Strawberry Plant

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

 







Kingdom:



Plantae




Division:



Magnoliophyta



Class:



Magnoliopsida



Order:



Rosales




Family:



Rosaceae




Subfamily:



Rosoideae



Tribe:



Potentilleae



Subtribe:



Fragariinae



Genus:



Fragaria




Species:



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
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.

More:

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

    • JED,
      There may be, but I’m not aware of one accurate for strawberries. The variety between specific cultivars and the sheer number of cultivars would make such calculations variable and cumbersome to research. If you discover any such method, please do let me know!

  1. As far as you know, will a slug eat at the crown of a plant. I put 28 plants in a well prepared bed and two days later they were going down fast. I ended up losing about 10 of them. I noticed right away that a slug had hit one of the ripe berries. After I took the dead plants ought I looked them over well and noticed that each of the crowns had a cavity at the bottom.

    • Chuck Mcallister,
      Typically, slugs will eat on the fruit. Diatomaceous earth will keep them at bay without harming the strawberries or plants, and can be a natural deterrent for other insects as well. You may want to order some and sprinkle it generously on the plants/berries. It washes off, and, if you get the food grade DE, it is safe to consume for humans in small amounts. Good luck!

  2. Hi

    I live in in the Sacramento Valley where it gets 90-100 degrees. I just planted strawberries in containers 2 months ago. One of my plants has brown edges on the leaves. Is this due to dry top soil? I’m watering every other day because of our heat. If so, would mulch/straw help retain the moisture?

    Kendra

    • Kendra,
      It could be due to dry soil/lack of water, but it also could be related to the heat, or nutrient deficiency in your soil, or an fungal infection/pest infestation. If it is related to dryness/evaporative loss, you can mulch. Placing newspaper down on weed-free soil prior to putting your mulch around your plants will not only help with weed problems, but will further prevent moisture loss once they have been thoroughly soaked. Good luck!

  3. Recently, a friend has decided to plant strawberries and was wondering if they can be staked. My answer was that the main plant cannot but the runners can. His garden is very small and space is limited. will the runners survive for planting in the fall if he stakes them? in addition, he asks if they can be planted next to cucumbers?

  4. For the past two years my strawberries have been half eaten by something. The berries ripen and look beautiful until I pick them up and find them half eaten on the bottom. Any suggestions you can give me for dealing with this problem would be much appreciated.

    • Angela,
      It sounds like birds have found your patch. Birds usually will leave strawberries like that, half eaten. Squirrels and rabbits will usually eat virtually all of the berry, leaving only the green leafy calyx at the top of the berry (where it attaches to the stem). The less expensive way to keep birds (and squirrels/rabbits) out is with bird netting. A more expensive but less cumbersome way to keep the feathered fiends from your strawberries is with a bird repellant device. Many pick-your-own operations use the latter as it will keep birds away without blocking access to the berries. Good luck!

  5. Hi I have just started growing my plants in the topsy turvey planter some of the leaves are yellowing I’m not sure of the reason maybe to much or to little water can you help me please

    • Candice,
      The Topsy Turvy planters can be more difficult to use for successful strawberry cultivation than other methods. See here: Topsy Turvy Strawberry Planter. Also, they could have mineral deficiency or their roots could be getting too hot. Good luck!

  6. Hello mr. strawberry, I’m starting a strawberry garden for my first time. They have been growing for about a month. How long will it take for them to flower? And is miracle grow, compost and manure good enough for the plant to produce and survive?

    • Ivette,
      Congratulations on starting your own strawberry garden this year! For the answers to your questions, I’d recommend you review this page: Growing Strawberries. Also, pay attention to the additional information at the bottom under the “More” section. Good luck!

  7. Mr. Strawberry,
    Thanks for all your help 🙂 After further research, I believe that it’s either called stamen or anther. Hope that helps 🙂

  8. Thanks for your speedy reply 🙂 It does help to know that they are not seeds but, they are definitely not any sort of infestation. They are on every strawberry (even store bought ones) between the top of the “accessory tissue” and the leaves. I’m guessing maybe it’s just a left over part of the original flower?

