Strawberry Flowers

strawberry flowersStrawberry flowers are the means by which strawberry plants ultimately produce fruit. But, they are tremendously intricate. The basics of strawberry flowers will be briefly discussed here, including how they grow from strawberry plants and what to do with them (and when).

Origins of Strawberry Flowers

Strawberry flowers have an interesting life. Different types of strawberry plants produce them at different times. But, since the June-bearing strawberry has captured the hearts and minds of most gardeners who plant strawberry plants, its flowers will be the focus of this post.

June-bearing strawberries produce a single crop of strawberries over two to three weeks during the late spring or early summer (sometimes earlier), usually around June (see the Strawberry Varieties page for more details). Like most fruit, strawberries come from the delicate flowers that each strawberry plant produces. However, the small strawberry flowers that strut their stuff in the spring begin their life much earlier.

Strawberry flowers originate in the crowns of strawberry plants. Many months before the flowers emerge an grow upward, they begin their life as tiny flower buds within a strawberry plant. This bud formation is critical for next year’s crop and occurs after the harvest is completed. After harvest and renovation (see the Growing Strawberries page for more details), the flower buds begin to form toward the end of summer or early fall.

In order for the strawberry flowers to be generated as strawberry flower buds, the plant needs to continue to be well-tended. If water is not adequate during the period of strawberry flower bud formation, fewer buds will form. Consequently, the following spring’s harvest will be significantly reduced. If the strawberry plants are well-tended, the strawberry flower buds should form, go dormant during the winter, and then burst forth again in the spring. And, the more flowers there are, the more fruit you can harvest!

What Do You Do with Strawberry Flowers?

For June-bearing strawberries, special attention should be paid to the strawberry plant’s flowers. Generally, if you order strawberry plants online, they will be shipped to you in the spring. Once received, they should be planted as soon as possible. But, if they were bare-root strawberry plants or strawberry crowns only, it is going to take them some time to establish themselves.

The plants don’t realize this of course, and will try to produce strawberries by sending forth their flowers. This is not good for the plants or the harvest. The already-weakened plants need all the energy they can muster to take root and make a new home. If they expend the energy on berry production, they will not establish themselves well. This can compromise the plant’s future production as well. Additionally, since the just-shipped plants are weak anyway, they have less energy to devote to strawberry production. This results in smaller, puny strawberries in the same year you order and plant new strawberry plants.

The solution is to pinch off or cut off all flowers from every new strawberry plant for the first growing season, allowing the strawberry plants to root and grow without distraction. Simply check the plants once a week and remove any flowers you find. Most June-bearing strawberries will be completely done producing flowers sometime in July (usually early July). Although not specifically addressing day-neutral or everbearing strawberry varieties here, new plants of each of those types should have their blossoms removed until early July also. However, after July, any strawberry flowers that bloom can be left to develop into strawberries.

Strawberry Flower Variability

Strawberry flowers are not all identical. Different varieties have different numbers of petals and relative positions of their strawberry flowers. Some hybrid strawberry plants even have flowers that are pink or other colors. However, all strawberries have flowers. Most strawberry flowers will have 6 petals, but anywhere from 5 to 8 petals on a strawberry flower is not uncommon.

There is also variability among strawberry plants when it comes to the position of the strawberry flowers in relation to the foliage. It is very common for the level of the strawberry flower to be even with the foliage or exposed by protruding past the foliage. It is relatively uncommon for the flowers to be below leaf level. Of course, once the heavy strawberries begin to form and ripen, their weight pulls them to closer to the ground.

Protecting Strawberry Flowers

The flowers of strawberries need particular attention during two time periods. First, they need extra care during the formation of strawberry flower buds. As mentioned above, the strawberry plants need an attentive gardener to ensure that conditions are optimal for bud formation. Good care during strawberry flower bud formation yields better harvests the next year.

Strawberry flowers also need protection in the spring. Strawberry flowers are rather delicate and can succumb to frosts. So, special attention should be given to the weather forecast so that the strawberry plants and flowers can be protected from the cold.

Strawberry Flowers: Conclusion

The strawberry flower is a small wonder that turns into a wonderful delight by June. Without strawberry flowers, there would be no strawberries, so be sure to care for yours! You’ll reap the benefits of your vigilance. For more information on strawberry plants, visit the Strawberry Plant page.

