Strawberry plants indoors? You betcha! In fact, growing strawberries indoors may be an easier option for some people. Growing strawberries indoors allows you to control such factors as light and temperature, and ousts all those pesky outdoor critters whose sole aim is to keep you from your strawberry shortcake. Keep reading for tips on how to grow strawberries inside.
When considering how to grow strawberries inside, one must consider space issues and variety of strawberry houseplants one wishes to cultivate.
Space saving ideas such as strawberry pots or growing strawberries in containers which hang from the ceiling are great options. Whole areas of a home or just a windowsill may also be dedicated when growing strawberries indoors, but be sure not to over crowd the plants lest they become susceptible to disease or mold issues.
The key ingredient to growing strawberry houseplants, of course, is sun exposure. Whether indoors or out, strawberries need at least six hours of sun per day, which can be provided by sun exposure or by using indoor plant lighting.
When choosing promising strawberry houseplant varieties, there are really two major types: June bearing strawberries (producing in — June!), and ever-bearing strawberries (which will fruit two times a year). Some ever-bearing strawberries may even produce berries more than twice a year.
A terrific cultivar suitable for growing strawberries inside is Alpine strawberry, which maintains a more clumping habitat rather than ranging — a good thing if you have a space issue.
You may also start strawberry houseplants from seed. If this is the case, you’ll want to freeze the seeds for two to four weeks to jump start the germination process.
Strawberries have a very shallow root system and can, therefore, be planted in almost anything given the correct soil, water and light. Strawberries in containers (or out for that matter) require a soil pH of 5.6-6.3.
A control release fertilizer is recommended despite the depth of the strawberry container or once a month with a standard potassium-rich fertilizer until the plants flower. Once strawberries in containers begin flowering, fertilize every 10 days until harvesting is finished.
Before planting strawberry houseplants, remove runners, trim any old or dead leaves, and trim the roots to 4-5 inches (10 to 12.5 cm.). Soak the roots for an hour and then plant the strawberry so the crown is even with the soil surface and the root system fans out. Also when growing strawberry plants indoors, you will want to remove the blossoms for the first six weeks after planting. This allows the plant time to establish before expending its energy on producing fruit.
Growing strawberry plants indoors should be checked daily to ascertain the need for water; usually daily until the growing season and thereafter only when the top inch (2.5 cm.) is dry. Keep in mind, strawberries like water, just not too much.
You can grow strawberry from seeds:
However, since you’re growing strawberries indoors, you can skip this method. Assuming you may plant just a few plants and strawberries grown from seeds take time to bear fruits, it’s better to avoid that.
The better option is to get healthy and disease-free strawberry transplants from any local nursery nearby or online store. If you have existing berry plants, you can quickly multiply them from their runners. Majority of strawberry varieties produces runners, except a few.
You can grow strawberry from runners:
Strawberry plants exhaust a lot of energy in producing runners, and our advice for the indoor plant growers is to prune them off so that they can concentrate their energy on fruits and flowers.
Select the healthy transplants and gently remove them from their mini pots without disturbing the roots and plant them in desired planters, without burying the crowns in fresh potting soil. Don’t forget to trim the discolored and diseased leaves if any before planting.
There are various factors to consider when it comes to selecting the right strawberry cultivar. These include taste, size, freezing, canning and jams, and container growing. For instance, sparkle variety has an intense flavor, but fruits are medium-sized, whereas June-bearing Honeoye is resistant to soil-borne diseases and produces large-sized berries. For container growing, one the best cultivar is day-neutral Seascape–It’s smaller in size, flavorful and produces large fruits.
If you want the longest fruit-bearing season strawberries, day-neutral varieties are best:
You should also look for Alpine strawberries, which are also known as Wild strawberries as they have all the qualities mentioned above:
Strawberries have a shallow root system. You can grow multiple plants in a single pot, in a cramped space. A 6 to 8 inches deep flowerpot that is wide similarly or more, preferably a window box would be fine. Maintain 3-4 inches of spacing between each plant, you can grow them this closely, but you’ll need to water more often.
