Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits, I love them, that’s why I’ve made this complete guide on how to grow strawberries indoors.
When I first researched growing strawberries inside I discovered they are one of the easiest and most delicious fruits to grow as a houseplant.
Strawberry plants don’t need much light and are perfectly suited for growing in a pot in a sunny window in an apartment or you could grow a seriously bumper crop if you have a glass conservatory and use containers. If you want to know about white strawberries click here.
To grow a strawberry plant indoors simply place your potted plant in a sunny window or conservatory and keep the soil damp. If your plant gets less than 6 hours light top it up with a grow light. Always use an appropriate fertilizer. When you have luscious red strawberries cut them off and eat them.
Select the best strawberries to grow indoors
You should be aware that there are two different varieties of strawberry that can be grown indoors.
June bearing strawberries that produce fruit in June, obviously, and everbearing strawberries that will produce fruit at least two times per year.
The best variety of strawberry to grow indoors would be Alpine strawberries, they don’t expand much (good for space) and produce fruit most of the year.
Any other type of day-neutral strawberries would also be fine or even choose a variety so they produce fruit at different seasons.
Should I grow strawberries from seed or buy a young plant?
To grow a strawberry plant from seed takes some patience as it can take up to a month for the seed to germinate.
You will then normally get a harvest of strawberries one year after you first start the process.
The first summer you will want to pick off the flowers to discourage fruit as you want the growth to be in the roots the first year.
If you buy a plant you could get a harvest almost immediately the same year.
How to germinate strawberry seeds indoors
You want to germinate your seeds during the winter months, between December and February.
This means you might get a harvest the same year you plant them!
Put your seeds in an airtight container or sealed bag and place them in the freezer for 3-4 weeks.
Allow them to reach room temperature before you remove them from the container.
Place the seeds on a damp cloth that has its end in water so that it soaks up water and keeps the seeds permanently damp.
Place them under a grow lamp or somewhere sunny and leave them there until there are 3 leaves grown from the seeds.
This may take between 7 days and 6 weeks.
Your seedling is then ready to be transferred to a pot or container.
What sort of pot should I use for a strawberry plant?
There are many different containers that are suitable for growing strawberries in.
It is easiest to grow each plant in a 6-inch pot with general purpose compost.
If you choose to use a container or strawberry planter at your window don’t plant too many close together. Less is more, 10-12 inches apart is perfect.
A less crowded planter will probably result in more strawberries.
What sort of soil should I use for a strawberry plant?
For strawberry plants, you can use general purpose compost or well-rotted manure.
It is good to incorporate water retaining granules or slow-release fertilizer within your compost mix.
Place some stones in the bottom for better drainage.
How much light does a strawberry plant require?
Strawberry plants only require 6-12 hours of sunlight per day although the more sunlight it receives the better!
You may want to move your plants between windows to maximize the exposure to sunlight or use an indoor grow light to get the maximum amount of hours of direct light required. Check out my articles on budget Led lamps that work and Led grow light strips.
How often should I water my strawberry plants
During the fruit-bearing season, you want to water your plants daily.
During the rest of the year, you want to water the plants twice per week.
Don’t over water, you want to make the soil moist not drenched.
It is best to water your strawberry plants early in the day so that they don’t sit in water for too long.
What sort of air is best for strawberry plants?
Strawberries like slightly humid conditions so you may want to place a humidifier next to them or give them a light misting with water every day during the fruit-bearing season.
Do this early in the day so the plants get a chance to dry off and not remain constantly damp.
What temperature is best for indoor strawberry plants?
During the winter months, it is beneficial if your plants ARE exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, this encourages fruit growth in the summer months.
During the fruit growing season, the best temperature for strawberry plants in between 57F and 70F and they should not go below 53F during the fruit season.
What is the best fertilizer for a strawberry plant in a pot?
During the growing season, you will want to use fertilizer every 10 days.
Use a soluble fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20.
Sprinkle the fertilizer across the soil avoiding the foliage and fruits and give it a good watering.
Check out my full article on the best fertilizer for fruit grown in containers.
How to prune an indoor strawberry plant in a pot
Remove any runners as this will prepare your plant for the next season where you want the growth to be in the central part of your plant.
Make sure you do this while it’s still warm as you want to plant to be able to heal quickly before winter.
How to pollinate a strawberry plant?
You need to pollinate your strawberry plants otherwise the will produce no fruits.
To do this use a small brush or even your finger.
Brush the outer edge of the flowers to collect some pollen and wipe it onto the center of the flowers.
The more you do this the more fruits your plant will produce.
When is it best to pick strawberries
Your strawberries will be ready to harvest 4-6 weeks after the flowers blossom.
Harvest the fruits when they are red and look like they will be juicy to eat.
Don’t pull the strawberries off, use clippers and cut the stem.
You should do this every 3 days during the harvest season, this period may last for a few weeks, depending on the variety of you have chosen to grow.
How to store freshly picked strawberries
Once you pick your strawberries you can store unwashed (yes unwashed) strawberries in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Alternatively, you can freeze whole strawberries and they will be good for about 2 months.
Only wash your strawberries when you are ready to use them.
What to do if your strawberry plant stops producing fruit
There are many reasons a strawberry plant may not produce fruit.
Make sure your plants are receiving enough direct sunlight.
Strawberry plants prefer hot days and cool nights. If a cold snap occurs your plants may stop producing fruits.
Make sure you are using the correct amount of water as using too much or too little may result in your plants not producing fruits, the same goes for fertilizer.
Strawberry plants will typically not produce fruits the first year as they will be growing healthy roots instead of fruits.
After a few years, your plants may produce fewer fruits, if this happens take a cutting from one of the runners and start new fresh plants.
How to grow strawberry plants outdoors
Choose somewhere that has well-drained soil and receives lots of sun.
Prepare the ground by mixing in some manure or well-rotted compost into the planting area and add some general purpose fertilizer.
Make planting holes that are about 14 inches apart and make any rows about 30 inches apart. Plant your runners or plants into the holes and firm up the soil.
The best time to plant strawberries is early autumn as this gives the plants time to spread roots into the ground before winter and you will get a harvest the following year.
Common strawberry plant problems and how to solve them
There are many problems that could affect your strawberry plants so here are some of them and the solutions to the problems:
Grey Mould – This is a fuzzy mold that is normally grey. If this happens your strawberries are probably in conditions that are too damp or humid. To solve this simply remove any parts of the plant that are infected and reduce the humidity levels.
Frost Damage – If your plants are in frost this will damage your plants and may lead to fruit not being produced or even your plants dying. To solve this remove any damaged growth and protect your plants with a horticultural fleece if frost is forecast.
Powdery Mildew – This will appear like a white powder deposited over the leaves, the leaves stop growing and become shriveled. To solve this keep your plants in cooler conditions and keep the soil moist.
Vine Weevil – This is a pest that will eat notches out of the edge of leaves. If you see any sort of pests that have infected your plants apply a pesticide immediately. Make sure you use one that is designed for fruit-bearing plants.
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