How Do You Store Bare-Root Strawberry Plants?
People love their gardens. Great care and devotion are given to raising fruits and vegetables by thousands of people every single day. But, what happens if unforeseen circumstances arise? What if a move is required, for whatever reason? Well, when it comes to the garden, it gets left behind. Strawberry growers, however, can take their strawberries with them since they are perennial. Special storage is required when transporting your strawberry plants from one patch to another. Here is what you need to know about storing bare-root strawberry plants…
How to Store Bare-Root Strawberry Plants
Storing bare-root strawberry plants is best avoided. If possible, strawberry plants do much better in the ground and protected from cold winter temperatures. But, situations arise where the strawberry plants just can’t be in the ground. If strawberry plants were ordered in the fall and were, for whatever reason, not able to be planted, the options are to let them die or store the bare-root plants. And, if plants are dug after dormancy has occurred, storing bare-root strawberries in an “intermediate” state may be the best option to keep them alive.
Here are the steps and information you need to know to store strawberry plants:
How to Store Bare-Root Strawberries
1. Cover up the plants’ bare roots! Strawberry plants can’t survive if their roots are exposed for an extended period of time. They will dry out and the plants will subsequently die. So, the first order of business when seeking to preserve the life of your exposed plants is to bury those roots! Any moisture holding medium is sufficient, but it is ideal to use one that is easy to separate from the roots when planting time rolls around. I recommend sand. Also acceptable are clean wood chips/sawdust or a clean soil/peat mixture.
2. Ensure a moist environment for the roots. In the true bare-root state, the roots will dry out very rapidly. Dry roots = dead strawberry plants. However, too much moisture will rot the roots. Rotten roots = dead strawberry plants. So, by covering the roots and then regularly applying enough water to keep the roots moist (but not waterlogged), your bare-root strawberries will likely be vibrant when warmer temperatures come in the spring.
3. Store in a hospitable climate. Temperature dictates a strawberry plant’s seasonal cycle. The worst thing for the longevity of a strawberry plant is to revive it from its dormant state prematurely. In order to keep it dormant, it must be in a cool home, yet protected from extreme temperature. One of the best places to store bare-root strawberry plants is in a root cellar. If a root cellar is unavailable, an unheated garage or basement will usually do the trick. But, if the temperature rises and brings forth the strawberries from dormancy and a cold snap follows, they will likely suffer cold injury and may die.
Storing Strawberry Plants (Not Bare-Root)
If you need to dig up your strawberry plants due to a permanent change of location or some other reason, the best way to do it is to transfer entire plants. To do this, protect the strawberry plants as discussed on the Growing Strawberries page. Then wait until a few frosts have occurred to ensure that the strawberry plants are fully dormant. Following the frosts, use a sturdy trowel to dig up both the dormant strawberry plants and most of their central root system. Put them in cheap plastic pots and store as mentioned above. This will help speed the re-establishment process when you plant them out again in late winter/early spring. The downsides of doing it this way are extra equipment costs (plastic pots and maybe some potting soil) and more space.
Storing Bare-Root Strawberry Plants: Conclusion
To emphasize the fragility of true bare-root strawberry plants, consider the care that the major nurseries must give to such plants in order to ship them safely to consumers. In order to keep bare-root strawberries alive just long enough to make it to their new homes, the nurseries will wrap the roots in moistened paper, put them in moisture-tight plastic bags, put them in their shipping boxes, and then store them in freezers below freezing. The plants are then shipped so that the recipient will get them on a Friday or before so that they don’t die on a truck somewhere over the weekend.
So, remember: if you buy strawberry plants in the spring or the fall from an online retailer, get them in the ground as soon as possible (the same day you receive them). Once the roots are covered, they aren’t bare-root plants any longer and can survive.
I need to redo my strawberry bed. I live in zone 6 – temp zone 5b. I want to dig my plants up & till it all up, & then replant them. I was wondering if it is too late to do that for my zone? And I’d like some advice on how to keep plants safe while I’m tilling ect.
I think I’ve read pretty much everything on your site (and STILL got it wrong…🙄)
Anyway, my problem is this: I planted 75 bare root plants this spring – 25 each of 3 different varieties. I thought it was a good site, til all the trees from neighbouring yards started filling in…so far, the plants are healthy and doing well, but getting less sun as summer moves on – this year, all they have to do is survive – but I don’t know if it’s better to take my chances digging them up after dormancy this fall and moving to a sunnier spot next spring – or just leave them where they are, with only about 4 hours sunlight – any thoughts on that?
