (about 3/8 inch long and the thickness of fine sewing thread) that are waving about. There doesn’t appear to be anything unusual in the rest of the berry and the plants are fine. I can’t find any information about any pest like this, can you help or give suggestions. Thank you.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    JED,
    There may be, but I’m not aware of one accurate for strawberries. The variety between specific cultivars and the sheer number of cultivars would make such calculations variable and cumbersome to research. If you discover any such method, please do let me know!

  • JED

    Is there a way to estimate when the strawberry plants will be ready to pick based on growing degree hours?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Chuck Mcallister,
    Typically, slugs will eat on the fruit. Diatomaceous earth will keep them at bay without harming the strawberries or plants, and can be a natural deterrent for other insects as well. You may want to order some and sprinkle it generously on the plants/berries. It washes off, and, if you get the food grade DE, it is safe to consume for humans in small amounts. Good luck!

  • Chuck Mcallister chasmcall@aol.com

    As far as you know, will a slug eat at the crown of a plant. I put 28 plants in a well prepared bed and two days later they were going down fast. I ended up losing about 10 of them. I noticed right away that a slug had hit one of the ripe berries. After I took the dead plants ought I looked them over well and noticed that each of the crowns had a cavity at the bottom.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Kendra,
    It could be due to dry soil/lack of water, but it also could be related to the heat, or nutrient deficiency in your soil, or an fungal infection/pest infestation. If it is related to dryness/evaporative loss, you can mulch. Placing newspaper down on weed-free soil prior to putting your mulch around your plants will not only help with weed problems, but will further prevent moisture loss once they have been thoroughly soaked. Good luck!

  • Kendra

    Hi

    I live in in the Sacramento Valley where it gets 90-100 degrees. I just planted strawberries in containers 2 months ago. One of my plants has brown edges on the leaves. Is this due to dry top soil? I’m watering every other day because of our heat. If so, would mulch/straw help retain the moisture?

    Kendra

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Barbara,
    Typically, strawberry plant runners should either be allowed to form a matted row, be snipped off to allow maximum berry formation, or rooted into a transportable container for easy transplanting. As for the cucumbers, it should be fine. See this for more: Companion Planting Strawberries. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Angela,
    It sounds like birds have found your patch. Birds usually will leave strawberries like that, half eaten. Squirrels and rabbits will usually eat virtually all of the berry, leaving only the green leafy calyx at the top of the berry (where it attaches to the stem). The less expensive way to keep birds (and squirrels/rabbits) out is with bird netting. A more expensive but less cumbersome way to keep the feathered fiends from your strawberries is with a bird repellant device. Many pick-your-own operations use the latter as it will keep birds away without blocking access to the berries. Good luck!

  • Barbara

    Recently, a friend has decided to plant strawberries and was wondering if they can be staked. My answer was that the main plant cannot but the runners can. His garden is very small and space is limited. will the runners survive for planting in the fall if he stakes them? in addition, he asks if they can be planted next to cucumbers?

  • Angela

    For the past two years my strawberries have been half eaten by something. The berries ripen and look beautiful until I pick them up and find them half eaten on the bottom. Any suggestions you can give me for dealing with this problem would be much appreciated.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Candice,
    The Topsy Turvy planters can be more difficult to use for successful strawberry cultivation than other methods. See here: Topsy Turvy Strawberry Planter. Also, they could have mineral deficiency or their roots could be getting too hot. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Ivette,
    Congratulations on starting your own strawberry garden this year! For the answers to your questions, I’d recommend you review this page: Growing Strawberries. Also, pay attention to the additional information at the bottom under the “More” section. Good luck!

  • Candice

    Hi I have just started growing my plants in the topsy turvey planter some of the leaves are yellowing I’m not sure of the reason maybe to much or to little water can you help me please

  • Ivette

    Hello mr. strawberry, I’m starting a strawberry garden for my first time. They have been growing for about a month. How long will it take for them to flower? And is miracle grow, compost and manure good enough for the plant to produce and survive?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Dan,
    Glad you figured it out!

  • Dan

    Mr. Strawberry,
    Thanks for all your help :) After further research, I believe that it’s either called stamen or anther. Hope that helps :)

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Dan,
    Without you being able to point to it for me, I’m having trouble identifying what you are talking about! If you are talking about the part that is attached to the top of the strawberry (that the stem turns into), that is called the calyx.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Lynn,
    I’ve not come across a variety specifically named “chandelier,” but Chandler is a very popular variety. It is possible that the baskets were mislabeled. Read more about the Chandler variety here: Chandler Strawberries. Find other suppliers here: Chandler Variety.

