Red Strawberry Stems and Leaves?

red strawberry stems and leaves

Question: Red Strawberry Stems and Leaves?

Beth asked:

What causes the strawberrie stems to turn red? 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 stage because of the stems turning red.

Answer to: Red Strawberry Stems and Leaves?

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 strawberry 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.

This is a question submitted to by a reader. See the Strawberry FAQ for more questions and answers.

28 thoughts on “Red Strawberry Stems and Leaves?”

  1. Hi Mr Strawberry,
    Can I bring the strawberries in the house for the winter? I live in NYC. I had some red leaves which I removed too and my stems are long and red which I like. I am constantly concerned about it and am looking out for any signs of infections. There is a group of around 3 leaves that seem to get getting red at the tips and stem. Should I remove them? And where do I remove them from? The base? This is my 1st strawberry plant!
    Thanks 😉

  2. Hi, I am new in strawberry planting and reside in Tanzania,Africa. I decided to plant my strawberries in bottle containers on my backyard wall. The plants are in partial shade and seem to be doing fine. I have often been told that the more I prune the runners, the more the enhancement of fruiting process. Its been 5 months now and only one tree of60 has began to flower. Furthermore I water the trees daily and some of leaves have began turning red, I do guess am over watering as this act started recently.I would like advise on whether my trees will produce fruit,though am advised that the first season they may just flower and not produce fruit

    • Faraja Roy,
      In the first year, it is standard practice to remove the blooms to allow for better root development and a heavier harvest the following year. So, this first year, I would recommend snipping the blooms and following the other instructions here. Good luck!

  3. Hi. My strawberry plant seems to have red leaves and stems this is my first year growing them. I guess my strawberry plant has got a infection but is there anything I can do to help the plant. Or is it just dead?

    • Zoe,
      If all the leaves are turning red, you probably do have a systemic issue with your plants or soil. If it is just a few of the older leaves that are turning red, the plants could still be healthy. Try removing the red leaves and see what happens to the rest. Good luck!

    • Uldine,
      No, they sound normal! Young strawberry leaves are typically a light green or yellowish green. As they mature they will deepen in color to the normal, rich dark strawberry green. Good luck!

  4. Hi! My strawberry leaves are turning brown. Everything is perfect except the leaves. The parts of the leaves that are green have some yellow mixed in it. Is it because the leaves are old? Do I need to take action to ensure that my strawberry plants get to give me a crop next year?

    • Aizuddin Azhar,
      It is possible that they are just old. The leaves will brown and eventually die back in the fall/winter. It is also possible that you have a nutrient deficiency or water imbalance. You may want to run a soil test to determine if there is a problem or not. Good luck!

  5. I have 2 strawberry plants. One is normal, one has red on the spiky tips and 3mm sized dots. Some of them are starting to have tiny browness inside the red dots. What is it? Is there anything to do about it?

    • Megan,
      Possibly. If the stem looks damaged, you might have a parasitic infestation. If it just looks red, I’d wait and see what happens. Be sure to remove any dead leaves/stems from the area to decrease the possibility of fungal infections, and good luck!

    • Isabella,
      The best thing to do is remove them if they are starting to wilt. If the leaves in the center of the crown are still green and vibrant, no other action is probably needed. You might also want to test the soil to ensure that it isn’t deficient in any nutrients or minerals the strawberries need to thrive. Good luck!

  6. Hey there Mr. Strawberry!
    I planted my Lorans and a Quinalt a few weeks ago. I have noticed the Quinalt does have red leaves, specifically the older ones. I had red about a red root fungus(?). It said that the fungus is near impossible to get rid of and that aside from the plant struggling to fruit…well, just basically let the plant die and invest in something more tolerant next year. My questions; Is this info factual? Is there anything at all I can do for the poor thing I already have? I’ve been pinching blossoms and keep chemical-free. Suggestions? Thanks so much.

  7. So, its the middle of July here in sunny ENGLAND! Yes, a lovely summer for once. Yet my strawberries are protesting and the larger leaves are turning red. Can I safely assume they are just dying through age? This is the 2nd time this year I have had to chop them back and they come back fine at first, then reach about 5in long and go red (leaves that is)

    • elizabeth,
      You might have a nutrient deficiency in your soil. It would be a good idea to take a soil sample and have it tested to ensure adequate nutrition for your strawberry plants. Good luck!


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