98 thoughts on “Strawberry Flowers”

  1. After several attempts trying to grow strawberry in my tropical island of Funafuti, Tuvalu; I have managed to grow at least 4 plants which I placed under shady trees with 4 hrs partially exposure to sun. The plants have now produces flowers, and am awaiting patiently for the berry to appear. Will be glad to send the photos of this mystery on a small island, let alone when fruits appear after flowers it will be the first ever strawberry plants to be grown on this island.

  2. My strawberries are indoor.i started with 100 plants and over a period of about 9 months i have over 600 plants that have different ages.I have multiplied using the propagation method and transplanting. How can i make them flower at the same time so that i get a bumper harvest. Most of them are old enough?

    • Lillian Generous,
      I’m not sure how to coordinate that indoors. When planted or kept outdoors, the plants will all go dormant about the same time, will awaken from dormancy at about the same time in the spring, and subsequently produce strawberries at about the same time to yield the bumper crop of which you speak!

  3. Thank you Mr Strawberry.
    My berries are indoors, kindly advise me on how i can aid pollination to be able to get a good yield.

    • Lillian Generous,
      When the blooms have emerged, tease out the cotton from a q-tip and gently caress each blossom several times with it. That should do the trick! Good luck!

  4. My fruits are getting deformed. What could be the problem. i am unable to send the photo here on this platform. Is it possible to get your e-mail address.

  5. My hybrid strawberry plant has produced a few strawberries but my strawberries been rotting on the plant.What should I do?

    • Tati,
      There are four common causes of rotting strawberries: pest feeding causing damage which leads to rotting; mineral/nutrient deficiency of the soil where the strawberries are planted; pathogenic fungal or bacterial infection; or excessive contact with moisture/soggy ground. More than likely, your rotting strawberries can be traced to one or more of these. Good luck!

  6. Ok i really need to know how do u know what is your strawberry type like mine has white flowers with five petals what variety is that

    • Joey,
      Unfortunately, it is tremendously difficult to identify which strawberry variety you have if you do not have a record of it available. I’m sorry!

  7. Well my strawberry plants have gone well the had flowers and i take good care of them but today i realised that all the petals have fell off today its like they were swallowed then the fall will my strawberry still grow or does it mean it has a diseas

    • Joey,
      The petals of strawberry flowers fall off naturally as the berry grows. They should be fine. Good luck!

  8. I think I might have used too much water pressure when watering my strawberries. I’m pretty sure I knocked a bunch of petals off of the flowers. Will they still produce strawberries, or are they going to be dead buds?

    • Jackie S.
      As long as it was just the petals that fell off, they will likely still produce fruit for you. Good luck!

  9. I live in the uk and have bought 2 different varieties of strawberry plant 6 weeks ago; pineberry and Framberry dream. I planted each plant in a large pot and put in the greenhouse. They have more than doubled in size and started to produce a few flowers. What should should I do? Leave them or cut them off?!

  10. My mother in law just bought me two everbearing strawberry plants. One already has fruit producing and both have flowers. They are very small. Do I need to cut the fruit and flowers off or see what it does from here?

    • Sarah T,
      If it is already producing strawberries, you can either enjoy them or cut both the unripe berries and the flowers off. However, if you were given potted plants, they may have been started last year. If so, go ahead and enjoy your harvest! Good luck!

  11. Dear Mr Strawberry

    I live in Cyprus and grow strawberries every year. Unlike the UK varieties, they have a very long fruiting season from March to the end of June.
    I usually plant the strawberry plants outside at the end of November and after about three weeks, they start to send out flowers. Some of the flowers get pollinated, but tend to produce erratic and distorted fruits, probably due to the cold winter nights and lack of many Bees. In March they start to fruit seriously and continue until the end of June and even into July. I feed the plants twice a week with Phosfogen and from flowering to producing large fruits is very quick. My question is, if I cut off the flowers which are quite abundant now but as I mentioned don’t produce much of a crop, would I get a better crop when the main crop starts in March/April time. I’m just a bit nervous about cutting all the flowers off.

    Please advise.
    Doug Cooper

    • Doug Cooper,
      Yes, if your strawberries are flowering when the weather is cold enough to cause deformities, it is better to snip those off. You will, of course, not reap the harvest from the flowers you snip, but the berries that are produced a bit later will likely be larger, and the plants will be more robust. Good luck!

  12. I had sown the seeds in july and the plant is grown well kindly let me know how long it takes to flower a strawberry . Shall i need to wait until next june . Also i am based in India .if u send your mail id i can send you image so that you can let me know breed too .

