Strawberry Plant SOS: How to Revive a Dying Plant

I am excited to share a little gardening tip that has worked wonders for me in reviving my strawberry plant. As someone who has always loved gardening, I was devastated when I noticed my strawberry plant starting to wilt and die. But with a little bit of research and some elbow grease, I was able to bring it back to life and get it producing juicy, sweet strawberries once again.

In this blog post, I will share with you all the steps I took to revive my strawberry plant and how you can do the same with yours. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or just starting, I hope my tips and tricks will keep your strawberry plants healthy and happy. So, let’s get started!

How Can I Revive a Dying Strawberry?

Strawberry Plant

Common problems when growing strawberry plants include browning or yellowing leaves, plant death, stunted growth, legginess, leaf spot, and leaf curling. These issues can often be addressed by providing the plants with appropriate lighting and watering, using pesticides or fungicides responsibly, and choosing strawberry species that are resistant to these issues. 

Strawberry Plants Are Turning Yellow and Dying

Strawberry plants may turn yellow or die suddenly, which can be confusing and frustrating. To troubleshoot the issue, observing the plants to identify any signs of death or illness, such as wilting or a decrease in production, is important.

One possible issue with strawberry plants is poor-quality soil, which various factors can cause. If the plants were purchased from a store or the soil has not been properly cared for, they may be transplanted into a new pot with fresh soil to revive them.

Transplanting strawberry plants is generally straightforward: fill a new pot with soil, place the plant in the pot, and fill the remaining space with soil. It’s best to use high-quality soil, such as local compost or a vegetable soil mix, to provide the plants with the necessary nutrients.

If the strawberry plants are in a garden bed, they may lack nutrients due to a lack of fertilizers or plant food or because the garden bed has not been properly rotated. To address this issue, you can supplement the plants with fertilizers or plant food and rotate the garden bed properly to ensure that the plants get the nutrients they need.

Strawberry Plants Aren’t Producing or Growing

Unripe Strawberry Plant

Strawberries are a popular choice for farmers to grow in their gardens because they are easy to cultivate and suitable for people who may not have much gardening experience. However, it can be frustrating if your strawberry plants are not producing fruit. To figure out why this is happening, you must examine your plants carefully, from the roots to the leaves. One common reason for poor strawberry production is exposure to excessive heat or drought conditions.

To ensure the health and proper growth of your strawberry plants during hot and dry weather, it is important to increase their water intake. Providing your plants with enough water will help keep them hydrated, enabling them to produce leaves, stems, and fruit.

Maintaining a consistent watering schedule for your strawberry plants is important for their health and growth. Watering your plants in the morning or evening, rather than during the heat of the day, will help prevent evaporation and ensure that your plants can absorb the water effectively.

Poor pollination can also be a reason for inadequate strawberry production or abnormal plant growth. The strawberries may be small or misshapen if your plants are not pollinated properly. Rainy weather can prevent bees from pollinating the plants, as it causes them to stay in their hives instead of flying around. This can lead to a lack of proper pollination for the strawberry plants.

If you think your strawberry plants may not have been properly pollinated due to frequent rainy weather, you can try manually pollinating the plants yourself. This can help ensure the plants receive the necessary pollination for proper fruit production and growth.

There are a few steps you can follow to pollinate strawberry plants manually:

  • Identify the flowers that are ready for pollination. These flowers are open and have exposed stamen (the male reproductive organ).
  • Gather a small, soft brush or cotton swab.
  • Gently brush or cotton swab against the flower’s stamen to collect pollen.
  • Transfer the pollen to another flower’s pistil (the female reproductive organ) by gently brushing the brush or cotton swab against the pistil.
  • Repeat this process with as many flowers as desired until you have successfully pollinated all the flowers ready for it.

Strawberry Leaves Have Black, Purple, or Red Spots

As a general guideline, healthy strawberry plants should have soft, fuzzy leaves that are vibrant green and withstand various weather conditions. However, sometimes the leaves on your strawberry plants may turn black. This could be caused by various factors.

One possible reason for the appearance of spots on your strawberry plants could be that pests are eating them. Western Exterminators list aphids, mites, slugs, and weevils as common pests that may attack strawberry plants. Using a vegetable-safe pesticide can help prevent and deter these insects from damaging your plants.

Another possible reason for black spots on the leaves of your strawberry plants is that they may be infected with common leaf spots. This condition is characterized by small, dark spots on the leaves of plants, and strawberry plants are particularly susceptible to it. These spots can range from dark red to eggplant purple to black.

Common leaf spot is often spread through the wind and can affect strawberry plants, and they can also be transmitted through watering and periods of rain. To prevent the spread of this waterborne fungus, it is recommended to water your strawberry plants directly at the roots rather than using overhead watering methods. This can help reduce the risk of the fungus affecting your plants.

There is mixed news regarding diagnosing common leaf spots in your strawberry plants. While the condition is not curable, and the affected leaves cannot be rehydrated or revived once they have died, there are ways to prevent it from occurring. One effective method is planting spot-resistant varieties of strawberries or purchasing seedlings grown from resistant seeds. Some examples of leaf spot-resistant varieties include “Crimson King” and “Ozark Beauty.” By taking preventive measures, you can help protect your strawberry plants from this condition.

If you suspect that your garden has a common leaf spot and you have planted seeds that are not resistant to it, you can try using a fungicide to prevent the disease from spreading. Ensure the plants are dry before removing any infected leaves, as long as they won’t harm the rest of the plant. To apply the fungicide, you can either dust it on the plants or spray it.

Strawberry Plants Are “Leggy”

Strawberry plants are generally bushy and full, with stems and leaves that spread out in all directions. They are a good choice for filling space in your garden because they grow quickly and produce long, small threads with new plants on the ends. However, you may sometimes encounter ” leggy ” strawberry plants,” meaning they are tall and thin with sparse leaves. This can happen early in a plant’s life when it first starts to grow or in older plants.

If your seedlings are leggy, it is likely because of their growing conditions. To grow strong and healthy seedlings, it is important to provide them with adequate light. For strawberries, this means giving them bright light as they grow. When plants grow in low light conditions, they stretch themselves tall to get closer to the light. To conserve energy and resources, they may also become thin and sparse. To grow big and strong plants, it is essential to provide them with enough light.

If you are growing strawberry plants in a location with low light, a grow lamp will be necessary to provide adequate light for the plants to thrive. Grow lamps can be directed at the plants at the ideal angle and distance to provide the right intensity and type of light. Some grow lamps also have timer functions to ensure the plants receive the optimal balance of light and darkness without requiring manual intervention.

There are various grow lamps to choose from, depending on your budget and the number of strawberry plants you plan to grow. If you are a beginner grower with only a few small seedlings, consider a smaller grow lamp that takes up minimal space, such as a table lamp with an adjustable gooseneck stem that can be positioned to fit different shapes and sizes of seedlings.

For those with a larger growing operation and a larger number of strawberry plants, a larger grow light may be more suitable. The MARS HYDRO Grow Light, for example, can cover an area of up to 16 square feet and be suspended from the ceiling, providing more space on the growing table and allowing you to spread out your plants. This growth light may also include techniques to help your seedlings grow out of the leggy stage.

If your outdoor strawberry plants are becoming leggy, it could be a sign that they are not receiving enough light or are experiencing the wrong temperature conditions for growth. In the case of strawberries, this might indicate that they were planted too early in the season. Strawberry plants are typically planted after the last frost of spring and tend to fruit in June during warmer weather. If your seedlings were planted too early, they might struggle to survive. To help leggy plants recover outdoors, move them to a sunnier, warmer location in the garden and use well-draining soil and not too heavy.

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