10 Tips For Growing Strawberries in Pots or Containers

Growing strawberries in pots or containers this season? Potted strawberries require more art than science to produce a healthy crop. This post by organic gardening expert Logan Hailey offers her best strawberry pot growing tips!  

1. Choose Compact Varieties 

Strawberries that roam naturally seek to cover the ground. Some are mild and compact to develop as tiny bushes. Compact strawberry plants can grow 6-12” wide and 8” tall, depending on pruning.  

2. Ever-Bearing or Day Neutral Cultivars

Ever-bearing varieties provide the best containers. Compact varieties have 2-3 consistent summer and fall flushes and few runners. Since they yield ripe strawberries all summer, day-neutral cultivars are ideal for hanging baskets and pots.  

3. Use Nursery Starts

Strawberry planters can be established quickly and easily with nursery starts that are ready to transplant. These plugs, like garden veggie 6-pack beginnings, have formed root balls and lush greenery. They are easier to plant and require less precision than bare root crowns.  

4. Choose The Right Pot

Strawberry root zones are shallow, yet they don't want to be vertically constrained and unable to dig deep enough to support the plant. In high gusts, excessive watering, or large fruit sets, shallow roots may fall out of the container.  

5. Keep Berries Away From Soil

Everyone loves chocolate-covered strawberries, but we like them soil-free. Certain containers keep strawberries dangling in the air or off the pot rather than on the soil.  

6. Check Your Pot for Drainage Holes  

Strawberry plants loathe wet soil. Water can drain through a raised bed or soil profile in a typical garden. Strawberry root rot from moisture-loving bacteria is more likely in containers. Watering in a container with good drainage is crucial.  

7. Use a Well-Draining Potting Mix

Fill a container with dirt and pour water over it to test water infiltration. Strawberry plants can be planted quickly into potting mix. If it forms a little pond, you either compacted the dirt too much or the mix is poorly drained.    

8. Pay Attention to Soil Ingredients

Because ordinary soil lacks nutrients and microbes, berries need container soil. Strawberry plants prefer a micronutrient-rich, moist, fast-draining potting mix. Loamy soil has organic content and equal proportions of sand, silt, and clay.  

9. Check Your Soil pH  

Small amounts of sawdust, coffee grounds, or pine tips can be mixed in to make this happen. You can also choose a "acid loving plant" mix, like the ones made for roses and azaleas, to make things easier.  

10. Give Your Strawberries Space

Compact strawberry plants thrive in pots and containers if not overcrowded. Strawberry transplanting into a pot may appear like you may fit several small plants. Avoid this and space strawberries 6-8" apart. Many planters use one plant per pot.  

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Also see

11 Tips For Growing Strawberries in Raised Beds