    • Mithuj shah,
      Yes, it you planted in July, you will need to wait until next spring to get strawberries. If flowers do form, it is best to pinch them off until after winter. Good luck!

  13. Dear MR. Strawberry,

    Thanks for the advice…waited a week and the buds and blossoms came in bunches and they are huge. Can’t wait to see how they grow and taste.

  14. My strawberry beds did not bloom this year. They are second year and looked great but appear to high on nitrogen. All green and tall. Is there anything I can do now to get them to bloom yet this year such as mowing them or am just out of luck and must wait for next year?

    • Terry,
      It depends on the conditions last fall. The Autumn months are when the perennating buds are formed within the crown that will become the following year’s berries. So, if conditions last fall weren’t favorable, you might have to wait until next year. However, still give them some time. Some varieties are later to flower and set fruit than others. It might not be too late! Good luck!

  15. Hi. I planted a strawberry plant in a partially shaded corner of my yard as a test to see if they’d grow and if my dog being in the yard a few times a day would cause any difficulty. While I saw flowers that first year, I saw no fruit, so I figured it was a failed attempt–until I read your information a few minutes ago, anyway! That was 4 years ago.

    After noticing a fairy wide and staggered path of white flowers and low-growing strawberry leaves going through my grass for a good 30 feet, I came on here in search of information. No runners are visible, it’s so low to the ground. Might you have any idea of what I can do to facilitate fruit growth?? It’s not near my vegetable garden and not an area I pay much attention to, so I can’t say with any certainty if any fruit were produced before.

    Thank you for any ideas you might have, and for sharing your knowledge on the site in general 🙂

    • Susan P,
      In your case, you are much more likely to get fruit if you: 1) transplant the strawberry plants to a location where they get full sun; 2) pull up all the surrounding grass and other weeds; 3) place protective netting around them. Without sun, the strawberry plants will produce little or no strawberries. Competing with grass for nutrients (strawberry roots are predominantly in the top several inches of soil, just like grass roots) diminishes fruit production as well. And, birds and other wildlife tend to hone in on strawberries as being the tasty morsels that they are! If you just planted one plant and now have a 30-ft patch of strawberries, they almost certainly have put out runners in the past. It is still too early for most varieties to send forth runners at this time of year. However, within a month or two, if you check regularly, you will probably see quite a few runners. Good luck!

  16. I set out Ozark Beauty Every bearing strawberries a few years ago. Every year I would take daughter plants and start a new crop. Last year they bloomed only one time, in the spring. They had plenty water, sunlight, fertility, real nice plants. Why did they stop blooming? The first plants bloomed from around March to November.

    • Allene Miller,
      They may have had an infestation of either a pathogen or parasite. Oftentimes, a sudden change like that with otherwise healthy-looking plants could be an indication of infection of some sort, or they could have too many nutrients. I’d recommend reviewing this information: Why No Strawberries? Good luck!

  17. I live in low land’s tropical country (indonesia). I often read your’r article about strawberry. And I try to plant strawberry from seed. So far is good, i have 6 plant. thanks for your informations.

    • arfie fians,
      You are welcome! Keep me posted with your progress. Since strawberries normally do not do very well in tropical climates, be sure to let me know what variety you are growing if you indeed do find success. Good luck!

  18. I moved into town and have been growing some of the uncommon strawberries indoors (Yellow Wonder, Mountain White, Black (from Europe), and Giant Strawberries). All of the plants were started from seed (after an 8 wk stratification), planted in Happy Frog Soil by Fox Farm, transplanted once, raised under normal office florescent lighting, with an average of 70 degree temp, and 2x a wk watering. At this time I’ve over 100 plants at different stages of growth between seedlings and (as of this week) the first flowering. My questions are:
    1. How much does it mess with the strawberries life cycle to start them at the “wrong” time of year? I live in Iowa, it’s December, and I’ve got flowers.
    2. After the first flowering, do you suggest placing the flowering plants or plants that I want to increase the production of flowers, under a different type of florescent bulb?
    3. None of these indoor plants have any runners like my outdoor plain garden variety seemed to grow early in life. Is this normal?
    4. I’d like to gift some of these plants. However, I’m concerned they will perish during the next few months without the lighting they are now accustomed to receiving. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to locate much solid information on disturbing strawberry plants in this manner- during winter months.

