Pollinating Strawberry Plants

pollinating strawberry plants Pollinating strawberry plants is not all that complicated.  However, if you want to have a heaping helping of delicious strawberries, it must be done.  The good news is that your friendly neighborhood bugs and bees are usually pretty good at pollinating strawberry plants for you.  If your strawberry plants are grown indoors or away from insect access areas, there are a few basics you should know.

Pollinating Strawberry Plants: Anatomical Understanding

The male pollinating structure of a flower is called the “stamen.”  Stamens usually consist of a filament and the pollen-containing anther.  There are typically between twenty and thirty-five stamens of varying lengths in a strawberry flower.  These stamens (collectively called the androecium) are arranged in a circle and are usually surrounded by five (or more) petals.  Initially, the anthers are a yellow color while they hold the pollen, but they quickly pale after the pollen is released.  The flower stem (pedicel) extends up into the flower and forms the cone-shaped area in the middle of the stamens.  This stem extension is called the “receptacle” and will eventually turn into the strawberry after the pollinating strawberry plants has been completed.  The receptacle is covered with the female part of the flower called “pistils.”  Up to 500 pistils cover the receptacle in a spiral pattern.  Each pistil has an ovary at its base, and an ovule is present within.

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Strawberry Roots

strawberry rootsWhat is the key to a heaping harvest of mouth-watering, juicy, delightful strawberries?  Simply put: the strawberry roots.  Healthy strawberry roots are the key to a healthy strawberry plant.  Roots are just roots, right?  Well, the fine filaments that absorb the needed nutrients from the soil that help each plant set a heavy crop of strawberries are a bit more sophisticated than you might imagine.  This article will help you understand the nature and importance of strawberry root systems.

Types of Strawberry Roots

There are two types of strawberry roots: primary roots and secondary roots.  Primary roots are the main roots of each strawberry plant.  Primary strawberry roots carry absorbed water and nutrients from the soil into the crown of the strawberry plant.  These roots are perennial in nature and survive for multiple years.

Secondary strawberry roots are also called “feeder” roots.  They are short-lived.  A normal lifespan for feeder roots is days to weeks.  The secondary strawberry roots are much finer than the primary roots.  Consequently, they are damaged very easily.  The actual water and nutrient absorption is performed by these roots.

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Strawberry Plants Information

strawberry plants informationStrawberry plants information is plentiful on the internet.  Lots of useful nuggets are already prominent and readily available on this site.  I get many questions, however, about the strawberry plant itself.  So, it may be helpful to revisit some of the general characteristics about the strawberry plant.

Basic Strawberry Plants Information

Habit: Strawberry plants are non-woody.  They are classified as forbs.  Since they have no woody tissue to support tall growth, they are short. The four major anatomical features of strawberry plants include the crown, leaves, roots, and runners.  The plants typically reach a maximum height of around one foot (12 inches) in height, but can be a bit taller or a bit smaller.

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How Fast Do Strawberry Plants Grow?

how fast do strawberry plants growMostafa, asked: How fast do strawberry plants grow in km/h?

Answer to: How Quickly D0 Strawberry Plants Grow?

Mostafa,
No one has ever asked me before how fast in km/h a strawberry plant grows! An average modern strawberry plant can be expected to reach towering heights of about 12 inches at its highest point (it is, after all, a forb). It usually takes an established strawberry plant about 2 months from the break of dormancy to get there. A new seedling will typically take around 6 months to reach that milestone after germination, depending on its environment.

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Strawberry Plant Disease Diagnosis

strawberry plant disease diagnosisFew things are more frustrating for a farmer or gardener than to toil for hours in heat and rain while nurturing his growing plants with tender loving care only to see some infernal sign that a microscopic invader has set up shop among the plants.  After working for hours preparing the earth, planting the plants, and weeding out the uninvited party crashers, it can provoke feelings of desperation, despair, and disillusionment to watch once-healthy plants wilt and die.

The wilting of future dreams and enjoyment as the plants become marred and disfigured with bacterial blemishes and fungal flaws is enough to make a budding gardener hang up the trowel and garden gloves for good.  Be ye irked no longer!  You don’t have to wave the white flag of final surrender if the unseen organisms wage war upon your growing goodies.  In fact, you can identify and slay such scurrilous offenders with a little help from qualified specialists.

