Strawberry Plant: The Complete Guide

Introduction to the Strawberry Plant Page

Do you want to learn about the strawberry plant? If you are seeking knowledge or information about the strawberry fruit or strawberry plant, you’ve landed in the right spot! This site (Strawberry Plants .org) will provide as much information as possible to help you understand the intricacies of strawberry plants.

We are passionate about everything related to the strawberry plant here. We hope that passion shines through. We are glad that you have found us and hope to be able to serve your informational needs. We want to see more people gain a respect for and interest in strawberry plants. If you have a question about the strawberry plant or the delicious fruit they produce, feel free to ask!

How the Strawberry Plant Page Works

This main Strawberry Plant page serves as a hub for everything related to the strawberry plant itself. It covers the basic information needed to familiarize you with the strawberry plant. The basics of strawberries and the plants that produce them will be explained in the top part of the page, and a directory of links to pages with more detailed or complex information on strawberry plants will be included at the bottom.

On this page you can find basic information about scientific classification of strawberries, strawberry plant anatomy, the history of strawberry plants, strawberry plant diseases and pests, the nutritional value of strawberries, and more! If the answers to your questions about strawberry plants aren’t explained in the sections below, there is a good chance that the linked pages will contain the information you are seeking.

There is a wealth of strawberry plant information here, and there is much more that will be added. So, the links at the bottom will be updated with new information regularly. We will stop updating when there is nothing left to write about the strawberry plant! Again, if you have a specific question about strawberry plants, feel free to use the comments or the form on the About page to ask.

Strawberry Plant Scientific Classification

The strawberry plant is actually a relative of the rose, hailing from the Rosaceae family. The genus of strawberry plants is Fragaria, and there are over twenty species. Additionally, there are numerous hybrid strawberries and many varieties of cultivars.

The most commonly grown strawberry plant species is Fragaria x ananassa, or the Garden Strawberry. Virtually all commercial strawberry growers use one of the cultivars of the Garden Strawberry in their farming operations. However, there are many other strawberry plant species grown in home gardens around the world.

Scientific Classification: Strawberry Plant





















over 20 different species

When it comes to differentiating and classifying the numerous strawberry plant species, the number of chromosomes the plant has is the key. All strawberry plants share seven common types of chromosomes. To distinguish between species, the number of pairs of these chromosomes must be determined. Some strawberry plant species are diploid, meaning they have two sets of the seven chromosomes (14 total). Others are tetraploid (4 pairs, 28 total), hexaploid (6 pairs, 42 total), octaploid (8 pairs, 56 total), or decaploid (10 pairs, 70 total).

Generally, the strawberry plant species with higher chromosome counts are more robust, grow larger as plants, and produce bigger strawberries. Exceptions do exist, however. For more information on the different cultivars and types of strawberry plants, see the Strawberry Varieties page.

Strawberry plants are genetically robust and can adapt to various climates. They are easily found virtually everywhere, except Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, which have no indigenous forms.

The Anatomy of a Strawberry Plant

As with any biological organism, the anatomy of a strawberry plant can be quite complex, depending on how deeply you delve into the microscopic world. For the sake of this page, a basic overview is presented.

There are five basic anatomical structures that make up a strawberry plant’s being. They are the leaf, root system, crown, stolon (more commonly called a “runner”), and daughter strawberry plant. See the labeled strawberry plant picture below:

strawberry plant anatomy

The leaves and the roots of a strawberry plant engage in photosynthesis or absorb water and nutrients from the soil in order to facilitate growth and reproduction. As the top three inches of soil contain about 70% of a strawberry plant’s roots, they are particularly susceptible to drought conditions. If you plan on growing strawberry plants, gain success by learning from the Growing Strawberries page.

The productive engine of a strawberry plant is contained within the crown. It is from this region that strawberry plants produce both runners (stolons) and flowering fruit stalks that eventually yield strawberries. Containing the growth energy of a plant by clipping runners and early flower buds can cause crown multiplication, which will often result in more, higher-quality fruit per plant in subsequent years.

The daughter plants are maintained by the runners until their root bud comes into contact with soil and establishes an independent root system. At that point, the runner will dry, shrivel, and eventually separate completely leaving a new and independent strawberry plant clone.

A Brief History of the Strawberry Plant

For a brief history of the strawberry plant, it is easiest to begin with Fragaria vesca. This species of strawberry plant is native throughout the Northern Hemisphere and goes by many different names. The varying names for Fragaria vesca include: the woodland strawberry, wood strawberry, wild strawberry, European strawberry, fraises des bois, and alpine strawberry (more specifically, the alpine strawberry plant is generally understood to be of the cultivated, everbearing type).

Genetically, an ancestor to the Fragaria vesca species (which is diploid) likely formed a hybrid strawberry plant with an ancestor to the Fragaria iinumae (which is also diploid) to eventually produce the octoploid strawberry plants. The exact hybridization and speciation process that resulted in the formation of an octoploid strawberry plant is not currently known. However, both Fragaria virginiana and Fragaria chiloensis (both octoploid) appear to be genetically identical, and, as a result, all the cultivated varieties of garden strawberries also carry the same genetic complement.