  • Dan

    Thanks for your speedy reply :) It does help to know that they are not seeds but, they are definitely not any sort of infestation. They are on every strawberry (even store bought ones) between the top of the “accessory tissue” and the leaves. I’m guessing maybe it’s just a left over part of the original flower?

  • Lynn

    I bought two hanging baskets of what is labelled “chandelier strawberry” They have lovely ripe and unripe fruit already dangling down from the plants, some flowers too. They look healthy. I couldn’t find anything under this name/type on the net. Is there such a variety? Can I leave in these baskets until no more fruit and then plant. I live in Clearwater Florida. Thanks!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Dan,
    There are no seeds that grow under the leaves. The seeds are actually contained within the little black “seeds” that cover the surface of the strawberry. The little black “seeds” are actually called achenes, and the achenes contain within them the seeds. The strawberry fruit itself is simply accessory tissue (but tasty!). If you have little black things under the leaves, they are most likely some sort of insect eggs. But, they aren’t seeds. Hope that helps!

  • Dan

    Nice site. I think it’s missing a good diagram of the strawberry itself though. I found your site specifically trying to figure out what those little black things are that grow under the leaves. Someone had told me those were actually plantable seeds. If you could shed any light on the subject, I’d appreciate it. Thank you.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    chloe,
    Hehe, I’ve not heard of anyone purposely infesting the strawberry patch with pests, so I’m not sure what pests are available for purchase out there. That should make for an interesting assignment, indeed. Good luck!

  • chloe

    Hi Mr Strawberry,
    I am doing an assignment on pests and the affects on plants, Ive chosen strawberries as my plant and I was wondering what are the four best but easyest pest that you can get that will affect the growth of strawberries?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Rosalie,
    I’m not sure what would be causing fruit drop with your strawberries. You may want to review this for help: Strawberry Pests. Good luck!

  • Rosalie

    My husband and I grow organic strawberries for our business and CSA programe. We grow in greenhouses all year (geo. heated) and this past 3 weeks our strawberries have developed a mysterious habit of the fruit falling off. Not just the ripe berries. We seem to be losing quite a lot. We do have some ants (I think we have got rid of the spider mites) slugs and the occasional mouse but we are at a complete and utter loss as to what is causing the problem. We have searched on the web with no luck as yet. Do you think something is “nipping” off the fruit or is something making it “drop” off ??? Thank you for any suggestions you may be able to offer us.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Suzy,
    If you anticipate the weather turning soon, wrap the roots of each plant in a damp paper towel. Then, put the wrapped roots into a sandwich or zip-lock bag, and lay them gently on a counter. With the inside temperature, they will start to put out new growth from their crowns fairly quickly, so only do it that way if you think you can plant relatively soon. Otherwise, do the same thing, but keep them in the refrigerator until you can plant them. Bare-root plants should be planted as soon as possible, so try to get them in the ground quickly. Be sure to keep the paper towels damp, but not soaking wet. Good luck!

  • Suzy

    We ordered strawberry plants in the mail and they came today. We are in Michigan and it is way to cold outside yet to plant them. Plus the ground is still frozen. What can we do to safely keep the plants from dying before we have a chance for the weather to improve? Help us please. The nursery’s instructions are not helpful at all.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Dee,
    Strawberries can multiply rapidly! You can just pull them out, but some of your friends or neighbors may want to plant some of the runner plants this year themselves. If you’d like to spread the wealth, give them away! Having them come dig them up might save you some time also!

  • Dee

    Hi, so I started growing strawberries a couple of years ago and they are overwhelming my garden, they have spread to the grass and the neighbor’s yard. How do I get rid of the unwanted ones, can I just pull them out or do I have to use chemicals to get rid of them.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    alka,
    Unfortunately, your sub-tropical climate will make the endeavor of growing strawberries much more difficult. If you do try, you might do best with a variety like Chandler. Good luck!