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If You Plant a Strawberry Top, Will It Grow a Strawberry?

if you plant a strawberry top, will it grow a strawberryOver the course of the years, I have had several people ask me this question, or a version of it: “If you plant a strawberry top, will it grow a strawberry?”  This year, however, I have received a noticeable increase in the number of curious questioners hoping to make good on the part of the strawberry most commonly used as a grip while the rest of the fruit is gnawed in happy contentment.  After all, the little bit of white flesh left under the calyx and stem isn’t good for much other than, perhaps, making a bit of strawberry water.  I don’t know why the curiosity has spiked, but it is a valid question.  Since curious minds want to know…

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Strawberry Pollination

strawberry pollinationStrawberries are relatively simple little plants.  Their genomes have been completely mapped, and their life cycles are fully understood.  But, as simple as strawberry plants may seem, they are still complex enough to warrant study; and, the study that goes into them continues to reveal much fascinating information.  This post is dedicated to that topic of plant fertilization that sometimes can induce somnambulism in all but the most ardent botanists: strawberry pollination.  But, once you’ve reviewed this information, you’ll be ready to tackle hand pollination of strawberries or be better able to situate your strawberry bed in the most ideal location for growing gargantuan berries!

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Strawberry Plants with Yellow Flowers

strawberry plants with yellow flowersFew things are more exciting to a green thumb than strolling about outside and discovering a native fruit-producing plant growing wild.  I’ve had several such occurrences in just the last few years.  I was as giddy as a kid in a candy shop a while back when I noticed a mulberry tree laden with dark, almost black fruit tempting me with its heavy branch hanging over my head and almost brushing my hair on a sidewalk in the middle of a suburban setting.  I guess no one ever thought to cut down the tree growing near the runoff drain, but I harvested as many fresh mulberries as I could before I had to leave the area.  I’ve often stumbled into wild blackberry thickets in my wanderings, and just last year I discovered four wild American persimmon trees not a mile from my dwelling place.

While blackberries are generally loved and known by everyone, mulberries are less known, and knowledge of persimmons is confined to a fairly small group within the general population.  Strawberries, however, are the A-List celebrities of the fruit world.  Virtually everyone loves them.  So, many people who find what they believe to be wild strawberries in their yard often ask me, “Why aren’t my wild strawberries with yellow flowers producing any strawberries?!”  Well, here’s why:

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Wilting Strawberry Plants

wilting strawberry plantsMore and more people are growing their own strawberries as a hobby or as ornamentals or for production in their home gardens.  Few things are as frustrating as eagerly anticipating years of bountiful strawberry harvests and then watching the plants go from apparently healthy to wilted.  Wilting strawberry plants can make even the most stolid gardener attempt to forcibly remove his own follicles in a fit of perplexity.  This post is a review of what causes strawberries to wilt.

Sometimes wilting strawberries can be salvaged if the underlying cause is discovered and remedied.  Oftentimes, however, once the wilt sets in, there is little that can be done if it is caused by a pathogen.

For the sake of accuracy, it is good to distinguish between non-infectious wilting and blight.  Both look similar and can be easily confused, but they are actually different.  Blights can lead to wilting strawberry plants, but wilting is a symptom only.  Wilting is evidence of a problem, not necessarily a disease (blight).

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Nitrogen Deficiency in Strawberry Plants

strawberry plants with yellow leavesNitrogen deficiency in strawberry plants can cause rather significant problems for the longevity and vitality of strawberry patch.  If your soil is low in nitrogen, you can expect consequences.  This post will cover the basics of what to look for to determine whether or not your strawberries lack sufficient nitrogen-containing soil for optimal health and vigor.

What Indicates Nitrogen Deficiency in Strawberries?

In order to confirm nitrogen deficiency in strawberry plants, one ultimately must take a few tissue samples from affected leaflets that are “middle aged.”  The leaflets that must be sampled cannot be the old ones toward the bottom of the plant or the new, bright green ones emerging from the crown.