Fragaria vesca strawberries have long been consumed by humans. Archaeological evidence suggests human consumption as far back as the Stone Age. The first cultivated strawberries were grown in ancient Persia. The fruit from these Persian-cultivated strawberry plants was referred to as Toot Farangi. The seeds of this strawberry plant traveled both east and west along the Silk Road and were being widely cultivated from Europe to the Far East.

The first recorded documented botanical illustration of a strawberry plant is believed to be from 1454. A depiction in Herbaries was included as a figure.

Additionally, the American Indians were already consuming native strawberries and using them for culinary purposes prior to the arrival of European colonists. It is believed that Strawberry Shortcake was developed by the colonists by modifying an Indian recipe that created “strawberry bread” by mixing and then baking crushed strawberries with cornmeal.

By the 18th century, Fragaria vesca began to be replaced by Fragaria x ananassa, the Garden Strawberry. This transition occurred because of the desirable traits exhibited by the newly bred strawberry plant: larger fruit and greater variation (easier to breed). The first strawberry hybrid, “Hudson,” was developed later (1780) in the United States.

This new strawberry plant (the Garden Strawberry) was bred in 1740 in Brittany, France, from a North American strawberry plant and a South American strawberry plant. The colonists had been shipping North American strawberry plants back to Europe as early as 1600, and the conquistadors had identified another strawberry plant variety they called “futilla.” The Fragaria virginiana plant was noted for its pleasing flavor and came from the eastern region of what would become the Untied States of America. The Fragaria chiloensis was noted for its large size and was brought by Amédée- François Frézier from the regions of Argentina and Chile. The breeding was a success as the Garden Strawberry plant has now become the strawberry plant of choice for most commercial and home strawberry growers.

In the early 19th century, strawberry plant cultivation increased dramatically in the United States as ice cream with strawberries became a popular dessert. New York became a strawberry hub in those days. Railroads and refrigerated rail cars allowed the production of strawberries to spread, most notably to Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida, and Louisiana.

Currently, the vast majority of North American strawberries are grown in California (about 75%).

With strawberry plant selection and breeding practices, cultivars have been created that have drastically increased the size of the strawberries. The early strawberry plants had fruit that was very small. Now, many strawberry plants will produce berries that require multiple bites!

Also, with the onset of genomics and gene mapping, the alpine strawberry plant has now become the focus of strawberry plant research. Since it is easy to propagate, has a reproductive cycle of 14-15 weeks in a controlled environment, and has a very small genome size, this strawberry plant has become adopted as a genetic model for the Garden Strawberry specifically and the Rosaceae family generally. It is used as an indicator plant for disease research.

Strawberry Plant Etymology

There is some disagreement as to how the strawberry plant got its name. It is generally accepted that the English word “strawberry” comes from the Old English “streawberige” or the Anglo-Saxon “streoberie” (sometimes also spelled “stroeberrie”). Regardless, it was not spelled in the modern fashion until about 1538. It is likely that the straw that was traditionally used as mulch and to keep the weeds out and berries clean gave rise to the name. However, some argue that the straw-like appearance of the strawberry plant runners led to its current English name.

The genus name under which the strawberry falls, Fragaria, derives from the Latin word for strawberry, “fraga.”  And, “fraga” itself is a derivative of “fragum,” which means “fragrant” and accurately characterizes the olfactory sensation that characterizes freshly plucked strawberry fruits!

Strawberry Plant Diseases

There are quite a few diseases that affect strawberry plants. The strawberry plant’s leaves, roots, and fruit are all susceptible to a variety of diseases, depending on the resistance of the strawberry plant cultivar being considered. This is a summary of the most common strawberry plant diseases:

Red Stele Root Rot
A strawberry plant’s roots are damaged by red stele root rot (also known as Lanarkshire disease). The disease is caused by a fungus living in the soil, and its presence is confirmed in a strawberry plant that has a red core to its roots. The fungus is particularly prevalent in the northern two-thirds of the United States. Heavy clay soils with poor drainage that remain saturated with water during cool weather are most at risk. The fungus that causes red stele root rot is Phytophthora fragariae, and, once established, can remain alive for at least thirteen years (maybe longer), regardless of crop rotation.

Strawberry Plant Leaf Spot
strawberry plant leaf spotLeaf spot is caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella fragariae and manifests as dark purple to reddish-purple spots on multiple parts of the strawberry plant. The round spots are usually between 1/8 and 1/4 inches in diameter and most easily seen on the leaves of an infected strawberry plant. However, the petioles, stolons, fruit stalks (pedicels), and strawberry caps (calyxes), and ripe strawberries can also be infected. The center of the spots eventually become almost white with tan or gray intermediate steps. The parts of the strawberry plant affected by this disease are the young, succulent ones.

