Diagnosis of Strawberry Diseases

This resource is a guide to identifying strawberry diseases.  Originally published by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, it was written by Charles W. Averre, William O. Cline, Ronald K. Jones, and Robert D. Milholland.  While specifically written for North Carolina farmers, the information holds true regardless of location.  Strawberry growers or home gardeners with sick strawberry plants will likely benefit from this resource.

This document contains a photo catalog of all the most common strawberry pathogens as well as pictures of the damage done by strawberry pests and parasites.  The strawberry plant diseases and pests discussed are: scorch, leaf spot, leaf blight, powdery mildew, gray mold, botrytis fruit rot, leather rot, anthracnose fruit rot, southern stem blight, southern stem blight sclerotia, anthracnose, anthracnose petiole lesions, anthracnose crown symptoms, red stele in field, red stele in roots, black root rot, northern root knot nematode, slime mold, the lesion nematode, leak, and spring dwarf.  (for additional information, visit the Strawberry Plant page.)

If your strawberry plants appear to be infected or preyed upon by a parasite or best, be sure to visit this identification resource to help you identify the cause of your problems.

File Type: .pdf

Length: 5 pages


9 thoughts on “Diagnosis of Strawberry Diseases”

  1. Hi
    I have found spiderwebby substances on the base of my strawberry plant and a lot of small yellow balls at the base as well. What may be the cause of this? My strawberries are always very small with the seeds coming out more than usually when strawberry is ripe. Why?

    • Jim Griffiths,
      It is likely due to a soil nutrient deficiency (nitrogen deficiency is common). You should probably have your soil tested to determine the issue. Good luck!

  2. This is the first year for my strawberry bed and I’ve noticed the berries seem to rot from the bottom up to the inside before they are ripe. They do not necessarily are laying in the dirt. I also found little black bugs which I have seen on raspberries appear to be eating the rotten strawberry. The plant itself are very healthy and are producing runners. What is happening?

    • Anita,
      It sounds like you have a pest infestation of some sort. Once the strawberries are damaged by insect feeding, they will often stop developing/ripening and just start to rot or stay stunted in their development. Try purchasing a bag of food grade diatomaceous earth and applying it liberally. Good luck!

  3. First strawberry of the season was picked in Western WA. when I noticed at the base of one strawberry, below the leaves it looked as if someone had spit on the underside of the leaves. It is all foamy. Is this the beginning of powdery mildew. I am unable to find any strawberry pictures of diseases that comes close. 🙁

    • Linda Hjelm,
      It sounds like you have a spittle bug infestation. Powdery mildew usually doesn’t present like that. The spittle bugs are a relatively minor pest. They do suck some sap from your plants, thus weakening them, but generally won’t kill the plants. The “spit” on the underside of the leaves is the foam used by the spittle bug to hide the adult and baby spittle bugs.

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