Tips for Growing Strawberries in Containers, Pots, and Hanging Baskets

Growing strawberries in containers is a beautiful way to cultivate these delectable fruits. You can grow any strawberry in a pot, but some types adapt better to hanging baskets than others.

Strawberry, Tristan

Strawberries Best Adapted to Pot Culture

Toscana Runnerless Strawberry icon

French Strawberry Mara Des Bois

Italian Alpine Strawberry Fragola di Bosco icon

The usual problem people have when growing strawberries in pots is that most strawberry plants produce runners--lots and lots of runners.  Essentially, the plants keep overgrowing their pots.

The solution to this is to grow runnerless or bush types.

In the interest of full disclosure, let me take this opportunity to state that strawberry plants advertised as "runnerless" do produce some runners.  They just don't produce many and they don't do it often.

Just as you will occasionally discover a seed inside a seedless watermelon, you will occasionally catch your runnerless strawberry giving birth to a runner.  It won't happen often enough to cause you any grief, and, if you want to increase your stock, the newcomer may be a welcome addition to your plant family.

Indoor Strawberry

Strawberry, Toscana

Pikan Patio Strawberry icon

Planting Depth is Crucial:

The crowns of potted plants will need to be set deeper than those growing in the ground. 

Do not bury the crown or the plant may rot.  Set it too high and it will dry out too quickly.

Set plants so that 3/4 of the roots are beneath the potting mix.

The biggest difference between growing strawberries in containers and growing them in the ground is the size of the resulting crop.  To coax the maximum number fruits from pot bound plants, give them as much root space as possible. 

Each plant will need 8" of soil, so use pots that are at least 8" deep and space the crowns 8" apart.  A 48-inch-long planter holding 6 plants will produce more fruit over a longer season than it would if you tried to squeeze 10 plants into it.

The other limiting factor for container grown strawberries is the quality of the soil.  Always set the crowns into fresh soil.  The two main strawberry diseases: verticillium wilt and root rot, are soil borne.  Reusing soil that has held other plants is asking for trouble.

Planting certified virus-free crowns into clean potting soil is the best way to insure that your plants will grow vigorously and produce for three seasons before needing to be replaced.

A humus-rich mix that drains well is the best planting medium.  This will provide the berries with all the nourishment they need during their first growing season.  In years two and three, supplement by sprinkling a slow-release granular fertilizer on the surface of the soil in late spring. 

When growing strawberries in containers, you must resist the urge to feed them as often as you feed your other potted plants as too much fertilizer can alter the texture of the fruit.

A Bush Raspberry,
Perfect for Containers

Raspberry - Raspberry Shortcake

Related Pages:

Growing Strawberries in the Ground

Growing Fruit in Containers

Container Vegetable Gardening

Meyer Lemons Grow Beautifully in Pots

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