Strawberry Plant Leaf Blight
strawberry plant leaf blightThe fungus Dendrophoma obscurans (also known as Phomopsis obscurans) causes leaf blight, and it typically does its damage after harvest. One to six enlarging, elliptical or angular blemishes will develop on the leaflets and growing up to one inch in width. The spots begin with a reddish-purple color. As they enlarge, they develop a dark brown center that is surrounded by a lighter brown area with a purplish border. This fungus almost exclusively attacks weaker, slow-growing plants and usually ignores youthful runner plants. Dendrophoma obscurans can also cause a spreading, pink, soft rot at the stem end of a strawberry.

Strawberry Plant Leaf Scorch
Leaf scorch is caused by the fungus Diplocarpon earliana, which attacks the strawberry plant’s leaves, calyxes, petioles, runners, and pedicels. In the early stages, it looks like leaf spot. Later, the lesions develop black spots as the fungal fruiting bodies are produced, but, unlike leaf spot, the centers of the lesions will remain dark purple. Strawberry plant leaves with a severe infection will shrivel and appear scorched. Rarely the fungus will infect green strawberries causing reddish brown spots or flecks to be visible on the unripe fruit.

Strawberry Gray Mold
gray mold strawberry plantIf a strawberry plant is infected by gray mold, fruit production is likely to be particularly devastated (expect 80-90% loss of both flowers and strawberries). It is caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea, and wreaks havoc during rainy and cloudy periods just before or during harvest. Strawberries touching dirt, another infected or rotting strawberry, or dead leaves in dense foliage are most commonly affected. The fungus causes infections that manifest as soft, rapidly-growing spots that are light brown in color. The fruit will dry out, darken, and become covered with a dust-like, powdery layer of fungus spores, which gives the gray appearance.

Strawberry Plant Leaf Variegation
Leaf variegation is a mysterious disease, and its cause is currently unknown. It also goes by many other names, including: June yellows, spring yellows, chlorosis, Blakemore yellows, and non-infectious variegation. The disease usually (but not exclusively) occurs in strawberry plants that have Howard 17 (Premier), Blakemore, or Auchincruive Climax cultivars in their plant ancestries. Affecting only flowers and leaves, the disease manifests on new leaflets in the spring as yellow or white streaks or spots and a puckering of the leaflet. While onset is unpredictable, the strawberry plant will progressively manifest worsening symptoms until it dies two to three years later as a dwarfed and unproductive shell of its former self.

Verticillium Wilt of the Strawberry Plant
strawberry plant wiltVerticillium wilt is caused by a very common soil fungus called Verticillium alboatrum. For new strawberry plantings, symptoms usually manifest as new runners are being produced. Older plantings are usually affected just before harvest. Affected strawberry plants will show different symptoms depending on the cultivar, and affected plants must be tested for definitive diagnosis. The symptoms are not easily distinguished from other strawberry plant root diseases or winter injury. Once established, the fungus will likely survive for 25 years or more.

Leather Rot (Crown Rot) of the Strawberry
strawberry plant pathogenLeather rot (also known as crown rot) is caused by the fungus Phytophthora cactorum and affects strawberries in poorly drained soils where there is or has been standing water. Most commonly, the fungus causes brown areas or brown outlines to form on green strawberries. The infected strawberries will have an unpleasant odor and bitter taste. Mature strawberries that are infected may look completely normal and taste terrible. Excessive rainfall in May, June, and July often create the optimal conditions for this fungal infection.

Strawberry Plant Pests

In addition to the strawberry plant diseases mentioned above, there are also numerous strawberry plant pests that can damage or kill your strawberry plants. Here is a summary of the common strawberry plant pests:

Strawberry Crown Borer (Tyloderma fragariae)
These strawberry plant pests are about 1/5 of an inch long and have three spots on their wing covers. They are flightless weevils that feed on strawberry plant crowns to open holes, into which they then lay their eggs through the middle of June. The hatched larva will bore into the crowns causing damage to the growing strawberry plant. The grubs will form a pupa and subsequently become a weevil to feed on the plant’s leaves.

Strawberry Root Weevil (Otiorhynchus ovatus)
strawberry plant root weevilRoot weevils are about 1/3 of an inch long and have wing covers distinguished by many rows of small pits. Adult weevils will lay eggs into the soil. Hatched larvae will burrow through the soil and feed on the roots and crowns of a nearby strawberry plant causing damage or death. The adult weevils will feed on the leaves.

White Grubs (Phyllophaga)
strawberry plant pest june beetleWhite grubs range from 1/2 to 1 inch and eventually become the large May or June beetles (also called “June bugs”) common to many parts of the United States. The grubs burrow into the soil and overwinter twice before taking beetle form. Consequently, the grubs can do damage to the roots of strawberry plants for multiple years as they feed.