  • alka

    Hello !! Mr. Strawberry
    I want to grow strawberry plants (2 or 3) for the first time in my kitchen garden . I live in Haryana, North India. As I come to know from this site that this plant(runner) requires temperate climate and we have such climatic conditions (winters)temperature ranging from 7 °C to 22 °C during the months of November to February and alluvial type of soil is present in this region. What are the growing and harvesting periods for this plant according to my geographical conditions? are there any other parameters to be considered while its growth period?? It will be a great help for Indian farmers as well who are pretty much interested in cultivating this sweet fruit as a crop if u can suggest us few varieties which can be best grown in sub-tropical climatic conditions like ours. If I will succeed in growing the plants I will definitely suggest my grandpa to grow the fruit on large scale :). I shall be thankful.
    Regards
    Alka

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Christo,
    To answer your questions: 1) yes, you can usually get seeds from strawberries to germinate. However, most strawberries commercially available are hybrids. With hybrid varieties, you can have a decreased germination rate and genetic uncertainty if they do germinate. In other words, the strawberry plants that grow from the seeds will likely manifest traits much different from the plant that produced the strawberry in the first place, and the resultant strawberries might be very different and will likely be smaller. 2) you may want to try sprinkling diatomaceous earth on the pests and plants. Good luck!

  • Christo

    Hi, I have 2 questions:

    1) Can I use the seeds on outside of strawberry to sow to grow new plants?

    2) On the ground underneath some of the rotten strawberry leaves there are red insects. Obviously they are same kind of pest. How do I get rid of them without buying pesticides?

    Thank you

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Gordon Crabb,
    If your wild strawberries have yellow blossoms, you can pull all of them out. If they don’t have white blossoms, they are a weed that looks like strawberry plants but won’t produce strawberries. If they are white, they are actual strawberry plants. If they all have white blossoms, and you truly have wild and cultivated strawberries together, you’ll likely have to distinguish them by their fruit. The small strawberries that have a powerful aroma and flavor will be the wild ones. The larger ones will be the cultivated varieties. Good luck!

  • Gordon Crabb

    My strawberry patch seems to have a lot of wild strawberries. How can I be sure I am pulling the wild strawberries and not my cultivated. What appearance differences should I be looking for?

    Kindest regards, Gordon

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Ron Moulds,
    For the best strawberry varieties to grow in Minnesota, just find MN on this page: Varieties by State. Any listed should do well! As for making your soil more acidic, you can amend it with coffee grounds or mulch with pine needles (pine needles can be substituted for straw) to increase the acidity. Also, adding vinegar will lower the pH, as will adding granulated soil sulfer or ammonium sulfate. However, as you add the latter group, you need to monitor the soil pH carefully to make sure you keep it in a reasonable range. Good luck!

  • Ron Moulds

    I live in Central Minnesota, Zone 4A, and would like to plant some strawberries come spring. Can you suggest some varieties that grow best in my environment? Also, I heard that the soil should be a little on the acidic side with a PH @ 6.2 or so. If my soil is neutral at 7.0, what can I use to make my planting spot more accommodating for strawberries?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    James Machari,
    You are in luck! There is a whole site dedicated to just that topic, and you’ve found it. I’d recommend starting at the Growing Strawberries page and then clicking around other places on this site to learn more. If there is something specific you are interested in, use the search feature at the top right. Good luck!

  • James Machari

    Hi am in Kenya and i want to do strawberry farming, am just requesting whether you can send me the brochures or any information which will help me to understand more about strawberry. Thanks

  • Mr. Strawberry

    stephen capon,
    Congratulations on taking the plunge! To care for them properly, review the data on these pages: Growing Strawberries, Strawberry Renovation, Overwintering Strawberry Plants. Good luck!

  • stephen capon

    i have grown my first strawberries this year and would like to know the best way to care for my plants over the winter period.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Teri,
    There is no way to say for certain, but those are some big strawberry plants! My guess is that there are excessive amounts of nutrients (fertilizer) in your soil causing excessive vegetative growth. Or, you may have strawberries the size of baseballs next year! Good luck!

  • Teri Maxwell

    I started some strawberry plants late this year, with the intention of picking the buds/flowers so that I don’t get any till next year. The plants are currently 24″ tall and I have never seen strawberry plants that big! Do you have any idea what kind I have? I am baffled!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Deanna,
    I would recommend trying diatomaceous earth. Good luck!

  • Deanna Wiles

    what can you put on strawberry plants to kill the bugs, slugs and other pests that eat the strawberries as soon as they start to ripen? Something that won’t harm humans, as my grandchildren like to pick and eat the berries from the garden sometimes.

    Thank you.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Doug,
    No, it isn’t too late, but you might want to wait until the summer ends. See here for more info: Fall Strawberry Plants. You can still order strawberry plants. See here for that: Buy Strawberry Plants. Good luck!

