George Weigel Strawberries can be grown and overwintered in containers. Q: I bought some strawberry plants in the spring and stuck them in long containers for the season. They grew very well. Do I have to put them in the ground or will they be OK in the containers over winter? Should I put them in the basement or another protected area? A: You don’t have to plant strawberries in the ground.
They do very well in containers and even hanging baskets, provided you keep them watered and fertilized. If you’ve got space for in-ground growing, go ahead and plant the strawberries now, as soon as you can before the ground freezes. Then mulch with a few inches of straw or leaves and check them a few times over winter to make sure freezing and thawing hasn’t forced them up.
If so, tamp them back down, water and add more straw or leaves. Option 2 is to just keep the strawberries in the container over winter and plant them in the ground next spring. Or figure on growing them in containers for good if you don’t have space in the ground.
Container-grown strawberries benefit from a little winter protection. One of the best ways is to place the container in a bigger container and then insulate the space between with leaves or straw. You can also place the container on the ground next to a heated wall and ideally out of the winter wind. Insulate the exposed sides of the container with mulch, leaves or straw.
Or just bury the container. The surrounding soil will insulate the roots over winter. Then dig up and hose down the container next spring. Yet another option is to take the container into an unheated shed or garage for winter. Don’t worry about lack of light.
The plants will be dormant and don’t need light in winter. You’ll probably have to add just a little water every few weeks to keep the roots from getting too dry. Outside, melting snow and occasional cold rains usually keep the roots damp enough over winter without you having to water them. The only winter storage method I wouldn’t recommend is taking the container inside a heated room and trying to grow them as a houseplant.
That’s fine for some tropicals that grow year round in their native habitat, but strawberries need that cold dormancy of winter to help trigger a new round of fruiting. If you purchase a product or register for an account through one of the links on our site, we may receive compensation.
How do you hang strawberry plants?
Four Easy Steps for Getting Strawberries Started in Hanging Baskets – It’s not hard to get a good crop from strawberry plants grown in hanging baskets, but these four steps are essential.
- First, make sure that your hanging basket has drainage holes. Strawberries can’t grow roots in waterlogged soil. They can only be grown in containers that have drainage holes. If you are concerned about drainage from your hanging baskets staining your deck or porch, find an attractive drip plate to place underneath or attached to the hanging basket.
- Secondly, spend some time giving your strawberries a good growing medium. Dirt from your backyard is never a good idea. Instead, use a mixture of peat (provides acidity and releases water slowly), coconut fiber (provides just enough air circulation in the basket), and compost (rich in nutrients). Use about one-third of each.
- Next, make sure you are planting your strawberries in an appropriately sized container. Strawberry plants don’t put down their roots in more than about 8 inches (20 cm) of soil, and 6 inches (15 cm) is enough. Your hanging basket needs to be at least 6 inches (15 cm) deep but no more than 8 inches (20 cm) deep. The ideal width is 12 inches (30 cm). Several smaller hanging baskets are always better than one huge hanging basket of strawberries.
- Finally, make sure you are choosing the right variety of strawberry plant for hanging baskets. The day-neutral varieties Tribute and Tristar will produce strawberries no matter what time of year you start them, as long as they get six hours of sun a day and are protected from extremes of heat and cold. It is OK to plant June-bearing strawberries like AC Wendy, Annapolis, Early Glow. Red Chief, Mesabi, Kent, and Galleta for a single big early-summer crop, but you need to get them started in the early spring, and you won’t be getting strawberries all summer long.
Where is the best place to hang strawberry plants?
Where to Place Baskets – Growing strawberries in hanging containers requires a spot that receives a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight daily. Some Alpine varieties can tolerate a bit more shade, but be sure to check your specific plants’ tags for more details.
Why do you hang strawberries?
Hanging Strawberry Plants – Tips For Growing Strawberries In Hanging Baskets Love strawberries but space is at a premium? All is not lost; the solution is growing strawberries in hanging baskets. Strawberry baskets take advantage of small spaces and with the correct variety, hanging strawberry plants will not only be attractive, but a useful food crop.
- Other benefits of a hanging strawberry garden are its resistance to insect infestations and soil borne diseases along with its compact harvest area.
- If or other wildlife tends to nibble on your berry crop before you get a chance at a taste, hanging strawberries may very well be the solution to keeping the tender berries up out of their reach.
Hanging strawberry baskets are also easy to move out of the heat or winter cold in order to protect the plant. Follow the information below and say hello to strawberry shortcake!
Why are the leaves on my strawberry plant turning brown on the edges?
1. Incorrect watering – Inconsistent watering is the most common reason for strawberry leaves turning brown and both overwatering and underwatering can be the culprit. Overwatering causes leaves to potentially wilt and discolor and can eventually lead to rot and fungal diseases.
- Ben Hilton, Founder and Editor of The Yard and Garden, explains that overwatering restricts the absorption of oxygen and ‘effectively drowns the plant’.
- He adds: ‘This prevents the production of chlorophyll and consequently turns the leaves yellow.
- The classic symptom of overwatering will be yellow leaves that are soft in texture and often turn dark brown on the edges.
This can develop into root rot, which can be seen around the lower portions of the plant crown or runners directly around the crown.’ Underwatering can cause leaf tips to turn yellow or brown and the key is to not let the soil dry out, but also do not let the soil get soggy and waterlogged. Ben Hilton is a seasoned Master Gardener and author of the book Propagating Houseplants Made Easy. He has contributed to numerous publications, including Better Homes & Gardens, Garden Design Magazine, and The English Garden, He is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of two popular gardening websites – The Yard and Garden and The Gardening Fix – which provide valuable insights, tips and advice on everything from plant care to landscape design. Browning on the edges of leaves can be a sign of over-watering (Image credit: Getty/annick vanderschelden photography)
Why do strawberry leaves droop?
2. Low temperatures cause strawberries to wilt – Cold temperatures prevent the free flow of water through a strawberry plants vascular system. As with drought above, this results in insufficient water passage through the plant, the loss of turgidity, and the loss of rigidity. The plants will droop when the weather gets too cold to maintain proper cellular function.