Thanks for all the amazing info you’ve provided here!
I live in Tampa Florida and we have earthbox gardens with strawberries still producing today 4/28/19. I want to know how to keep the plants alive to replant in the fall. Our falls are very warm, 90 degree weather, so it is always like summer. Can I place them in a refrigerator – you have advise for northern cities but not Florida.
in naples, looking for same answer. sad its not here
Last year I planted an acre of certified organic strawberries in plastic mulch. This year we got a great yield. After we renovated the beds (July) into August they went into over drive producing runners. I was surprised to see how many that each plant has made. At this point you can not longer see the beds or paths there are so many runners. I am going to cultivate the paths today which will rip up all of the runners in the paths leaving those in the bed and a few on the shoulders of where the plastic meets soil.
My question is now that the plant have put such a large amount of energy into producing runners how much of a decrease in yield should I expect from next years harvest?
I also read here that transplanting runners at the end of August is ideal. When would be too late to expect viable runner plants to get established? Would it be preferable to try and transplant the runners now or storing them bare root in a walk in cooler (5C) over the winter?
(I am in Southern Ontario Canada, zone 5a, and have about 7 weeks left until my last 10hour day, and typically get a frost in the next 2-3 weeks.
Thanks in advance.
PS: This site is a great resource! Thank you.
I am also going to thin out my June bearing Strawberry patch. Did you get a reply on storing until giving the transplants to friends? Im going to keep them moist, in a paper bag… inside a plastic bag, in a cool place. wondering how long will they keep?
I purchased 75 Ozark strawberry plants from Gurney. When they arrived they were dry and moldy. I planted them in my prepared garden and watered them. A few of them are showing growth, the balance are not. Are they dead?
I currently live in central New York in zone 5B. I bought 25 bare-root strawberry plants and planted them in 4″ pots that are currently doing amazingly well under my fluorescent grow lights. I have many other seedlings I need to start and I need the room they’re taking up. I know strawberries can handle an occasional frost so I looked ahead at the forecast and daytime temperatures for the next few weeks will be ranging between 35 and 45 degrees during the day and 20 and 35 degrees at night. I’m pretty sure I would be able to safely move my strawberry plants outside under a cold frame type enclosure if I ensure venting and watering…. my question is how long should I wait after planting these bare-roots before I begin acclimating them to the outdoors? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Lots of love and time invested and really want to ensure their success after a failure last year ❤
I live near Martinsburg, WV in zone 6b. We recently moved into a house with several plant beds that weren’t well maintained and are full of weeds. I want to pull my plants and completely rework the beds this fall before it gets too cold to rework them and then replant in the spring. I plan to lay down deep mulch (8-12″), so I don’t want to just cover the plants I want to keep. I’m trying to decide on the best method to store my strawberries. I was considering trying to store bare roots in our spare refrigerator, but I had also thought about putting the plants in peat pots, placing the pots on the ground next to a southeasterly facing wall and mulching them well with straw and watering them when necessary. The other thing I had considered was putting them in peat pots trying to eek out space in our garage, though it would likely take a miracle to find enough space in our already over-stuffed garage. Which method do think would be best? I’d like to go ahead and do this, but we are just getting our first frost tonight, and temps in the 20s won’t be seen for quite some time, so the plants aren’t dormant yet. Also do you know if I could store mints and irises the same way? Thanks for your help!
In Zone 6b, you still should be able to plant them. My recommendation would be to go ahead and rework the beds as soon as possible, plant the strawberry plants in their new homes, then mulch them when the weather dictates after they go dormant. Unfortunately, I am not sure about mint and iris species! Good luck!
I live in Alaska we have vary cold winters
this summer i planted my strawberry’s in a raised bead in the greenhouse got a huge crop all summer
i would like to try to keep them for next summer but am concerned it will be to cold in the greenhouse over the winter
The greenhouse might actually provide some protection, but you will still need to mulch your plants heavily to protect them. A full 12 inches of clean straw will help in that endeavor! Good luck!
I just pulled a bunch of strawberry plants from my garden in portland, OR and was hoping to try keeping them in my root cellar for the winter. What should I store them in? Paper pag? Straw in the bag? Thanks!!!
Start here! Good luck!