  • Doug

    Is it to late to plant for next year, living in NW Virginia? Would it be hard to find plants now? It is the first day of spring.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Sarah,
    Fertilizing strawberries is discussed on the Growing Strawberries reference page.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    MamaHomesteader,
    Yes, it is normal to have residual brown material where old leaf stalks were attached. Don’t let the old, dead plant material accumulate, however. Such accumulation can provide a hospitable environment for fungi and other pathogens. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Shelley,
    You can get myriads of chemical pesticides that will kill the pests. However, I don’t recommend using such substances on strawberries unless absolutely necessary. Strawberry plants absorb things sprayed upon them via their shallow root system, so you end up consuming trace amounts of the chemicals as well. Before resorting to chemical solutions, I would recommend a heavy application of diatomaceous earth. It does a relatively good job against insect pests and won’t harm you one whit. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Gemma,
    You do not need to worry about pollinating. The strawberries are self-fertile.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Erin,
    It very well could be too hot for your plants. However, if too much fertilizer was mixed into the soil, that could also prove toxic to the strawberry plants. I would recommend reviewing the Growing Strawberries reference page for all the details of successful growing. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    seedling,
    Strawberry plants naturally have a red pigment in them. Red stems depend on the genetic expression of the particular plants you have and are completely normal. Most strawberry plants have enough chlorophyll in the leaves to overwhelm the red coloration and make them appear green. So, red leaves can be concerning. If your strawberry leaves are turning red, they are likely dying. Some fungal infections can cause them to die. Other times, the leaves are just dying because they are old. Regardless, strawberry leaves turning red do not serve a helpful function for strawberry plants and should be removed and discarded.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Jim,
    I would recommend reading the Growing Strawberries reference page. Pay special attention to the links to more articles at the bottom as they address when and how to do what to your strawberry plants to keep them vital and healthy year-to-year. Good luck!

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Susan,
    Yes, you should remove all the dead and dried stems and leaves from your strawberry plants. Usually, this is done prior to spring during Strawberry Renovation. The leaves themselves will probably not negatively affect the growth of new foliage or berries, but they can harbor disease and strawberry pests that can do significant damage or even kill your strawberry plants.

  • Sarah

    It’s my first year of growing strawberries. They are ever bearing and in containers.I am so glad I came across this site I love it and it has so much info. I can’t seem to find one thing. I was wondering what type of nutrients I should be adding to the soil?
    Thanks for your time.

  • MamaHomesteader

    Hi,I’m so glad I found this site! This year I added two 2×12 raised garden beds and planted about 110 Tribute strawberries with plenty of room to grow.(My daughter eats a LOT of stawberries, so we planted her her own pick your own patch!) These beds are well draining and the soil mix is loose and not compacted. I took great care in planting these, and so far I have only had four plants fail- I suspect black root rot. The roots were coal black. But here is my question- I have leaves with brown edges, which checking around the net seemed to suggest magnesium deficiency. But near the crowns there is some browning where older leaves were previously attached. Is this normal? Also upon further investigation of the roots, they are dark but seem to have grown a good bit since planting and have many small white feeder roots growing. Which doesnt seem in line with plants infected by black root rot. WIth the strawberries I am venturing into new territory in the garden. I want to catch problems early, but am wondering if I’m getting ahead of myself. Thanks in advance!

  • Shelley

    I’m glad I found your website. I planted 36 strawberry plants last year (some June, some ever-bearing) and I removed all buds when they emerged in the spring. Late summer I had some small berries (delicious) but I also had lots of bugs. I think they were the crown borer (they were small, black w/white spots and ate holes in & through the berries). Anyway, I was hoping you’d also have suggestions on how to get rid of these horrible pests. Please help!!

  • Gemma

    Mr. Strawberry

    Hi, I’ve got some strawberry plants and at the moment to protect them from frost im putting them in the garage overnight and putting them outside during the day. I’ve got some flowers starting to appear, do I need to pollinate these myself as they are not always outside for long? Or will they self pollinate? Thanks for you help!