Strawberry Rootworm (Paria fragariae)
Adult beetles are shiny, oval-shaped, dark brown to black, about 1/3 of an inch long, and display four blotches on their wing covers. Adults feed on the leaves through early fall and can cover strawberry plant foliage with holes. The larvae burrow into the soil and feed on the roots.

Strawberry Root Aphid (Aphis forbesi)
Also known as the strawberry root louse, this small strawberry plant pest is about 1 mm in length, has a oval and dark bluish-green body, and has a yellowish head. They feed on the roots and crowns of strawberry plants and can be quite numerous if infestation occurs.

Strawberry Leafrollers (Ancylis comptana fragariae)
The adult moths emerge in April or May to lay their eggs on the strawberry plant, usually on the underside of the leaflets. The translucent eggs then hatch and the larvae feed on the epidermis of the leaves, secreting silk threads as they go to tie the leaflets together. Other species of leafrollers also feed on the strawberry plant, but none of them usually cause significant damage to the overall strawberry planting.

Strawberry Mites (Tetranychus urticae and Steneotarsonemus pallidus)
strawberry plant spider miteThe two-spotted spider mite and the cyclamen mite can wreak havoc on strawberry plants. The spider mites damage leaf surfaces in order to feed on sap, while the cyclamen mites feed on new, unfolding leaves and blossoms. Both will cause leaf death and drop, and the cyclamen mite causes distorted fruits.

Strawberry Clipper (Anthonomus signatus)
Also known as the strawberry weevil, these pests are about 1/10 of an inch long, dark reddish-brown, and have a long and slender, curved snout. The adults feed on pollen inside the almost-mature flower, subsequently laying an egg inside the flower. They then girdle the bud to prevent opening and clip the stem so that it hangs or falls to the ground.

Tarnished Plant Bug (Lygus lineolaris)
strawberry plant pest lygusAlso known as the Lygus bug, these strawberry plant pests are about 1/4 of an inch long and are distinguished by a yellow “V” marking on their back just behind the head. In the spring they feed on strawberry plant flowers which results in disfigured and knobby strawberries.

Slugs (Agriolimax and Arion species)
strawberry plant slugSlugs will eat deep holes into strawberries and leave slime trails over the strawberry plant. The damaged strawberries will begin to decay quickly. Slugs can do great damage to a strawberry harvest.

Birds will find a way to rob at least some of your strawberries from your strawberry plants before you are able to pick them. To minimize the loss, plant more strawberry plants than you need, and cover the area with bird netting to keep the thieves out as much as possible.

strawberry nutrition factsThe Nutritional Value of Strawberries

The fruit of the strawberry plant is packed with beneficial nutrients, particularly Vitamin C and flavonoids. One cup of strawberries weighs approximately 144 grams and contains between 45 and 50 calories. Strawberries are over 90% water, 7% carbohydrates, about 2% fiber, and less than 1% each of protein, fat, and ash.

Strawberries are also a dietary source of minerals and vitamins. The following minerals are in strawberries, in descending amounts: potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, and selenium. Strawberries are also a good source of the following vitamins: Vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E. Additionally, strawberries contain 18 different amino acids.

Basically, unless you have a strawberry allergy, you can’t go wrong eating fresh, clean strawberries. They are quite good for you!

Strawberry Allergies

Some individuals have allergic reactions to strawberries if they consume them. The most common of these is called oral allergy syndrome. However, allergic symptoms similar to those of hay fever are also prevalent. Skin problems such as dermatitis or hives can also occur, and, in serious cases, breathing problems can develop.

The specific allergen responsible for provoking the reaction is thought to be tied to a protein named Fragaria allergen 1, or Fra a1 for short. This protein is thought to be involved in the ripening process the berries go through. Consequently, strawberry plant cultivars that produce white, pale, or yellow “golden” fruit due to their lacking Fra a1, may be able to be consumed by individuals normally allergic to strawberries. The Sofar cultivar is thought to be virtually allergen-free.  For more details, see the Strawberry Allergy page.

Strawberry Plant Lore and Trivia

The fruit of the strawberry plant has been around for a very, very long time. Being as delectable as it is, it is no surprise that it has had an impact on various cultures and has been inserted into literature through the ages. These strawberry plant facts may satiate those curious about strawberry lore.

In ancient Roman times, the strawberry was a symbol for the goddess of beauty, love, and fertility, presumably due to its red color and being shaped like a heart. In fact, legend still holds that breaking a “double” strawberry in half and then consuming it with a member of the opposite sex will cause the pair to fall in love.

Medieval stone masons used depictions of strawberries etched or carved on alters, in churches, and in cathedrals to symbolize righteous perfection.

It is also reported that the second wife of King Henry VIII had a birthmark on her neck shaped like a strawberry. Supposedly, this birthmark cemented her status as a witch. Regardless, she died at the hands of the executioner in 1536.

Shakespeare also decided to use the strawberry as a symbolic decoration on Desdemonda’s handkerchief in Othello.