Jan in Wyoming
My strawberry plants are down about 6 inches a 12 inch raised bed. The stems are (about 8 inches) and the leaf canopy allows very little sun to the rest of the plants. I want to move them to another (higher dirt level) raised bed in a sunnier location. You mentioned that 5 years is about the extent of their productivity. Should I just keep the newer ones from runners? I want to store them in the garage for the winter. I was thinking I should just piece together the replies that fit my situation, but thought I’d ask to see if you had anything specific for me.
Jan in Wyoming,
If your plants are producing runners, yes, you can root and transplant them. Good luck!
I have been growing my strawberry plants in a raised bed here in N. Idaho and they have survived winters quite well with a thick blanket of snow over them. I plan to move them to an elevated bed late Aug. or early Sept. Will they survive the winter with the cold air under the elevated bed? The beds are 10″ deep. Thank you.
They will definitely be more at risk in the elevated bed. You may want to plan on providing extra insulation through the winter months or, if possible, lowering the bed to ground level after the plants go dormant for the winter. Good luck!
Hi, bought 40 bare root strawberry plants online. Got here today. I noticed the crowns are a little moist. Some crowns are rot. Do you think it is still be ok to grow? Do I need to cut the rot off? Roots look healthy.
If the crowns are rotten on arrival, I would take pictures and contact the retailer from which you purchased them. They will not be likely to grow, and they will probably send you replacement plants. Good luck!
Who produces the dry root crowns and how does the supplier grow them for bare root resale, or can you give me a site to explore the production of dry root crowns
No one produces dry root crowns. If the root crowns dry completely out, they will die. The bare-root plants are grown using a variety of methods from clonal reproduction to tissue culture to re-potting of runner plants into a variety of systems. They can even be grown hydroponically. If you are interested in entering production yourself, I would highly recommend contacting your local agricultural extension agent for assistance. They will help you evaluate everything to see if it will work for you! Good luck!
I planted 4 strawbales filled with strawberry plants. They did very well here in northern Idaho. However, the bales are becoming to come apart and I would like to save the plants for next year. Since the bales are decomposing it will be very easy to pull the plant fully intact out of the bale. How do I save/store them until spring?
If you want to save them for replanting in another hay bale, wait until they go dormant for the year and then follow the instructions on this page. If you are going to plant them in a pot or in the ground, try to keep them happy in the bale until mid-September. Then, carefully remove them and plant in pots or in a strawberry bed. Good luck!
Hi, I just bought 2 bags of strawberry bare root plants at walmart during a clearance sale, they were quite dry so my grandmother suggested that I should plant Thom in a large pot as to protect them and water them when I water the rest of my plants and hope for the best. I am new to strawberry plants, any advice? Help
If the roots were dried all the way through, they are likely dead. I’d soak them for a day or so and then wrap them in a moist paper towel to see if they bud out. If they do, plant them right away. If they don’t, they are likely already dead. Good luck!
I have had a strawberry patch for about five years. Last year I got 10+ gallons of strawberries this year however I got less than half that amount. I believe that it has to do with the white clover dominating the plants. With this in mind I have decided to remove the plants, rework the ground, and plant again early next spring. My question is how can I keep the strawberry plants alive during the time that they are out of the ground. I do have a root cellar. Thanks Joe
Putting the roots in clean, moist sand should work. If the plants themselves are 5 years old, they are likely at the end of their highly-productive years. If that is the case, you may want to replant with new plants to increase yields. Good luck!
I’ve grown strawberries in the past and I’ve always picked off the blossoms the first season to get a better crop the following seasons. My question is, is it imperative to pick off the blossoms the first season or can you not pick them off and still get a good amount of strawberries. I’m growing in the hill system and cutting off all runners and from what I’ve been told people pick off the blossoms to encourage runnering, but since I’m planting in the hill system I don’t want runners.
You will probably get at least some strawberries the first year if you don’t snip the berries. However, every berry a plant sets takes energy that would otherwise predominantly go into root production. The robust root system is what supports the bumper harvest of berries the following year. Of course, you can do either, but 2nd-year yields usually more than make up for not getting berries the first year due to better roots. Good luck!
I have a long time bed of strawberry but am aging and find that bending over is just to hard for harvesting. I want to try hanging strawberries in a ‘gutter’ hanging system. Should I do this after they stop pruducing for the year, fall or spring? And how well would they winter in this fashion? Thank you.