    Gemma

  • Erin

    HI,

    I am in deep south Texas & just planted my first strawberry plants. They are in a raised container with good drainage and I used organic veggie soil with a tomato plant fertilizer mixed. After about a week most of them seem to be dying. I’m afraid to move them to the south side of the yard because we are already in the 90’s (& the lows are in the 70’s) and they are still getting more than half a days sunlight. The veggie & fruit plants just came out for sale this last month, so I’m not sure when else I was supposed to get them planted. My others fruits & veggies look healthy & are growing. Is it too hot? also there are always mosquitoes near the plants. Am I watering too much? What am I doing wrong? Thanks for your help, I’m a newbie.

    Erin

  • seedling

    what makes strawberry leaves turn red . Is it just because its cool outside or do I need to pluck those leaves

  • Jim

    I planted 30 plants last year in a raised bed I covered them with straw through the winter. I uncovered them first of april, and about half looks as if they are dying. They look like they are drying up. Is ther anything I can do short of replacing them. Will this happen again next spring?

    Jim

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Melissa,
    It is, of course, hard to diagnose without photos, and there are a host of potential problems that could be causing the signs you note. Have you investigated to rule out Nitrogen Deficiency?

  • Susan

    There’s alot of dried stems & leaves in my strawberry plants. Should you cut away all theses stems & leaves? Will it affect the growth? It’s spring time in the south.

  • Melissa

    Hi, I have a couple of questions. I bought a strawberry plant from lowes that had no info on what hybrid it was. All the tag said was strawberry, and it gave some VERY general info on strawberry plants. I picked it up because they were the healthiest looking plants. And none of them had any info on them. Is there any way to tell what variety I have?
    So said plant was doing very happy and well in the container I planted it in for about a week. Now the color of the leaves is fading from nice dark green to yellowish around the edges the edges are starting to curl and look dried out. I live in hot az, but the weather has been in the 70’s lately and I try to keep a close eye on the soil, making sure it stays hydrated but not wet. Any idea what’s going on?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Septer,
    Congratulations on venturing into the wonderful world of strawberry growing! Many delightful berries await you, I’m sure. The most important tips for managing strawberries can be found on the Growing Strawberries reference page. Be sure to check the links at the bottom as well for additional information. And, if you have a specific question, try the search box at the top right of each page! Good luck!

  • rachael

    thanks for your help, problem fixed. i just took a risk, because i was doomed anyway. i exposed the dirt to sunlight, removed any clumping white soil lumps, and then transplanted all the plants into tubs. I was able to recycle the food and soil.(it had cost me a small fortune) i only lost two plants out of about 20 and used pea straw to control the need for extra watering. ive been eating strawberrys all week and had the best luck with chandlers. you are completly right about the pink flowered varietys, the strawberrys are small and deformed looking. the weather is hot now, all the plants are getting big and looking perfect :)

  • Septer

    Hi Mr. Strawberry, we just finished planting our strawberry runners (Sweet Charlie variety – 5,000 seedlings) here in the Highland Mountain, Philippines. Since am new in planting strawberries could you suggest the most important tips of managing these strawberries? Thank you.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    rachael,
    Thanks for stopping by! As to whether or not the mold spoiled your plants or not, it will probably depend on the hardiness and tolerance profile of your plants, and exactly what type of mold/fungus it is growing there. It is pretty difficult to kill spores in soil without also killing the plants. One way to sterilize soil is with fumigants pre-planting. Use the search box at the top right of this site to search for “methyl iodide” if you want to learn more about soil fumigants (they are controversial). As far as having pink flowers, most hybrids that produce large fruit have white flowers. There are a few crosses that produce pink flowers, but they are generally considered ornamental. While the fruits produced by pink-flowered varieties are edible and sometimes quite tasty, they are also generally fewer in number and smaller than typical June-bearing varieties.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Bill,
    Unfortunately, it sounds like your plants are goners. I’d recommend starting a new bed next spring. You can purchase a multitude of varieties from many different retailers by visiting the Buy Strawberry Plants directory.