Once samples are collected, they must be tested for average composition.  The baseline measurement for nitrogen sufficiency is 2.6% to 2.8%.  Should the measured percent composition of nitrogen be below 2.6% for the tested sample, it is very likely that the soil is nitrogen deficient, resulting in less-than-acceptable levels of nitrogen in the foliage tissue of the strawberry plants.

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Strawberry Seedlings

strawberry seedlingsMost people who raise strawberries do not start them from seed.  They buy strawberry plants from a local nursery or a mail-order nursery.  They then receive, most often, dormant strawberry crowns that they quickly plant in their prepared beds, water them, and watch as the dormant strawberries spring forth into new life.

However, there are brave souls out there that want to begin the life cycle of their strawberries by germinating strawberry seeds and then coaxing the tiny seedlings to grow until they are ready to transplant.  With all the TLC given to the tiny plants, it would be a shame to make a mortal mistake for them when they are finally sturdy enough to make the transition to the outside.

This post will help you successfully transplant strawberry plants that you have germinated.  It is best to know what TO do and what NOT to do before risking potential damage or death to your fledgling shoots!

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Topsy Turvy Strawberry Planter

topsy turvy strawberry planterWith the number of chemicals, pesticides, and other unnatural residues found on and in our food these days, many people are turning to growing their own edibles. Since there are often significant quality improvements gained from home-growing food, this is often a great thing for both sustainability and the health of the growers (see this link for 10 Reasons You Should Grow Your Own Strawberries).  With the trend being toward more gardening, even those with less space are beginning to venture into the realm of produce production.

One of the challenges of growing food for the freshly-minted green thumb is deciding on space.  Most rural or semi-rural folks simply dig a hole, put seeds or strawberry plants into the hole, and let the plants do their thing.  Even city slickers often will have a usable section of their yard or space to build a raised-bed garden.  Urban dwellers can often find an area for a community garden.  But, particularly for those living in urban areas, space-utilizing tools are often employed to grow food in areas of contained soil.  Usually, pots on a window sill or porch are used.

However, there is a new kid in town: the Topsy Turvy.  There is also the Topsy Turvy Strawberry Planter, which is slightly better suited for strawberries.  This post is a discussion of the pros and cons of growing topsy turvy strawberries.

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Thrips & Strawberry Plants

thrips strawberry plantsThrips and strawberry plants simply don’t go well together.  Thrips are one of the devastating strawberry pests that afflict strawberry plantings and enrage gardeners.  If you are having difficulties with “something” damaging your strawberries, it just might be this common pest.

To most clearly communicate the nature of strawberry thrips and information regarding these insects, a question and answer format will be used.  For additional information on both strawberry pests and strawberry diseases, use the search function at the top right of Strawberry Plants .org.

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Strawberry Nutrition Facts

strawberry nutrition factsStrawberries are jam-packed (no pun intended) with wholesome nutrients.  A serving of whole strawberries is generally considered to be one cup (see here for strawberry conversions).  A cup of fresh strawberries will vary by weight depending on the size and specific variety of strawberry that is consumed.  Also, strawberry nutrition can be affected by the quality of the soil and care given to the plants as they produced.  In general, however, the following table will provide an accurate representation of the vitamins, minerals, and other components within a serving of strawberries.  These strawberry nutrition facts will help you realize just how beneficial strawberries are in one’s diet!

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Strawberry Allergy

strawberry allergyMillions of people have allergies.  The range of allergic reactions to different allergens varies depending on the magnitude of the sensitivity and the type of reaction elicited.  Unfortunately, many people are allergic to strawberries.  I know what you are thinking: having strawberry allergies might just be a fate worse than death.  Of course, that is an exaggeration, but just think of a life devoid of the wonders of strawberries.

This post discusses the main aspects of strawberry allergies.  These include what causes the strawberry allergy, the different types of common reactions, and a possible method of getting around a strawberry allergy so that the delicious morsels can be enjoyed!

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How Many Strawberry Species Are There?

strawberry speciesIf you have ventured over to the Strawberry Varieties page and seen the extensive list of strawberry cultivars presented there, you may have thought to yourself, “Just how many strawberry species are there out there?”  Good question.  When it comes to identifying strawberries, strawberry plant taxonomy comes into play (for introductory information, view the Strawberry Plant page).  And, to identify strawberry plant species diversity these days, genetics plays a big role.