Yes, you can transplant them. For best results, transplant them in the fall. As for wintering, it depends on your Zone. In colder Zones, you will need to provide the gutter system with additional insulation. In warmer Zones, you may not even have to insulate them at all as long as the temperature doesn’t drop too low. Good luck!
I’m in zone 7 and I had planted bare roots in a “Bag-O-Blooms Grow kit” and layed it flat in my indoor greenhouse by a south facing window. Some started leafing and then a week after they started leafing they shriveled up and died. I water them every few days and always checked the soil moisture beforehand. What went wrong? Were they getting too hot? And if I go get more bare roots can I go ahead and hang them outside, even though our temps drop to the 40’s overnight, will they fare better?
It very well could have been the heat, or it could have been too much moisture in the bag/soil. Strawberry plants love temperatures in the 40s at nighttime, so go ahead and plant them outside as soon as possible! Good luck!
I’m not clear on what is too cold temperature to plant….
Just received my bare root plants today, is it too cold to plant my bare root plants now?
Go ahead and plant! Good luck!
I bought strawberry plants from Walmart and the bags say to plant them in Jan/February when ground is 50 degrees. I’m in zone 8 near Dallas and am unsure if I should plant now or put them in the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator? They were stored in the heated area at Walmart and appear to have new growth on them. Thanks for your help.
I’d check your ground temperature and see if it is warm enough. If so, I’d go ahead and carefully plant them. Good luck!
I have my strawberries outdoors in hydroponics. Summer has ended and we’ve had several killing frosts, but the seascape strawberries are still growing and flowering. My plan is to keep the strawberries in their hydroponic net pots, and to overwinter these pots with the roots hanging out, in a box of sand in the garage. I have a lot of runners I never trimmed. My question is, next year, will I get better production from the mother plants, or from the runners? Will unrooted runners survive 5 months in cold sand?
The answer to your question may be found here. Good luck!
I planted strawberries growing in an old wash tub this year and they did great. I have bad soil and just don’t have a place to put them in the ground. I know they will not survive the winter in the wash tub, but we do have a small green house (8X10) I could store them in. Is that a good idea or would it be too warm in there? We grow lettuce and greens in it and don’t keep it very warm.
It might be too warm, but the only way to know is to try it and see! If you have enough ground space, you can simply bury your old wash tub, then cover it liberally with clean straw. You’ll have to pull the tub back out in the late winter/spring, but that will simulate strawberries being in-ground. Good luck!
I’ve ton of bare root tribute given to me they have been stored in fridge since spring is it to late to get them into the ground zone 6 will they produce in summer 2016? Ugh I don’t know what to do please help :-/
No, it isn’t too late! Fall is actually a great time to plant. Go ahead and plant them now! Good luck!
I live in Wisconsin what is the best way to take care of my strawberry plants through fall and winter months.
This should help! Good luck
I would like to have strawberries ripen around thanksgiving. I plan on having them in an aquaponic greenhouse and I live in zone 7b. Is there any way to “force” strawberries into production during the “off” season?
Most hydroponic growers choose a day-neutral variety like Tribute or Tristar. By selecting a day-neutral cultivar, you will get consistent production year-round instead of a large flush of harvestable berries at one time and then basically nothing for the rest of the growing season. You will harvest less overall quantity by weight that way (usually), but you get consistent production. Hope that helps; good luck!
Why are my bare root strawberry plants gaining new growth in the refrigerator? There is no sunlight or dirt in there, so it doesn’t make sense to me how they are able to gain additional growth.
Strawberry plants go dormant when temperatures drop into the 20s for several days. Most people’s refrigerators are set around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, they probably think it is spring! I’d recommend planting them as soon as possible. Good luck!
I have seen a Youtube video showing a single strawberry plant’s root cut into 10 pieces for propagation.
How does this method compare with rooting runners?
Kind regards KD
Clonal propagation works that way, especially for strawberries with larger crowns. The drawback is that it makes the transplants more vulnerable to pathogens. Rooting runners typically produces more robust plants more quickly than crown division. Good luck!
I received my bareroot strawberry plants yesterday can’t plant them for 2wks what is the best way to keep them that long
Follow the instructions above! Good luck!
I have a hydroponic garden, and want to over winter my strawberry plants in refrigeration. Can I put them in plastic bags, moistened, and keep them in a refrigerator, and if so how long can I hold them.
Unfortunately, plants stored that way will likely mold and/or rot. The best way is to store them in a dormant state, but climate-controlled to reduce humidity. Good luck!
