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Q: Are Dried Up Strawberry Plants Dead?
Hi! I appreciate your website – great information! I live in the southeast corner of Nebraska. Zone 5. I have been growing strawberries for about 5 or 6 years now. I started with a smaller bed, but later tripled my space – we sure enjoy the strawberries. I have mixed June bearing and ever bearing.
My question is this: I have some plants that have dried up and appear dormant/dead. Will they come back next spring? They have been this way for about 3 weeks now. It has not been any drier than normal this year. I don’t usually water unless it doesn’t rain for a week. We did have an unusually wet spring/early summer and it got really hot for about 2 weeks, but it rained once, so I didn’t water the plants. I always cover with straw in late fall. Should I plan on replanting some of them next spring, or will they come back?
Answer to: Are Dried Up Strawberry Plants Dead?
Thanks! The goal for Strawberry Plants .org is to be the one-stop-shop for everything related to learning about strawberries, buying strawberries, growing strawberries, and using strawberries, so I am glad you have benefited from it. There are a few things that may be going on with your strawberry plants. While strawberry plants are considered perennial, each individual plant won’t live forever. Generally, a strawberry bed will start losing its vitality after it peaks in the 3rd or 4th year. Sometimes the old plants just die. As your bed is 5-6 years old, the few plants that have died may have just given up the ghost. It is also possible that the fluctuating weather has also put extra stress on them (particularly the heat) and their shallow roots causing the dried up plants to have met an untimely demise. My guess is that the combination of age and weather has caused the plants to die. However, there is a host of pests and diseases that can weaken/infest strawberries. See the Strawberry Plant page for more info on those. Also, I would recommend replanting. You can use the guide on the Transplanting Strawberries page to make sure your plants are healthy and vigorous strawberry producers each year. If more plants die, you may want to have your soil tested by an Extension Agent to rule out disease or pest infestation. I hope that helps!