    • Dan,
      Without you being able to point to it for me, I’m having trouble identifying what you are talking about! If you are talking about the part that is attached to the top of the strawberry (that the stem turns into), that is called the calyx.

  9. I bought two hanging baskets of what is labelled “chandelier strawberry” They have lovely ripe and unripe fruit already dangling down from the plants, some flowers too. They look healthy. I couldn’t find anything under this name/type on the net. Is there such a variety? Can I leave in these baskets until no more fruit and then plant. I live in Clearwater Florida. Thanks!

  10. Nice site. I think it’s missing a good diagram of the strawberry itself though. I found your site specifically trying to figure out what those little black things are that grow under the leaves. Someone had told me those were actually plantable seeds. If you could shed any light on the subject, I’d appreciate it. Thank you.

    • Dan,
      There are no seeds that grow under the leaves. The seeds are actually contained within the little black “seeds” that cover the surface of the strawberry. The little black “seeds” are actually called achenes, and the achenes contain within them the seeds. The strawberry fruit itself is simply accessory tissue (but tasty!). If you have little black things under the leaves, they are most likely some sort of insect eggs. But, they aren’t seeds. Hope that helps!

  11. Hi Mr Strawberry,
    I am doing an assignment on pests and the affects on plants, Ive chosen strawberries as my plant and I was wondering what are the four best but easyest pest that you can get that will affect the growth of strawberries?

    • chloe,
      Hehe, I’ve not heard of anyone purposely infesting the strawberry patch with pests, so I’m not sure what pests are available for purchase out there. That should make for an interesting assignment, indeed. Good luck!

  12. My husband and I grow organic strawberries for our business and CSA programe. We grow in greenhouses all year (geo. heated) and this past 3 weeks our strawberries have developed a mysterious habit of the fruit falling off. Not just the ripe berries. We seem to be losing quite a lot. We do have some ants (I think we have got rid of the spider mites) slugs and the occasional mouse but we are at a complete and utter loss as to what is causing the problem. We have searched on the web with no luck as yet. Do you think something is “nipping” off the fruit or is something making it “drop” off ??? Thank you for any suggestions you may be able to offer us.

  13. We ordered strawberry plants in the mail and they came today. We are in Michigan and it is way to cold outside yet to plant them. Plus the ground is still frozen. What can we do to safely keep the plants from dying before we have a chance for the weather to improve? Help us please. The nursery’s instructions are not helpful at all.

    • Suzy,
      If you anticipate the weather turning soon, wrap the roots of each plant in a damp paper towel. Then, put the wrapped roots into a sandwich or zip-lock bag, and lay them gently on a counter. With the inside temperature, they will start to put out new growth from their crowns fairly quickly, so only do it that way if you think you can plant relatively soon. Otherwise, do the same thing, but keep them in the refrigerator until you can plant them. Bare-root plants should be planted as soon as possible, so try to get them in the ground quickly. Be sure to keep the paper towels damp, but not soaking wet. Good luck!

  14. Hi, so I started growing strawberries a couple of years ago and they are overwhelming my garden, they have spread to the grass and the neighbor’s yard. How do I get rid of the unwanted ones, can I just pull them out or do I have to use chemicals to get rid of them.

    • Dee,
      Strawberries can multiply rapidly! You can just pull them out, but some of your friends or neighbors may want to plant some of the runner plants this year themselves. If you’d like to spread the wealth, give them away! Having them come dig them up might save you some time also!

  15. Hello !! Mr. Strawberry
    I want to grow strawberry plants (2 or 3) for the first time in my kitchen garden . I live in Haryana, North India. As I come to know from this site that this plant(runner) requires temperate climate and we have such climatic conditions (winters)temperature ranging from 7 °C to 22 °C during the months of November to February and alluvial type of soil is present in this region. What are the growing and harvesting periods for this plant according to my geographical conditions? are there any other parameters to be considered while its growth period?? It will be a great help for Indian farmers as well who are pretty much interested in cultivating this sweet fruit as a crop if u can suggest us few varieties which can be best grown in sub-tropical climatic conditions like ours. If I will succeed in growing the plants I will definitely suggest my grandpa to grow the fruit on large scale :). I shall be thankful.
    Regards
    Alka

    • alka,
      Unfortunately, your sub-tropical climate will make the endeavor of growing strawberries much more difficult. If you do try, you might do best with a variety like Chandler. Good luck!

