Most people have never even heard of the magical fruits that are white strawberries (pineberries). These are strawberries that have a pineapple taste to them hence the name pine-berries.
Like normal varieties, white strawberries or pineberries are ideal for growing in an indoor garden either on your windowsill, conservatory or indoor grow room.
In this complete guide, I am going to tell you exactly how I successfully grow white strawberries indoors in my apartment and why you should also grow these delightful weird tasting berries. If you’re looking for standard red strawberries click here.
To grow white strawberries indoors simply put your plants in a container that is at least 12 inches wide and 8 inches deep. Place them somewhere that gets 6 hours daylight and water them when required. Use a high-potash fertilizer as part of the feeding routine and your white strawberry plants will flourish.
What variety of white strawberry is best for growing indoors?
There are many varieties of white strawberry plants that are good for growing indoors.
The White Soul variety is more disease and pest resistant than most varieties and does well in the shade and because of this, they are the variety I choose to grow.
Other white strawberry varieties you could choose to grow indoors would be White Soulmacher, Albicarpa, Krem, White Giant, White Delight or Pineapple Crush.
Any of these varieties would do if you can find them as when you do manage to find somewhere that sells white strawberry seedlings or seeds they tend not to have a large selection.
Should I grow white strawberries from seed or buy a seedling?
If you grow your pineberry plant from seed then you can expect to wait a bit longer to actually be able to harvest the berries.
You may not get any berries for the whole first year or a very small harvest.
I normally try and source seedlings, however, because these are fairly rare you may only be able to source seeds and not seedlings but that is fine as I find it can be more satisfying when I harvest fruit that I have grown all the way from seed.
If you have already grown white strawberries then you should simply scrape off the seeds from the outside, dry them and keep them for the next time you want to grow them.
How to germinate white strawberry seeds
The easiest way to germinate white strawberry seeds is to simply use a damp paper towel and put it in a sealable plastic bag.
Sprinkle the seeds you have either bought from a store or scrapped off a previous harvest over the damp paper towel.
Place the sealed bag somewhere that is warm like on a windowsill and keep the paper towel damp but not soaking.
After following this procedure it can take 2 – 3 weeks or more for the pineberry seeds to start to sprout so be patient.
Always attempt to germinate more than you require as there is never any guarantee to how many will actually start to grow. When there is a stem and two tiny leaves it’s time to transplant them into the soil.
What container should I use for white strawberries?
It all depends on where you want to position your container as the bigger the area, the bigger the pot or container I would use.
White strawberries can be grown in a relatively small pot that is only 12 inches in wide and 8 inches deep, just make sure the pot has holes in the bottom for drainage.
There are several good options for growing white strawberries indoors.
You could choose a strawberry planter or barrel, this is a pot that has different holes in it for planting several plants.
Maybe you would like to grow multiple plants in a rectangular window box or you could use a growing bag that would maybe be more suited to a conservatory than a windowsill.
What soil should I use for growing white strawberries?
Whatever you do, don’t use soil from your garden as it will become compact and prevent you from growing big beautiful white strawberry plants that produce lots of berries.
White strawberries prefer a rich potting soil that has organic matter mixed through it.
Ideally, you should mix compost, rotted manure, and peat moss through the soil before you plant your berries.
Alternatively, just buy a potting soil that has this sort of mix and you will grow some healthy white strawberry plants that produce lots of berries.
How much light do white strawberries require?
White strawberries only require 6 – 8 hours of sunlight to grow healthily although the more light they receive the healthier they will grow and the more berries they will produce.
When growing white strawberries indoors, if you choose to use an LED grow lamp to top up the light they receive you could keep the lamp for 16 hours for maximum effect.
It is important your plants get at least 8 hours in darkness as to grow healthy they need a rest period every day, just like we need beauty sleep.
How often should I water my white strawberry plants?
When you are watering your white strawberry plants you should lift the leaves and try and get all the water directly onto the soil, this is because if you get the leaves of the plants wet this can encourage mold and fungal disease to grow on them.
You should always water your plants in the morning so that the excess water has time to evaporate.
Monitor how dry the soil gets by putting your finger in 2 inches deep and if it’s dry it’s time to water them.
I normally water my plants 2 or 3 times per week, however, during excessively hot weather I water them daily if required.
What temperature is best for white strawberries grown indoors?
The perfect temperature for growing white strawberries is between 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (15C – 27C).
This is why I recommend growing white strawberries indoors because the ideal temperature for growing them is a standard household temperature.