1. Water, water, water. Then when you think you have watered too much…water some more. The more water you give them the bigger and sweeter the fruit will be.
2. Sprinkle your used coffee grounds at the base of the plants before watering. They love it! They grow so much after that. It’s works great and is better for you than store bought plant food. The coffee grounds also keep away sugar ants and pill bugs.
3. Plant a few plants per person. If your planting strawberries because you planned on, ya know, eating them, it’s best to plant a bunch. Don’t worry—you shall have no leftovers. If you do though, you can freeze them whole to use for smoothies in the future.
4. Dust the area with a cheap cinnamon to keep ants, cats, pill bugs, and slugs at bay. This came in handy for me because the pill bugs were eating ALL of our strawberries! I buy this one. It lasts a LONG time!
5. Don’t get discouraged by the first year of production. The magic is in the second year, my friend!
6. Don’t worry about cutting back dead leaves in the winter. They act as insulation keeping the plant alive ’til spring.
7. Give them plenty of room to either spread, grow up, or dangle because they will do all three if you let them.
8. Some strawberry plants produce all year long and some only produce during the summer. If you want all those strawberries at one time so they can be eaten, processed, frozen, yadda yadda—get the kind isn’t ever-bearing.
9. Plant them in a sunny area. You will be glad you did. The sun gives the plants the energy to produce the fruit, so without sunlight, you won’t have strawberries.
10. Protect those babies with birds netting. Birds love strawberries as much as we do so make sure you keep them safe or you won’t be harvesting much!
I hope I was able to help some of you guys with these tips! If I missed something that helps your strawberries grow, I would love to hear from you in the comments!
The great thing about strawberries is that they can be planted almost anywhere.
“If you have a nice bit of soil in your garden they grow brilliantly in the ground, but if you don't you can grow them just as well in a nice big tub, a grow bag and even hanging baskets,” says Guy.
Alpine strawberries can grow in the shade, but if you opt for June-bearing and Everbearing strawberries they need to be placed in a position where they’ll get lots of light to help them fruit.
One thing Guy doesn’t recommend is trying to grow strawberries indoors.
“It’s much better if strawberries are grown outside because they must be pollinated by insects, if not your strawberries can become lop-sided and they need to experience frost in the winter. Therefore, if you keep them in a greenhouse all year round you’ll find that you won’t get much of a crop” he says.
You can purchase seeds, and these needs freezing for a month to trick the plants into thinking they have endured the winter. Fresh strawberry seeds taken from a ripe strawberry may not need freezing. You can also get ready to plant strawberry varieties, which could be the best option, to begin with.
Add your potting soil to the growing container. Moisten with sufficient water so the soil clumps together. Make sure it isn’t too wet where it goes muddy.
For seeds, thaw them and plant at room-temperature soil as they’ll think spring has arrived. Follow further planting instructions on the seed packet when growing strawberries indoors.
Ensure you don’t plant seeds deeper than is recommended. You can even place the seeds on top of the soil and give them a light dusting of soil.
Water newly planted seeds you need to saturate the soil, but do it gently as you will erode the soil. Place your strawberry seed container in a prime location, which receives at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. (Learn How to Grow Green Onions from Cuttings)
Water your seeds every two to three days when the soil becomes dry. Watering is important as your seeds germinate and start to sprout healthy new leaves. Keep soil moist and warm, and it will produce ideal conditions for seed germination and for the roots to grow.
Unless you are growing your strawberry plants as annuals, you will have to exercise some patience and delay harvesting for up to a year. To give the plants time to become established, you’ll need to remove all the flowers that set, for 4 - 6 weeks. Flowers and fruit take a lot of energy from the plants and removing them will put that energy and all the plant's resources into building a strong root system, healthy plants and lots of runners.
Day-neutral and everbearing types will keep flowering, and after that 4 - 6 week period, you can let them set fruit. Unfortunately, June bearing plants will be done setting flowers, and you will have to wait until next year.The Spruce / K. Dave
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