    • Chase,
      You should be fine with your plants as long as you provide adequately for their needs, which it sounds like you are doing well. Strawberries will grow continuously without dormancy, but it shortens their overall lifespan. Also, your flowers may not set fruit (or good fruit) without adequate pollination/light. For them to do the best, you should swap the normal office fluorescent bulbs for full-spectrum grow bulbs, if possible. The Fragaria vesca varieties produce fewer runners (some produce essentially none). So, it may be normal for your specific variety, but it also may mean they aren’t getting adequate nutrients/light to produce the excess vegetative matter. If the strawberry plants are healthy, they should be able to be transplanted. Good luck!

  19. G’day,

    Presently trying to grow Sweetheart Strawberries mainly because I’m bored and the wife loves strawberries. Purchased as small seedling/plants from a supermarket.

    Live in Qld (Brisbane) and planted them mid October.

    Quite healthy plants (I’m assuming judging by their growth rate), watering them daily and now have many small white flowers several growing in stems.

    The plants are covered against hungry birds and they get about 4 hours of direct sunlight each day. The plants are in sugarcane mulch.

    In SIMPLE words (please) – and I looked at your reply to Trudy 2012/12/07…..

    Should these plants fruit before January 2014? (as the tags said 75 days and this would mean late November or early December).

    When should fruit start to show after white flowers show up?

    Have a good one!

    • Andrew Crook,
      There are a host of factors that affect how quickly strawberries produce. You might get some strawberries before the new year, but my guess is that you will get the majority of your berries after January. Strawberries like full sun the best, and the fact that yours only get about 4 hours per day will likely extend the time needed to develop out past 75 days. Sorry! But, good luck! Other than the sun, it sounds like you have a great setup there.

  20. My strawberry plant produced two little strawberries without flowers first. After a while i noticed the strawberries were getting bigger, but seemed to be developing miniature leaves and I thought it was trying to produce runners. But now on the strawberry itself its flowered… As far as I know this isn’t a normal process. Could you provide an explanation?

    • NKitty,
      Yes, it is called vivipary. It is a phenomenon where seeds germinate right on the plant. It isn’t common with strawberries, but it happens on occasion.

  21. Hi,

    Can strawberry seeds grow under tropical climate specifically in Kenya,Nairobi.Where Normal climate ranges between 15 degrees (Cold season) and upto 30 Degrees during hot season.

    Which variety would give the best result in such conditions?

    How long will it take for the plants to mature and start giving a normal production level.



  22. Hi there,

    I planted some strawberry plants given to me by a friend back in March and they seem to be fairly happy looking but they are producing flowers and then the flowers die with no strawberries to show for it!

    I planted them in what I felt was healthy, sandy soil (that hadn’t ever been cultivated) but didn’t add anything to it (like manure). It is all heavily mulched as I live in Central Portugal where we have hot summers and I’ve kept it well watered (a good soak every other day). They probably get about 5-6 hours direct sunlight between 1-7 so I’m guessing that’s enough exposure?

    Please help, my 4 year old son is desperate to taste some of his favourite fruit!!

    Many thanks

  23. I have a fairly healthy strawberry plant with a few white flowers. Whenever I water the plant, the petals of the flowers fall off. Is this a bad thing?

    • Trudy,
      Probably not. If your plants are in their productive season, the flower petals will fall off naturally as the flower grows into a strawberry. So, fret not! Everything is likely fine. Good luck!

  24. What do I do if my flower buds are under leaf level? I’m a beginner gardener & I also don’t know if I should cut the buds out. I bought mine from the store. The type is Ozark Beauty 🙂 Thanks.

    Thank you for posting this insight! It was very helpful in my 1st year as a strawberry gardner. I have questions regarding everbearing strawberry plants and hope someone can help me with a little expert knowledge. I was told by a rep from my supplier that the everbearing don’t produce as many strawberrys, however they produce for a longer period of time. I opted for the everbearing plants since I have 5 children that I would like to grow from the evolution of the plants life as well as enjoy picking eating them for longer periods of time throughout the year.
    My biggest question is: Will clipping the leaves that don’t produce a flower allow more energy for the plant to produce strawberrys from the leaves that are flowering? Or if not, how can I maximize the production of strawberrys without harming the plant and/or depleting its energy required to establish a better root system.

    • Patrick,
      What the rep told you is correct regarding everbearing strawberries. Also, don’t cut the healthy leaves off your strawberry plants. Doing so deprives them of their ability to carry out photosynthesis. For maximizing your strawberry haul, see the Growing Strawberries reference page.


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