I know that if the temperature I am living in is comfortable for me them my strawberry plants will be perfectly comfortable as well.
What is the best fertilizer for white strawberries?
Like all plants, white strawberry plants will appreciate getting fed with fertilizer and it will greatly improve growth and the number of berries you can harvest.
I would recommend you feed your white strawberry plants with a high-potash liquid fertilizer, a tomato plant fertilizer would be ideal when the growing season begins and do this throughout the season.
After you have harvested your strawberries but before you prune your pants I would recommend you use an annual fertilizer and make sure you put this on the soil and not directly on the plants.
How to prune a white strawberry plant
The first thing you will need to do is trim the runners, these are the long stems that don’t have leaves. Cut or pinch these off as close to the main plant as possible.
You should also prune these runners during the season as they take energy away from the fruit production.
At the end of the season, you should trim your plants down to about 4 inches.
After 3 or 4 seasons your strawberry plants will stop producing fruit so you should grow new plants out of the runners before this happens.
How to pollinate a white strawberry plant?
Strawberries are self-pollinating plants so this means in nature they will pollinate themselves, however, indoor plants won’t have the benefit of wind or bees in this regard so will need a helping hand.
To pollinate your indoor white strawberry plants use a small paintbrush or a cotton bud. Go around your plants and brush the pollen from the male part of the flower and onto the female sticky part of the flower.
The more you do this the more strawberries will grow, I would recommend doing this with every single flower that appears.
When to pick white strawberries from a potted plant
It is kind of hard to tell when white strawberries are ripe and ready for harvesting.
If you keep an eye on them when they are growing you will notice they change color from a white to a grey/white and that is when they are ready to harvest.
Another way to tell if your white strawberries are ready to harvest is to try and pull one off and if it comes off easy then it is time to harvest them.
Failing these two methods you could always do the taste test and if they taste good they are ready to harvest.
How to store fresh picked white strawberries
When you are storing white strawberries it is important that you don’t wash them as this will encourage mold and shorten the fresh life of your crop.
Only ever wash strawberries immediately before you eat them.
If you are storing your white strawberries in a fridge then simply put them in a sealed container and place that container on the bottom shelf in your fridge.
White strawberries can keep for approximately a week if stored in this way, however, if you want to keep your white strawberries longer you could always put a sealed container in the freezer and this will keep them good for several months.
What to do if your white strawberry plant stops producing fruit
If your white strawberry plant is not producing fruit remember that they may not produce any fruit the first year you grow them.
Check the variety of your plant as some varieties will only produce one harvest per season and some everbearing varieties will produce berries continuously throughout the season.
Check that your plants have enough water and at the same time you are not overwatering them and make sure you are not over-fertilizing them as if you do that there will be plenty of growth but little if any berries.
To grow white strawberries outdoors
If you choose to grow white strawberries outdoors you can either grow them in a container and follow the above instructions or you can plant them in the ground.
When you are planting white strawberries in the ground you should choose an area that drains well as they don’t like to be in standing water.
Make sure you plant your white strawberries somewhere that gets at least 6 hours sunlight. When you are watering you should try and only water the soil and not get any water on the leaves.
Common white strawberry problems and how to solve them
Like all plants, disease and fungus can affect your white strawberry plants and the quicker you treat them the easier it will be to get them back to a healthy state. Here are some of the problems that may affect your plants:
Leaf Scorch – Leaf scorch normally affects mature leaves towards the end of a growing season. It will first appear as small purple spots but on the leaves but if left untreated it can spread from the leaf to the stalks and fruit. When it spreads, all the spots join together and give your plant the appearance of being scorched. To treat this make sure you stop getting any water on the leaves, remove leaves that have become infected and use a specialist spray to prevent it from spreading.
Leaf Blight – Leaf blight is a minor disease of white strawberries and will normally affect mature leaves and ripe fruit. When this disease affects your plants it will appear as large spots with variations of a brownish color is each spot. It can spread and appear as a large V-shaped brownish marking on the leaves. You should treat this disease the same way as you treat leaf scorch.
Grey Mold – Grey mold is considered a major disease and if it affects your crop and isn’t treated promptly is could wipe out your whole crop for the season. When affected your fruit will turn brown and a cotton-like fungus will start to grow across it that looks kind of like a thick spiders web. To fight this disease you should immediately remove all infected fruit and leaves, improve the airflow around your plants, make sure they are getting enough light and apply a spray that will fight the disease.
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