  • rachael

    i seem to have the same difficulties that i think LEE had. im using a similar topsy-turvy hanging polythene basket. i planted 3 different kinds of strawberry plants about 16 in all. they seemed to be doing well for the first 2 weeks or so but we just had a spate of wet weather and i had just given them a big water 3 days ago because it seemed the bottom rows of plants were not damp like the top ones.its rained now for 2 days and its seems that the top 3-4 inches of soil has gone into a big clump of moldy soil with white spores growing above the soil level. its just touching the tip of the top row plants but its seems not to have infested them yet.ive taken the moldy surface dirt out and replaced it with more ‘strawberry dirt’ and didnt water it in. will this mold have spoiled my plants and soil ?, they still look ok. should i remove those top plants?, is there a product to help me kill the spores in the soil ?. i am considering transplanting into tubs like you suggested above for better normal growth patterns. i live in a tropical area in the bay of plenty, north island,new zealand. it gets hot and wet in beginning of planting season (sept-oct)and then very dry from dec onwards. im a novice grower. could i dig the middle out and use fresh soil or wetting crystals, the plants are still small-ish. also i see you mentioning pick flowers above,and i brought some plants this season which might be new breed (unsure) i think they are called baby doll or baby pink or similar (had a baby on the tag) which has pink flowers, they said great for jams and eating, were they just a waste of my time and money? does it ring a bell with you?? i want to be picking and eating strawberrys all summer :) your a wealth of knowledge mr strawberry, glad i found your site. oct 2011.

  • Bill Tudor

    We had a drought where I live and my strawberry plants all suffered. During fall clean-up, I found what was left of my plants: dry, black crowns and roots with no leaves remaining, the plants barely recognizable as strawberries. If I am extra nice to them this fall and next spring, will they grow?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Geri,
    If your strawberries are producing pink flowers, they are not your normal strawberry plants, but rather are intended to be ornamental. A couple of different types of cross-bred strawberry plants will produce such flowers. You should not count on getting any significant strawberry harvest from these. But, you do get pretty pink flowers! For over-wintering, see the Growing Strawberries page.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Alan,
    See here: White Strawberries

  • Mr. Strawberry

    MissMoo,
    You probably have not destroyed the strawberry patch as long as a few are alive. They will reproduce quickly and exponentially if treated kindly. A weedwhacker is not the best tool to use to mow a strawberry patch (it is difficult to avoid damaging the crowns). For help with your situation, see the Mowing Strawberry Plants and Transplanting Strawberries pages.

  • Alan Hodge

    I am interested in growing some white strawberries. Can you tell me where I can purchase some plants, as places I have asked have not heard of them.
    Alan.

  • MissMoo

    We just moved in to a place with a large, uncontrolled strawberry patch. They produced some but not a lot of strawberries (June bearing, I believe) and even more runners (which began to overtake the rest of the veggie area). We wanted to trim the tops and scale back the patch in an effort to get more control…well, my husband took a very aggressive approach and hit it with the weedwacker…there are a few left that I want to transplant and wall in from the veggie garden. But, have we destroyed our strawberry patch?

  • Geri

    This my first batch of strawberry’s. Once I planted the plants they did produce small strawberry’s, and then all of a sudden all I have are a lot of pink flowers and no strawberry’s. Also what do you suggest for care during the winter we freez and lots of rain.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Trish,
    A good test is to check the flowers the plants produce. If the flowers are yellow, it is a weed (Mock Strawberry). If the flowers are white, enjoy the strawberries that will soon develop!

  • Trish

    last year my husband brought me strawberry plants I put them in the ground and they grew close to the ground, this spring they began to grow and now they are almost 2 feet tall. I am not a gardner so I dont know if these are weeds or real plants. I have never seen strawberry plants grow so tall. I hate to pull them up in the event they really are a strawberry plant. The leaves look like strawberry. Hahah. but they smell like a weed.

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Darla,
    Strawberry plants will self-pollinate. So, you only need one plant to get a harvest.

  • Darla

    Can you plant just one strawberry plant or do you need two?

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Lee,
    The topsy turvy planters are a novelty, but I don’t recommend people use them, for several reasons (THESE are slightly better than the typical kind). First, it is simply unnatural. Plants start growing downward, then try to grow upward toward the sun, and then are often pulled back downward by their fruit loads. This puts unnatural stress on the plants. Second, root systems naturally try to grow downward, for the most part. There is a good chance your strawberry plants are dying because of this. Strawberry plants have relatively shallow root systems. So, inverting the plants not only stresses their architecture, but the roots may try to grow downward toward the plant and away from the soil. Third, strawberry plants are often susceptible to fungi and other pathogens. With the topsy turvy planters, watering the plants often results in the under-hanging plant getting soaked repeatedly with dirty water. The increased moisture can create a favorable environment for fungi. For more help getting to harvest, see the Growing Strawberries reference page!