If I’m storing bare root strawberry plants til I can get them in the ground, what temperature range do they need to be kept at to remain dormant? Thank you for your help.
If the temperatures stay below freezing at night, they will usually stay dormant. Good luck!
Hi there. Seems you really know your stuff on strawberries. I was looking for info on shipping 150 bare root strawberry plants to my brother in Michigan. (I’m in the Chicago area) I’ve run out of room to start another patch. I just pulled these today out of the lot next door to me where they had “traveled” to. I’ve got the roots in water now, giving them a good drink before I package them up. I am going to just wrap the roots in damp newspaper, then send them priority (2-3 day) mail. I was wondering….What should I advise him to do. In upper Michigan, should he plant them outside right away? Will they develop a root system good enough before winter to survive? He does have a root cellar. Can he force them into dormancy and store them there over winter? ( I took them out of the ground today, and they are still green and very much alive). Just wondering what his best option is. Thanks for any help and advice. Love your site! Christa
If you ship them right away, with the roots wrapped like you mention, they should still have time to be planted immediately and survive. Make sure he mulches well for the winter in Michigan to ensure they survive. Good luck!
Hi, love the wealth of info here. Thank you for your efforts and expertise. My question is if I have say 100 June bearing plants that I want to bare root through the winter, do I need to trim the roots back or the leaves before I place them in some sand for storage? The reason I want to do this is because I don’t have enough ground to plant them all to winter them in the ground. I’ve been potting the runners up from the soil to soilless media and leaving the runners attached until the runners turn brown, then, I snip the runners off. Having good success with this so far. About 80% of them are surviving the pot up. Any wisdom you can share with me would be appreciated. Thanks
You should trim the leaves off to about an inch or so above the crown. Don’t trim the roots, however. It sounds like you are doing well with rooting the runners. Good luck!
I have been thinking about building a strawberry tower . My main concern is if they will over winter in the tower or if I will need to dig them up in the fall. I live in zone 5a .
Since strawberry towers don’t provide as much insulation as being in the actual ground does, they are more prone to suffering cold damage. However, you can wrap them in a large tarp with mulching over the plants to minimize the risk if you don’t want to spend the time transplanting. Just be sure to water them so they don’t die on you! Good luck!
I just found out we are moving from NE to TN. I want to take my strawberry plants with me. What’s the best way to do this? Mow the leaves down and force them into hibernation or just dig up the plants and pot them after cutting off all flowers and fruits?
It is best to try to dig the individual plants up with as much of the root system intact and undisturbed as possible, put them in pots, transport them to Tennessee, and then re-plant them as soon as possible. So, cut the flowers and fruit, dig ’em up, take them with you, and try to make time to get them back in the ground soon upon arrival. Good luck!
I just received 250 bareroot strawberries but many smell kinda musty and look like they had some growth started and then died off. Are these roots all junk? I got them given to me from a local seller for free so if there no good its no biggie I just don’t wanna take the time to plant if there all dead.
If they had green growth and no longer do, they are probably dead. The only way to know for sure, however, is to plant them and see! My guess is that they are goners. Sorry!
I want to store some bare rooted strawberry runners from my field for 5 months what should i do and at what temperature should i store them
It is difficult to store bare-root strawberries long-term without specialized storing units that manage both temperature and humidity. With your desired length of storage (5 months), I would recommend leaving them in the ground until just before they are needed. Good luck!
You can use the same method to over-winter your plants. Dig them up on the 1st decent day after the 2nd or 3rd hard frost, place in the trays as described above. Place them in a cool, dark location and water them well twice a month. When spring comes, bring them up to a warm, sunny spot and water them well every few days. In a few weeks they will be out of dormancy, well leafed and ready to be re-planted. This way of doing things is especially effective in colder climates, zone 4 or higher. If you are concerned about an unexpected late frost, plant them deep enough that only the leaves and 1″ of stalk is above ground. Getting the root-ball and “baby leafs” below the top layer of soil will protect them should a late frost come. If this happens, the leaves already above ground may be damaged or even die, but the bulk of the plant, and it’s next few sets of leaves that have begun to grow are safely insulated by the 1-1.5″ of soil or mulch.
Thanks for the tips!