  16. Hi, I have 2 questions:

    1) Can I use the seeds on outside of strawberry to sow to grow new plants?

    2) On the ground underneath some of the rotten strawberry leaves there are red insects. Obviously they are same kind of pest. How do I get rid of them without buying pesticides?

    Thank you

    • Christo,
      To answer your questions: 1) yes, you can usually get seeds from strawberries to germinate. However, most strawberries commercially available are hybrids. With hybrid varieties, you can have a decreased germination rate and genetic uncertainty if they do germinate. In other words, the strawberry plants that grow from the seeds will likely manifest traits much different from the plant that produced the strawberry in the first place, and the resultant strawberries might be very different and will likely be smaller. 2) you may want to try sprinkling diatomaceous earth on the pests and plants. Good luck!

  17. My strawberry patch seems to have a lot of wild strawberries. How can I be sure I am pulling the wild strawberries and not my cultivated. What appearance differences should I be looking for?

    Kindest regards, Gordon

    • Gordon Crabb,
      If your wild strawberries have yellow blossoms, you can pull all of them out. If they don’t have white blossoms, they are a weed that looks like strawberry plants but won’t produce strawberries. If they are white, they are actual strawberry plants. If they all have white blossoms, and you truly have wild and cultivated strawberries together, you’ll likely have to distinguish them by their fruit. The small strawberries that have a powerful aroma and flavor will be the wild ones. The larger ones will be the cultivated varieties. Good luck!

  18. I live in Central Minnesota, Zone 4A, and would like to plant some strawberries come spring. Can you suggest some varieties that grow best in my environment? Also, I heard that the soil should be a little on the acidic side with a PH @ 6.2 or so. If my soil is neutral at 7.0, what can I use to make my planting spot more accommodating for strawberries?

    • Ron Moulds,
      For the best strawberry varieties to grow in Minnesota, just find MN on this page: Varieties by State. Any listed should do well! As for making your soil more acidic, you can amend it with coffee grounds or mulch with pine needles (pine needles can be substituted for straw) to increase the acidity. Also, adding vinegar will lower the pH, as will adding granulated soil sulfer or ammonium sulfate. However, as you add the latter group, you need to monitor the soil pH carefully to make sure you keep it in a reasonable range. Good luck!

  19. Hi am in Kenya and i want to do strawberry farming, am just requesting whether you can send me the brochures or any information which will help me to understand more about strawberry. Thanks

    • James Machari,
      You are in luck! There is a whole site dedicated to just that topic, and you’ve found it. I’d recommend starting at the Growing Strawberries page and then clicking around other places on this site to learn more. If there is something specific you are interested in, use the search feature at the top right. Good luck!

  20. i have grown my first strawberries this year and would like to know the best way to care for my plants over the winter period.

  21. I started some strawberry plants late this year, with the intention of picking the buds/flowers so that I don’t get any till next year. The plants are currently 24″ tall and I have never seen strawberry plants that big! Do you have any idea what kind I have? I am baffled!

    • Teri,
      There is no way to say for certain, but those are some big strawberry plants! My guess is that there are excessive amounts of nutrients (fertilizer) in your soil causing excessive vegetative growth. Or, you may have strawberries the size of baseballs next year! Good luck!

  22. what can you put on strawberry plants to kill the bugs, slugs and other pests that eat the strawberries as soon as they start to ripen? Something that won’t harm humans, as my grandchildren like to pick and eat the berries from the garden sometimes.

    Thank you.

  23. Is it to late to plant for next year, living in NW Virginia? Would it be hard to find plants now? It is the first day of spring.

    • Doug,
      No, it isn’t too late, but you might want to wait until the summer ends. See here for more info: Fall Strawberry Plants. You can still order strawberry plants. See here for that: Buy Strawberry Plants. Good luck!

  24. It’s my first year of growing strawberries. They are ever bearing and in containers.I am so glad I came across this site I love it and it has so much info. I can’t seem to find one thing. I was wondering what type of nutrients I should be adding to the soil?
    Thanks for your time.

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