One important consideration to keep in mind is that there is a fairly big difference between species and cultivars.  Species have a degree of genetic variation that sets them apart from their counterparts while cultivars are identifiable plants expressing genetic diversity within a species (or hybridization).  So, how many strawberry species are there?

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Genetics of Strawberry Plants

genetics of strawberry plantsStrawberry plants have a very unique diversity when it comes to their genetic makeup.  The genetics of most things are relatively complex, but the genetics of strawberry plants throw an additional twist into the mix.  Strawberry plant species have varying numbers of chromosomes (see the Strawberry Plant page for introductory information).

Most species are diploid, meaning they have two sets of chromosomes, one set of chromosomes is normally inherited from each parent.  Polyploidy, a condition more common in plants, occurs when multiple pairs of chromosomes are present in the genetic component of an organism.  Strawberry species and hybrids can be diploid, tetraploid, pentaploid, hexaploid, heptaploid, octoploid, or decaploid (having 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 10 sets of the seven strawberry chromosomes, respectively).

Use the sortable table below to see a list of the polyploid genetics of strawberry plants.  The various major species of strawberries are listed, along with their genetic makeup and informational notes.  For more information, see the Strawberry Varieties page.

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Life Cycle of Strawberry Plants

life cycle of strawberry plantsStrawberry plants are a wonderful forb.  Their life cycle is much more complicated than the simple appearance of the humble strawberry plant implies.  The growth cycle of strawberry plants spans the entire year and repeats annually.  The life cycle of strawberry plants begins either from seed or from runner plants, and continues until senescence.  This post is an overview of the life of a strawberry plant from germination until withered, brown leaves signify the passage from life unto death.

The Growth Cycle of Strawberry Plants

As with any cyclical scenario, it is difficult to choose a starting point (which came first, the chicken or the egg?).  For the purposes of describing the life cycle of strawberry plants, a dual starting point will be considered as a sprouted strawberry seedling and a new strawberry runner.  While both of these starting points require the existence prior life, a discussion of the origins of life is outside the purview of this article.

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Deformed Strawberries

deformed strawberriesHave you ever seen those hideous, misshaped strawberries?  If so, you might have wondered what causes deformed strawberries to be that way.  Well, Strawberry Plants .org is dedicated to bringing light to all things related to the strawberry plant.  And, unfortunately, deformed strawberries are a fact of life.

Hopefully, with the information contained within this post, you will never have to deal with your own mutant strawberries.  Who wants to eat hideous fruit when nice, red, symmetrical fruit can be had?  But, if you find yourself out in the strawberry bed picking your own deformed strawberries, here is what you need to know:

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Tarnished Plant Bugs & Strawberry Plants

tarnished plant bugs & strawberry plantsThere are a host of strawberry plant pests that are a constant nuisance to the gardener who has planted strawberry plants in hopes of a bountiful strawberry harvest (see the Strawberry Plant page for the most common perpetrators).  With studies showing that organic strawberry plants are better than conventionally-grown strawberry plants, there has been a shift away from using the highly toxic chemical pest control methods.  One of the most maddening pests is the tarnished plant bug (TPB).

TPBs are the bane of farmers who grow small fruits and vegetables, including strawberry growers.  The bugs are tremendously resilient.  In an attempt to kill them off, farmers will often apply insecticides three to five times per year.  All these insecticides may be necessary for commercial operations, but home gardeners may be able to avoid such measures (see here for 10 Reasons Why You Should Grow Your Own Strawberry Plants).

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What Type of Plants Are Strawberry Plants?

what type of plants are strawberry plantsHave you ever wondered what type of plant classification into which the humble strawberry plant falls?  Think about it for a moment, and you will see just how unique strawberry plants are.  They are short.  They have dark green leaflets with serrated edges.  They produce strawberries that weigh a tremendous amount compared to the weight of the vegetation that supports them.

They obviously aren’t trees.  They aren’t shrubs.  Due to the fact that they produce strawberry runners, some might be tempted to think they are a vine.  They aren’t.  Are you curious yet about what type of plant is a strawberry plant?  The answer can be found by continuing to read, but I’ll give you two clues.  The classification of strawberry plants comes largely from the characteristics of strawberry flowers and its vegetative growth.

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