The delicate fruit of the strawberry plant has always represented purity, passion, and even healing. Herbal teas are made from the leaves, stems, and flowers. It is believed that the strawberries and other parts of the strawberry plant can alleviate or aid in the treatment of various diseases or disorders including: diarrhea, gout, kidney stones, bad breath, throat infections, fevers, inflammatory conditions, fainting, melancholy or depression, and diseases of the blood, spleen, and liver.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Madame Tallien, a social figure during the French Revolution, is reported to have found a unique use for strawberries: bathing. The socialite and fashoinista is reported to have bathed in the strawberry juice of over 20 pounds of strawberries for its healing properties.

Indeed, strawberries still have ceremonial roles today. In parts of Bavaria, the people still perform the yearly rite of tying little baskets of wild strawberries to the horns of their cattle. They do this as an offering to elves. They believe that the elves crave the sweet berries and will help the cattle produce abundant milk and healthy calves in return.

The Strawberry Plant: Conclusion

Many volumes of information and details could be written about the strawberry plant. Hopefully, you’ve found what you were looking for on this page. If not, feel free to contact us or leave a comment regarding the information you are seeking.

And, be sure to check back often for updated articles on the various aspects of the strawberry plant! New articles will be posted below with links.


Basic Strawberry Plants Information
Basic strawberry plants information as an introduction to the basic anatomy of a strawberry plant. A starting point for understanding strawberry plant info.

Strawberry Pollination
Strawberry pollination is not very difficult. However, pollinating strawberries has some surprising benefits. Learn why and how to pollinate strawberries.  The benefits are multitudinous!

Strawberry Plants with Yellow Flowers
Do strawberry plants have yellow flowers?  If you’ve found strawberries with yellow flowers…you haven’t.  Strawberry plants with yellow flowers are the false strawberry weed.  Details are here.

Wilting Strawberry Plants
Do you have wilting strawberry plants? Why do strawberry plants wilt? See this post to learn about what causes strawberries to wilt and the why behind the top five causes of wilted strawberries look no further.

Nitrogen Deficiency in Strawberry Plants
Do you have strawberry plants with yellow leaves? Nitrogen deficiency in strawberry plants often causes strawberries with yellow leaves. Learn how to remedy nitrogen deficiency in strawberries.

Strawberry Seedlings
Learn about newborn strawberry plants here: planting strawberry seedlings, handling strawberry seedlings, hardening strawberry seedlings, and everything about the strawberry seedling!

How Many Strawberries Do Strawberry Plants Produce?
Find out all you need to know about the quantities of strawberries you can expect to harvest: by plant, by row foot, or by acre.  Use this info to plan ahead for your needs!

Thrips & Strawberry Plants
Thrips and strawberry plants just don’t mix. Thrips are simply a pain in the stamen for all strawberry lovers. Information on thrips and strawberry plants is here!

Strawberry Allergy
Do you have a strawberry allergy? Being allergic to strawberries or having strawberry allergies is hard. Being allergic to strawberry proteins diminishes enjoyment!  Strawberry allergy details are here.

Genetics of Strawberry Plants
The genetics of strawberry plants and strawberry genetics are discussed here.  Learn about the strawberry plant genetics for different strawberry plant species.

Life Cycle of Strawberry Plants
The life cycle of strawberry plants & the growth cycle of strawberry plants are unique.  Learn about the life arc of the humble strawberry plant here.

Tarnished Plant Bugs & Strawberry Plants
Tarnished plant bugs damage strawberries.  They cause a deformed nubbin strawberry to form & are very hard to kill.  Information on tarnished plant bugs & strawberry plants is here.

What Type of Plants Are Strawberry Plants?
What type of plant is a strawberry plant?  The answer is here.  Find the plant type of strawberry plants and details about strawberry plant scientific classification.

Medicinal Uses of Strawberry Plants
There are quite a few medicinal uses of strawberry plants.  Strawberry plant compounds & strawberry plant chemicals have many uses in herbal and natural remedies.  Learn about the medicinal uses of strawberries within this post.

Compounds in Strawberry Plants
Use this database of compounds in strawberry plants to identify and target useful strawberry compounds.  This may be of particular use to herbalists or other ethnobotanists.

Strawberry Plants and Vitamin C
Strawberry plants and Vitamin C go hand in hand. The better the flavor, the better the berry, and the better the simple strawberry will benefit your health.

Strawberry Flowers
Each strawberry flower turns into a strawberry. Here we discuss where strawberry flowers come from, strawberry flower care, & other info on strawberry flowers.

What Are Strawberry Plant Runners? (Stolons)
What are strawberry runners? The details of strawberry plant runners are here. Find out the benefits, drawbacks, & usefulness of runners on a strawberry plant.