  • Lee

    I’m so glad I found this place, it has such understandable information. My problem is that I am getting only about 1/2 of my ordered plants to survive. I have ordered from different nursery’s and tried different types like cabot, jewel, quinalt and honeye. I plant them in the tuppsyturve hanging baskets and give them potting soil and 1/2 cup of worm castings as fertilizer with enough water so that the soil does not dry out. But in 3 to 4 days about 1/2 of the new plants are hanging limp and die soon after. I cant figure out what I am doing wrong. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,Lee

  • Mr. Strawberry

    amy,
    In general, you can expect most varieties of strawberry plants to produce about one quart of strawberries per plant. The care given to the plants in both August and September (when the perennating buds are developing that will turn into the following spring’s strawberries) and during the strawberry growing season (late winter through spring) also has a big impact on the quantity of strawberries produced. Generally speaking, for fresh consumption only, 30 to 35 well-cared-for strawberry plants should feed a family of five. If you plan on freezing strawberries, 50 to 60 strawberry plants would be more advisable. In order to maintain the vitality of the plants for ten years, you will need to harvest and re-plant the strawberry runners that the mother plants produce. To understand what is involved and how to do it, see this page: transplanting strawberries.

  • amy

    how many straberries would it take to feed 5 people for 10 years?

  • beth

    thankyou we set out a acre of chandlers and we were late due to the weather they were not in the ground but 5 days before it frosted on them we were worried they might have started going into dormant stagebecauseof the stems turning red

  • Mr. Strawberry

    beth,
    Strawberry plants naturally have a red pigment in them. Red stems depend on the genetic expression of the particular plants you have, and red stems are completely normal. Most strawberry plants have enough chlorophyll in the stems to overwhelm the red coloration and make the stems green. Red stems are nothing to worry about. Red leaves, however, are a different story. If your strawberry leaves are turning red, they are likely dying. Some fungal infections can cause them to die. Other times, the leaves are just dying because they are old. Regardless, strawberry leaves turning red do not serve a helpful function for strawberry plants and should be removed and discarded.

  • beth

    what causes the syrawberrie stems to turn red

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Vilas,
    I’m glad you are interested in growing strawberries! The cost varies, but you can find quite a few sellers in the directory on this site: Strawberry Plants for Sale. Hope that helps!

  • vilas

    Dear Sir,

    I am keen to know about growing strawberry.
    I want to buy strawberry plants for the same. Please suggest from where i can buy and what cost will occure.

    regards

    vilas

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Nousheen,
    The strawberry (Fragaria species) is classified as a forb or herb. Forb/herb plants are ones that don’t have significant amounts of woody tissue above ground, but are still vascular. Their lack of woody tissue causes them to be relatively short (their stems will not thicken and stiffen to support tall growth like non-forb/herb plants will). Additionally, the presence of perennating buds on strawberry plants further causes them to fall within this category of plants. These perennating buds allow the strawberry plants to survive the winter and produce strawberry flowers again in the spring. Feel free to link to this page as your reference point.

  • Nousheen

    I have a simple question. Is strawberry a bush, creeper or what category. Please advise and if possible to send me a tag for the information from the source.
    thanks

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Corye,
    If you are talking about an actual strawberry, one left on the porch will likely be eaten by a feathered friend or other critters long before it has a chance to mold. The one on the kitchen counter will likely begin becoming moldy in a day or two if it isn’t refrigerated. For more related information, see the “Care After Picking” section on the Strawberry Picking page or the Strawberry Buying Guide.

  • corye

    which strawberry will mold the fastest the on the porch or the one on the kitchen counter

  • Mr. Strawberry

    Karen,

    Thanks for stopping by! Generally, strawberry plants do take about a year to really begin producing good fruit. If you planted a June-bearing variety (see the Strawberry Varieties reference page, if needed), it is best for the long-term health of your plants and for the yield in future years to completely do without strawberries in year 1 by pinching off or cutting off all of the strawberry flowers. This helps the plants become well-established and increases their overall vitality.

    If you planted a day-neutral or everbearing variety, the flowers should still be pinched initially, but strawberries can usually be harvested later on in the season.

    There are a host of other factors that could affect strawberry production as well: soil pH, type of soil, amount of sun, etc. If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Growing Strawberries reference page, it has a lot of information that may help you! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. Hopefully that helps!

  • Karen

    Hello, i hope you can help me. I planted 24 strawberry plants this April and they finally bore some fruit. Unfortunately, the fruit is small (less than an inch) and tastes mealy. Do strawberries take a year to have quality fruit? Thanks so much

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

What is 12 + 9 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)