I pull all my strawberry plants out of the ground every year and till the bed. I re-plant the same number each year and give away or sell the rest which is usually 3x as many as I’m keeping. To do this, I dig them up as soon as the ground is thawed enough for tilling, they are still dormant at this time. I take planting trays, the type that hold the sectionals for growing seedlings, and use only the large base tray. I throw in a few scoops of potting soil and spread it out in a thin layer. I then lay the plants in. I put them close together, less than 1/2″ apart and sprinkle the roots with another scoop or 2 of soil, then lay another row. I fit about 100-120 plants into a tray covering the last row’s roots with about 1″ of soil. Water well every 3-4 days and place in a warm sunny location. In a few weeks they will be out of hibernation, fully leafed and most will be in flower. At this point the threat of frost is past and I till and replant my bed with the largest and oldest of my root-stock and sell the rest looking lovely, leafy, beautiful and flowery. 🙂 Cost? about $3 for each tray and soil used in it, sunshine and water are free. Profit? 300-400 plants = $80-120
I am building some PVC strawberry towers. I already have the supplies, mixed the growing medium, and purchased the roots from a reputable local greenhouse. Is it safe to get them planted outside on April 1st? They are sprouting a bit in my cold basement in Michigan. The weather has been warming and the daily high is in the 50s for the 10 day forcast, but there are a few days with a low in the mid-20s.
It is usually best to get the plants in the ground as soon as possible. If your temperatures are going to be low enough to give your plants cold injury, you will just need to provide them with some protection at night. Good luck!
My first time starting strawberries from bare root. I didn’t realize how crucial it was to get them in the ground quickly when I bought them. It took me about a week and a half to prepare the bed, i.e. as quickly as possible for me. I kept them in the basement, and it may not have been cold enough, since they’re turning green. Plus, it’s still getting into the low 30s here at night. I know there are a number of issues, but do these plants have a chance in heck of surviving if I plant them outside now?
Thanks for your help,
Certainly! Strawberries usually do just fine as long as the temperatures don’t drop into the twenties. If they are greening, I’d recommend getting them into the ground as soon as possible. You can order some Reemay or other protective cover to help keep them protected if it is threatening to get too cold where you are. Good luck!
We have planted 25 bare root strawberries in a raised bed this spring. They have been out almost 2 weeks and we are not seeing any of them beginning to turn green. Curious how long they long they should take before we start seeing any growth. We live just outside of Austin TX, the weather has been nice since we put them out.
They should have started to put out new growth by this point. You may want to give them a few more days of good watering and sunlight, but they are probably dead if you don’t see any new growth by that point. You can probably get a refund from the nursery that sold you the plants if you followed all the instructions and/or they were dead on arrival. Good luck!
Just stumbled across your website this morning looking for info on over wintering bare root plants. I like so many have ordered plants for Park Seed. I bought 125–5 each of 5 varieties. I have built a set of raised gutters to plant these in simliar to those shown on the website line. I have 160 feet of raised gutters in 2 80 foot rows about 4 feet off the ground. First, what do you think about the idea, and Second, once the season has run its course, do you think it would be better to remove the entire plant for storage next winter since I can’t adequately keep the plant from freezing “IF” we get days on end below freezing? This year we have not. I’m in New Bern, NC on the east coast of NC. Thanks for a great site I’m sure that I’ll read cover to cover.
The length of your rows might pose a problem for overwintering. If they could be broken down into smaller sections, simply moving them into a sheltered location for the winter (garage, shed, etc.) would probably work. The idea of using gutters or gutter-like systems can be a good one. As long as there is enough nutrients for the plants to function well and produce well, the systems usually work well. 2013 is the solar maximum, so winters may start to gradually get cooler from this year onward, but you live in a good place for growing strawberries. Also, I’m not quite sure how many plants you ordered. You said you ordered 125 plants, but only 5 each of 5 varieties. I’m assuming you meant 25 each of 5 varieties. Instead of transplanting that many by hand for the winter (which you could do if necessary), you might want to look into some sort of insulating material that you could wrap around your gutter systems. Running a drip tape through the middle should allow enough intermittent irrigation to keep them alive during their dormant phase. Regardless, good luck!
Is it possible to hibernate planter box strawberries and if so, what is the best way to do it? Also, how often should the hibernating plants be watered? Thanks
Yes, you can “hibernate” planter box strawberries. It is a little more tricky if you plan to leave the exposed planters outside. Without the thick insulation of the earth surrounding them, the above-ground planters allow temperatures to drop to levels that may cause cold injury to your plants. I’d recommend bringing them into your garage or other protected area. For other details, see here: Overwintering Strawberries. Good luck!