182 thoughts on “Strawberry Plant: The Complete Guide”

  1. Hi,I’m so glad I found this site! This year I added two 2×12 raised garden beds and planted about 110 Tribute strawberries with plenty of room to grow.(My daughter eats a LOT of stawberries, so we planted her her own pick your own patch!) These beds are well draining and the soil mix is loose and not compacted. I took great care in planting these, and so far I have only had four plants fail- I suspect black root rot. The roots were coal black. But here is my question- I have leaves with brown edges, which checking around the net seemed to suggest magnesium deficiency. But near the crowns there is some browning where older leaves were previously attached. Is this normal? Also upon further investigation of the roots, they are dark but seem to have grown a good bit since planting and have many small white feeder roots growing. Which doesnt seem in line with plants infected by black root rot. WIth the strawberries I am venturing into new territory in the garden. I want to catch problems early, but am wondering if I’m getting ahead of myself. Thanks in advance!

    • MamaHomesteader,
      Yes, it is normal to have residual brown material where old leaf stalks were attached. Don’t let the old, dead plant material accumulate, however. Such accumulation can provide a hospitable environment for fungi and other pathogens. Good luck!

  2. I’m glad I found your website. I planted 36 strawberry plants last year (some June, some ever-bearing) and I removed all buds when they emerged in the spring. Late summer I had some small berries (delicious) but I also had lots of bugs. I think they were the crown borer (they were small, black w/white spots and ate holes in & through the berries). Anyway, I was hoping you’d also have suggestions on how to get rid of these horrible pests. Please help!!

    • Shelley,
      You can get myriads of chemical pesticides that will kill the pests. However, I don’t recommend using such substances on strawberries unless absolutely necessary. Strawberry plants absorb things sprayed upon them via their shallow root system, so you end up consuming trace amounts of the chemicals as well. Before resorting to chemical solutions, I would recommend a heavy application of diatomaceous earth. It does a relatively good job against insect pests and won’t harm you one whit. Good luck!

  3. Mr. Strawberry

    Hi, I’ve got some strawberry plants and at the moment to protect them from frost im putting them in the garage overnight and putting them outside during the day. I’ve got some flowers starting to appear, do I need to pollinate these myself as they are not always outside for long? Or will they self pollinate? Thanks for you help!


  4. HI,

    I am in deep south Texas & just planted my first strawberry plants. They are in a raised container with good drainage and I used organic veggie soil with a tomato plant fertilizer mixed. After about a week most of them seem to be dying. I’m afraid to move them to the south side of the yard because we are already in the 90’s (& the lows are in the 70’s) and they are still getting more than half a days sunlight. The veggie & fruit plants just came out for sale this last month, so I’m not sure when else I was supposed to get them planted. My others fruits & veggies look healthy & are growing. Is it too hot? also there are always mosquitoes near the plants. Am I watering too much? What am I doing wrong? Thanks for your help, I’m a newbie.


    • Erin,
      It very well could be too hot for your plants. However, if too much fertilizer was mixed into the soil, that could also prove toxic to the strawberry plants. I would recommend reviewing the Growing Strawberries reference page for all the details of successful growing. Good luck!

    • seedling,
      Strawberry plants naturally have a red pigment in them. Red stems depend on the genetic expression of the particular plants you have and are completely normal. Most strawberry plants have enough chlorophyll in the leaves to overwhelm the red coloration and make them appear green. So, red leaves can be concerning. 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.

  5. I planted 30 plants last year in a raised bed I covered them with straw through the winter. I uncovered them first of april, and about half looks as if they are dying. They look like they are drying up. Is ther anything I can do short of replacing them. Will this happen again next spring?


    • Jim,
      I would recommend reading the Growing Strawberries reference page. Pay special attention to the links to more articles at the bottom as they address when and how to do what to your strawberry plants to keep them vital and healthy year-to-year. Good luck!

  6. There’s alot of dried stems & leaves in my strawberry plants. Should you cut away all theses stems & leaves? Will it affect the growth? It’s spring time in the south.

    • Susan,
      Yes, you should remove all the dead and dried stems and leaves from your strawberry plants. Usually, this is done prior to spring during Strawberry Renovation. The leaves themselves will probably not negatively affect the growth of new foliage or berries, but they can harbor disease and strawberry pests that can do significant damage or even kill your strawberry plants.

  7. Hi, I have a couple of questions. I bought a strawberry plant from lowes that had no info on what hybrid it was. All the tag said was strawberry, and it gave some VERY general info on strawberry plants. I picked it up because they were the healthiest looking plants. And none of them had any info on them. Is there any way to tell what variety I have?
    So said plant was doing very happy and well in the container I planted it in for about a week. Now the color of the leaves is fading from nice dark green to yellowish around the edges the edges are starting to curl and look dried out. I live in hot az, but the weather has been in the 70’s lately and I try to keep a close eye on the soil, making sure it stays hydrated but not wet. Any idea what’s going on?

