Growing Strawberries indoors, A Gardening Adventure

I realized today as I was planting the last of my perennials from a greenhouse sale that I had strawberry plants that needed a home before winter. The plants also spread and produced runners with plants during the summer and I was puzzled on what to do. Should I plant them outdoors and hope they take with only a short time to acclimate to new soil or grow them indoors? After reading a few articles I decided to plant the strawberries  indoors. Strawberries, from the garden, clean.
Creative Commons License photo credit: Grumpy Chris

I feel I will have more control over the plants survival rate. Strawberries also grow well grow in containers and even do well indoors. I will have to supplement their growing space with artificial sunlight but I feel it’s worth the time.

My plants are everbearing plants. They will produce two crops of strawberries, one in the spring and another in the late summer or fall. From what I have read and my lighting situation I think its would be best to grow these strawberry plants in hanging baskets.

Strawberries prefer a soil with a pH between 5.3 and 6.5, so I will be heading to the garden center for the proper soil and a controlled-release fertilizer to insure the plants have enough nutrients. When I plant the strawberries I will remove any older leaves from the plant and remove the runners. (I will also plant the runners in my greenhouse and over winter them for a larger plant crop for next spring). The roots should be trimmed so they are about 4 to 5 inches in length and any damaged areas removed. I will place the roots in water for an hour before planting. The plant should be placed in the soil so the crown of the plant is even with the soil’s surface and the roots fan out. This was a mistake I made the first time I planted strawberries. I planted them too deep and did not spread the roots out.

I also read that I will need to remove all blossoms by either pinching or cutting them for the first 6 weeks after planting. This gives the strawberries  time to get established before expending energy towards growing fruit. I will need to water the plants every day until the growing season, and then reduce your watering to when the top inch of soil has become dry.

Indoor strawberry planting TIPS:

  • Strawberries should be fertilized at least once a month. Once the plants have begun flowering, fertilize it about every 10 days until harvest season is over. They prefer a fertilizer that is high in potassium.
  • They will need at least six hours of sunlight a day to produce a crop that can be harvested, although full sun is better. Make sure hanging baskets are rotated to ensure that all plants get adequate light.
  • Strawberries are prone to both aphids and red spider mites. Strawberries can also develop powdery mildew. If your strawberry plant has purple spots on the top surface of its leaves and white fungus on the bottom side, it has developed powdery fungus and needs to be treated with a fungicide.
  • Strawberries are ready to be picked as soon as the fruit has turned red. They can be stored for about two days in shallow trays in the refrigerator. For longer periods, it is best to freeze them. I freeze mine on cookie sheets them place them in plastic bags. This way I can freeze small amounts at a time and also take out a few berries to use at a time. Strawberries in December Creative Commons License photo credit: Martin Lindstrom

How to assemble Hanging Strawberry Baskets


  • 24 strawberry plants
  • a 16-inch wire basket
  •  potting soil
  •  and some sphagnum moss, coconut fiber or a specially designed basket liner.

Next line the wire basket with the damp sphagnum moss, coconut fiber or basket liner. Insert 18 of the plants into the basket sides through the sphagnum moss. After you have finished, fill the basket with potting soil and planting the remaining plants in the top of the basket. The basket will continue to produce fruit for about three years.

My plan is to keep my plants healthy until I can get a proper strawberry bed set up. If I have a small crop of berries this winter it will be a plus!

UPDATE: Feb 2009.   My indoor Strawberry plants did very well in 2008 and produced a great crop. I found I needed to use a little more compost tea (or any liquid fertizer on them) when I transplanted them into the ground. They are still thriving and I again have indoor strawberries.

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10 responses to “Growing Strawberries indoors, A Gardening Adventure”

  1. […] If you would like to try growing strawberries indoors you need to make sure you have proper lighting and good soil. My first article explains how to get started with proper lighting and soil. I plan on using hanging baskets for my plants with the strawberry runners being overwintered in a greenhouse. To read this article check out the following link: […]

  2. Chanter

    Thank you this was incredibly helpful I have thought of the perfect spot to plant my strawberries where they will get full sunlight from about 7 am until sometime an the mid-afternoon.

    Chanter B. Magic

    PS. Yes it is a fake name I don’t like my real one.

    Chanter’s last blog post..Frontier house

  3. Denise

    Let me know how the strawberries do. I have had great luck with mine. And your lighting sounds good!

    Great name and blog by the way! Denise

  4. Small Space Container Fruit Gardening: Perfect for Patios and Balcony Gardening | Backyard Oasis

    […] designs. There are many fruit trees that you can train as espaliers or to grow in containers but strawberries, brambles, and melons will grow well in containers and on patios and balcony gardens with little […]

  5. Zeb

    Hey that’s some great information on the everbearing strawberries. I just planted 8 strawberry plants last week in a raised triangular brick formation in front of my house and some of them have come up already, but I too had 2 extra root systems. So I tried planting them in my front window, Southern exposure, And I placed A grow light some 14 inches or so from the soil level, and those two strawberry plants have already turned to five plants. The first of my sprouts is a good 3 inches wide already, I’m quite amazed at how fast they have grown, being as it is that I have never grown strawberry plants in my life.

  6. Denise

    It sounds like your strawberries are doing very well! Good luck with them, Denise

  7. Rita

    The tips on the leaves on my strawberry plants are brown, fuzzy and dried up. We had spider mites and are working on clearing that up. Would it cause the brown leaf tips as well? Thanks for any advice. We are new to indoor gardening.

  8. Denise

    Hi Rita,

    The spider mites probably did drain a lot of energy from the plants. I would make sure the plants are bug free and give them a little fertilizer to give them a boost.

    If the leaves are quite brown remove the dead parts of the plant. They will only attract more disease.

    Good luck with indoor gardening and plants. Denise

  9. Rita Iverson

    For the first time I am planting everbearing strawberries in a strawberry bag. I live in cold Minnesota so if I bring them in the house for the winter I have a heated sun porch, will the plants need some sort of cool hibernation period or can they stay in the sun and light all year around?
    Any help appreciated
    Rita a new strawberry gardner

  10. Sandy in NY

    I tried strawberry pots last summer with good results for a first season. They are everbearing strawberries but only one plant survived the winter. I have nursed it all summer and now its getting cold outside and it has produced 5 baby strawberries! I brought it inside to save it from frost and have it in a dining room window that has sunlight most all day. I used Miracle Grow soil when I transplanted it into its own pot. It is now about six inches high and about eight inches wide. I hate to lose it after all this and any tips you can give me will be much appreciated. What kind of fertilizer should I get? I am not familiar with any as a new gardener. Thanks for your help!

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