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Strawberry Death

Hi all,

I bought a strawberry last year. I don't know the variety, but it had pretty pink flowers and a long fruiting season. I planted it in a pot on my balcony and it did well. It produced lots of runners and I got four smaller plants and potted them up separately.

Towards autumn last year the main plant started to get brown leaves, and to die back. I thought this was probably normal, so didn't worry about it. The smaller plants also died back a bit, but less pronouncedly. I mulched them fairly heavily over the winter with crushed bamboo. 

Now the smaller plants are not looking that healthy, but there's definitely new growth coming. The big one however had a couple of green bits in early march, but now they've gone brown too and I'm pretty sure it's dead.

Does anyone have any idea what might have happened? Is it s disease? In which case should I just get rid of all of the plants, since I have some new ones of a different variety on the balcony too and I don't want to contaminate them.

Thanks a lot for any advice!



  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,208

    Check in the compost for Vine weevil grubs. They eat the roots of Strawberries. Otherwise it sounds like you may have over watered it in winter when it was dormant.

  • ommthreeommthree Posts: 314

    Thanks, I will check.

    It is possible that I overwatered. I tried to keep it just a bit moist in the pot. Should I have let it pretty much dry out?  Is the dieback and brown leaves in winter is normal?

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,910

    Sounds as if that's been the problem Owen. I bought three at the end of summer in a sale. They were in the shelter of the house wall over the (very wet winter) and actually stayed evergreen. They were never watered other than when they got some rain. I just took off a few old stems etc and they're growing away. Tuck them somewhere drier and let them dry out a bit and see how they are in a couple of weeks.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • ommthreeommthree Posts: 314

    That's brilliant information. Thanks.

    Pretty sure it's too late for the big one, but the others will likely be ok if I let them dry out a bit then. Which makes sense, because the smaller pots did inevitably dry out more in the winter. I was probably fooled by the fact that they were pretty thirsty in the summer into thinking that they'd need a lot of water in winter too.

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    You don't mulch the crown of strawberries, you mulch around it. Mulching over the crown tends to rot them.

  • ommthreeommthree Posts: 314

    Oh, that's more good info thanks. I read somewhere to mulch over them in winter, but there's a lot of nonsense on the interwebs.

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