  8. thanks for your help, problem fixed. i just took a risk, because i was doomed anyway. i exposed the dirt to sunlight, removed any clumping white soil lumps, and then transplanted all the plants into tubs. I was able to recycle the food and soil.(it had cost me a small fortune) i only lost two plants out of about 20 and used pea straw to control the need for extra watering. ive been eating strawberrys all week and had the best luck with chandlers. you are completly right about the pink flowered varietys, the strawberrys are small and deformed looking. the weather is hot now, all the plants are getting big and looking perfect 🙂

  9. Hi Mr. Strawberry, we just finished planting our strawberry runners (Sweet Charlie variety – 5,000 seedlings) here in the Highland Mountain, Philippines. Since am new in planting strawberries could you suggest the most important tips of managing these strawberries? Thank you.

    • Septer,
      Congratulations on venturing into the wonderful world of strawberry growing! Many delightful berries await you, I’m sure. The most important tips for managing strawberries can be found on the Growing Strawberries reference page. Be sure to check the links at the bottom as well for additional information. And, if you have a specific question, try the search box at the top right of each page! Good luck!

  10. i seem to have the same difficulties that i think LEE had. im using a similar topsy-turvy hanging polythene basket. i planted 3 different kinds of strawberry plants about 16 in all. they seemed to be doing well for the first 2 weeks or so but we just had a spate of wet weather and i had just given them a big water 3 days ago because it seemed the bottom rows of plants were not damp like the top ones.its rained now for 2 days and its seems that the top 3-4 inches of soil has gone into a big clump of moldy soil with white spores growing above the soil level. its just touching the tip of the top row plants but its seems not to have infested them yet.ive taken the moldy surface dirt out and replaced it with more ‘strawberry dirt’ and didnt water it in. will this mold have spoiled my plants and soil ?, they still look ok. should i remove those top plants?, is there a product to help me kill the spores in the soil ?. i am considering transplanting into tubs like you suggested above for better normal growth patterns. i live in a tropical area in the bay of plenty, north island,new zealand. it gets hot and wet in beginning of planting season (sept-oct)and then very dry from dec onwards. im a novice grower. could i dig the middle out and use fresh soil or wetting crystals, the plants are still small-ish. also i see you mentioning pick flowers above,and i brought some plants this season which might be new breed (unsure) i think they are called baby doll or baby pink or similar (had a baby on the tag) which has pink flowers, they said great for jams and eating, were they just a waste of my time and money? does it ring a bell with you?? i want to be picking and eating strawberrys all summer 🙂 your a wealth of knowledge mr strawberry, glad i found your site. oct 2011.

    • rachael,
      Thanks for stopping by! As to whether or not the mold spoiled your plants or not, it will probably depend on the hardiness and tolerance profile of your plants, and exactly what type of mold/fungus it is growing there. It is pretty difficult to kill spores in soil without also killing the plants. One way to sterilize soil is with fumigants pre-planting. Use the search box at the top right of this site to search for “methyl iodide” if you want to learn more about soil fumigants (they are controversial). As far as having pink flowers, most hybrids that produce large fruit have white flowers. There are a few crosses that produce pink flowers, but they are generally considered ornamental. While the fruits produced by pink-flowered varieties are edible and sometimes quite tasty, they are also generally fewer in number and smaller than typical June-bearing varieties.

  11. We had a drought where I live and my strawberry plants all suffered. During fall clean-up, I found what was left of my plants: dry, black crowns and roots with no leaves remaining, the plants barely recognizable as strawberries. If I am extra nice to them this fall and next spring, will they grow?

    • Bill,
      Unfortunately, it sounds like your plants are goners. I’d recommend starting a new bed next spring. You can purchase a multitude of varieties from many different retailers by visiting the Buy Strawberry Plants directory.

  12. I am interested in growing some white strawberries. Can you tell me where I can purchase some plants, as places I have asked have not heard of them.

  13. We just moved in to a place with a large, uncontrolled strawberry patch. They produced some but not a lot of strawberries (June bearing, I believe) and even more runners (which began to overtake the rest of the veggie area). We wanted to trim the tops and scale back the patch in an effort to get more control…well, my husband took a very aggressive approach and hit it with the weedwacker…there are a few left that I want to transplant and wall in from the veggie garden. But, have we destroyed our strawberry patch?

    • MissMoo,
      You probably have not destroyed the strawberry patch as long as a few are alive. They will reproduce quickly and exponentially if treated kindly. A weedwhacker is not the best tool to use to mow a strawberry patch (it is difficult to avoid damaging the crowns). For help with your situation, see the Mowing Strawberry Plants and Transplanting Strawberries pages.

  14. This my first batch of strawberry’s. Once I planted the plants they did produce small strawberry’s, and then all of a sudden all I have are a lot of pink flowers and no strawberry’s. Also what do you suggest for care during the winter we freez and lots of rain.