I have 2 hanging pots of strawberry plants. One is a hybird more temperamental and the other from what I can tell is just a regular strawberry. I live in southern Colorado and we can have a moderate to hard winter. I was reading that it’s best to leave them in the soil but not sure if my store room in the carport will be sufficient.
It is best to leave them in the soil if at all possible. You should leave them outside until you’ve had several nights of temperatures in the mid-twenties in a row. That will typically induce dormancy in the plants and make it safe to store them. Your plants should be ok if stored in a garage near a house wall. If that isn’t available, an outside store room will suffice, but it is best to wrap the pots in an insulation material (like old newspapers) several layers thick. Then, apply a mulch to the top over the soil so that the plants can breathe but remain protected from the extreme temperatures. See here: Mulching Strawberry Plants. Good luck!
I was wondering if you could give me some tips on how to germinate from seeds?
Also, I am going to be transporting some everbearing plants. Could you please advise on the best way to do it to ensure they survive the 6 hour trip.
For germinating strawberry seeds, see here: Strawberry Seeds. And, for transplanting help, see here: Transplanting Strawberries. Good luck!
We planted several June bearing strawberry plants, but the majority of them didn’t produce leaves. (The tops are still brown and stick-like.) The Everbearing plants are beautiful.
Should we just till the dead plants under or could they produce next year.
I’m sorry to hear about your plants. If you planted them right away when you received them (I’m assuming you ordered them from a mail order company), they likely were dead on arrival. If so, I would recommend contacting the supplier from whom you bought them. Most will graciously provide you with replacement plants if they died through no fault of your own. However, the plants you have now are likely toast. They won’t produce next year either and can be tilled under. Good luck!
i have some strawberry roots that have been sitting in water. is that bad? i’m not sure if they are dead or not. how long does it take to start seeing life from them?
It is best not to submerge your strawberry plants in water for an extended period of time. See the Growing Strawberries reference page for more details.
I just received my bareroot strawberry plants today–all 50 of them! My problem is it has been raining for the last week and my garden soil is too waterlogged to work. Is is still fairly cool here (mid 40s-mid 50s during the day, 30s at night) so I’m wondering if I can just dampen the roots and packing paper, put them in our cold garage and wait a few days or should I pot them up in plastic pots and wait until the garden dries out a bit? Any tips you can give are appreciated
The sooner you can get them in the ground, the better. If the soil is too water-logged to plant right away, the best you can do is keep the roots moist with dampened paper towels or in moist sand and get them in the ground as soon as you can. Good luck!
I was wondering if it’s too late for me to move runners if I am careful in getting the dirt around the root. We were remodeling last year and they have spread everywhere and the weeds have taken over. I would like to move them. Can I?
The area they are in is super wet and some are under water as well but the hills I originally planted them on are fine. Water lies in between. (just a side note) So I want to put them back on the top of the hills.
You can move the runner plants. I’d recommend seeing the Transplanting Strawberries page for more information.
I just found your very useful site. I had ordered 25 bare root strawberry plants and it was too late to plant so I have tried growing them in my house and it’s not working out so well. First I had them in an indoor greenhouse (meaning 4 tier shelves covered in greenhouse plastic located in my home). I put them in a potting soil from Bar Harbor Maine. After a few weeks there was some signs of life but also mold so I took them out of the plastic. A month later the potting soil never dried out (and I never watered) so I repotted them w/half peat and half of the potting mix and put them under fluorescent lights. They’re not happy. There are no signs of life. I’m keeping the roots damp but not too wet. I’m thinking I should put plastic back on top of them to see if I can get growth again and watch for mold (now that I have them in a medium that doesn’t remain wet for weeks at a time w/o watering). Do you think I should just quit trying and stop giving them light and repot again- this time taking out the potting soil and just using peat as you recommend above?
thanks for the help
As discussed on the Strawberry Plant page, there are a lot of pathogens that can decimate a strawberry planting. From your description, my guess is that the strawberry plants you purchased are dead. Likely, they have either succumbed to root rot or crown rot from being water-logged, a mold/fungus, trauma from being moved and re-potted, or a combination of those factors. Also, fluorescent lights have to be positioned correctly to provide enough photons of light to stimulate chloroplasts and plant growth. It may be that adjusting your light source might help, but my opinion is that the plants are either dead or too compromised to produce well. I’d recommend starting over with new plants this spring.