    • Geri,
      If your strawberries are producing pink flowers, they are not your normal strawberry plants, but rather are intended to be ornamental. A couple of different types of cross-bred strawberry plants will produce such flowers. You should not count on getting any significant strawberry harvest from these. But, you do get pretty pink flowers! For over-wintering, see the Growing Strawberries page.

  15. last year my husband brought me strawberry plants I put them in the ground and they grew close to the ground, this spring they began to grow and now they are almost 2 feet tall. I am not a gardner so I dont know if these are weeds or real plants. I have never seen strawberry plants grow so tall. I hate to pull them up in the event they really are a strawberry plant. The leaves look like strawberry. Hahah. but they smell like a weed.

    • Trish,
      A good test is to check the flowers the plants produce. If the flowers are yellow, it is a weed (Mock Strawberry). If the flowers are white, enjoy the strawberries that will soon develop!

  16. I’m so glad I found this place, it has such understandable information. My problem is that I am getting only about 1/2 of my ordered plants to survive. I have ordered from different nursery’s and tried different types like cabot, jewel, quinalt and honeye. I plant them in the tuppsyturve hanging baskets and give them potting soil and 1/2 cup of worm castings as fertilizer with enough water so that the soil does not dry out. But in 3 to 4 days about 1/2 of the new plants are hanging limp and die soon after. I cant figure out what I am doing wrong. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,Lee

    • Lee,
      The topsy turvy planters are a novelty, but I don’t recommend people use them, for several reasons (THESE are slightly better than the typical kind). First, it is simply unnatural. Plants start growing downward, then try to grow upward toward the sun, and then are often pulled back downward by their fruit loads. This puts unnatural stress on the plants. Second, root systems naturally try to grow downward, for the most part. There is a good chance your strawberry plants are dying because of this. Strawberry plants have relatively shallow root systems. So, inverting the plants not only stresses their architecture, but the roots may try to grow downward toward the plant and away from the soil. Third, strawberry plants are often susceptible to fungi and other pathogens. With the topsy turvy planters, watering the plants often results in the under-hanging plant getting soaked repeatedly with dirty water. The increased moisture can create a favorable environment for fungi. For more help getting to harvest, see the Growing Strawberries reference page!

    • amy,
      In general, you can expect most varieties of strawberry plants to produce about one quart of strawberries per plant. The care given to the plants in both August and September (when the perennating buds are developing that will turn into the following spring’s strawberries) and during the strawberry growing season (late winter through spring) also has a big impact on the quantity of strawberries produced. Generally speaking, for fresh consumption only, 30 to 35 well-cared-for strawberry plants should feed a family of five. If you plan on freezing strawberries, 50 to 60 strawberry plants would be more advisable. In order to maintain the vitality of the plants for ten years, you will need to harvest and re-plant the strawberry runners that the mother plants produce. To understand what is involved and how to do it, see this page: transplanting strawberries.

  17. thankyou 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 stagebecauseof the stems turning red

    • beth,
      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 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.

  18. Dear Sir,

    I am keen to know about growing strawberry.
    I want to buy strawberry plants for the same. Please suggest from where i can buy and what cost will occure.



  19. I have a simple question. Is strawberry a bush, creeper or what category. Please advise and if possible to send me a tag for the information from the source.

    • Nousheen,
      The strawberry (Fragaria species) is classified as a forb or herb. Forb/herb plants are ones that don’t have significant amounts of woody tissue above ground, but are still vascular. Their lack of woody tissue causes them to be relatively short (their stems will not thicken and stiffen to support tall growth like non-forb/herb plants will). Additionally, the presence of perennating buds on strawberry plants further causes them to fall within this category of plants. These perennating buds allow the strawberry plants to survive the winter and produce strawberry flowers again in the spring. Feel free to link to this page as your reference point.

    • Corye,
      If you are talking about an actual strawberry, one left on the porch will likely be eaten by a feathered friend or other critters long before it has a chance to mold. The one on the kitchen counter will likely begin becoming moldy in a day or two if it isn’t refrigerated. For more related information, see the “Care After Picking” section on the Strawberry Picking page or the Strawberry Buying Guide.

  20. Hello, i hope you can help me. I planted 24 strawberry plants this April and they finally bore some fruit. Unfortunately, the fruit is small (less than an inch) and tastes mealy. Do strawberries take a year to have quality fruit? Thanks so much

    • Karen,

      Thanks for stopping by! Generally, strawberry plants do take about a year to really begin producing good fruit. If you planted a June-bearing variety (see the Strawberry Varieties reference page, if needed), it is best for the long-term health of your plants and for the yield in future years to completely do without strawberries in year 1 by pinching off or cutting off all of the strawberry flowers. This helps the plants become well-established and increases their overall vitality.

      If you planted a day-neutral or everbearing variety, the flowers should still be pinched initially, but strawberries can usually be harvested later on in the season.

      There are a host of other factors that could affect strawberry production as well: soil pH, type of soil, amount of sun, etc. If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Growing Strawberries reference page, it has a lot of information that may help you! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. Hopefully that helps!

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