Frase du bois

Joined Apr 19, 2001
Hope I spelled it right! I've wanted to try these forever, and had seen them in pricey garden catalogs for about $10 for a little 4-inch pot, and was never willing to pay that price for them.

When I was out the other day at a nursery that carries some unusual herbs, I found a whole flat of them in the herb section! They were being sold as herbs, because of their 'medicinal' value as a diuretic tea made from the leaves. But it was clear to me that these little guys were really trying to shine; even tho they were droopy from being crammed in with everything else, and not much sun/water, they all had little ripe berries all over the place!

So, at $2.25 a pot (!!!!!!:bounce: ) I bought a dozen and brought them home, and dragged out my strawberry pot! They love it here, and have been rewarding me every day with little ripe berries that are so sweet.

I know they're perennials, good to zone 4, but I wonder if anyone has had any experience with overwintering them? Same as other strawberries? I've done a search and not found much info on wintering; some good info on cultivating, tho.

And we've been keeping an eye on our wild raspberry bushes - all over the property! Have to watch and get to them immediately, before the wild turkeys and deer have at them!
Joined Dec 30, 1999
fraises des bois aka alpine strawberry, wild strawberry, perpetual or woodland strawberry, (Latin name: Fragaria alpina)

Checking into the overwintering aspect...

Joined Apr 19, 2001
Thanks, Cchui - I didn't have much luck other than 'hearty to zone 4'. So I'm guessing cut them back and mulch well, and protect from the wind?

My biggest problem right now is keeping the chipmunks out of them!!!!
Joined Mar 4, 2000
I planted them in pots, to keep the critters out, and it worked! The strwberries are growing, but I have to say, they're not particularly sweet, and with the current heat wave, the leaves are now starting to turn brown, and the plant I keep in the direct sunlight is not doing as well as those that get partial sun. I wonder why the berries are so bitter?

PS- Anybody have any idea how to maximize the production of fruit on the plant? Also, I heard that strawberry plants can be cut at a certain area on the stem, and planted to grow another plant. Is this true?
Joined Mar 13, 2001
There are a couple of potential causes of bitterness in strawberry fruit. The most common one is a disease called Phytophthora cactorum, which is a soil-borne fungus that infects the fruit when they are close to ripening. This disease causes the fruit to develop a reddish or brownish coloration and slight softening, so you may not even notice that there is a problem. However, it also causes the fruit to taste rather bitter and unpleasant and many gardeners often wonder what is happening to their berries when this occurs. Strawberries are not overly prone to developing bitter flavors, but sometimes when the plant has been stressed with poor nutrition or a lack of water (or overwatering), the fruit may become tasteless, woody, and just not taste right.

You can assist strawberry plants to produce large, sweet berries by insuring that the plants are not prone to pathogen infection. Keep the plants dry (under a cover) and mulching around the plant so the berries can sit on a dry surface will prevent any further problems with Phythophthora diseases. Also, make sure the plant develops plenty of leaves before it is allowed to flower and set fruit. You may have to remove some of the first flowers that form so that more leaves can develop first. The plant needs good light levels, warm conditions (68-79 deg. F), moderate amounts of water (don't overwater or saturate the soil as this will cause the plant to rot), and some fertilizer that is high in potassium once fruit are starting to grow. Apart from that, the fruit need to be picked when they are just ripe. Overly ripe fruit can develop off flavors while fruit that still have some green coloration will not have developed sufficient sugars for the best flavor. You might also need some protection from birds, which tend to come and remove strawberry fruit just as they ripen.

Good luck with your strawberries, momoreg! :lips:
Joined Dec 30, 1999
Here's the source for the above information from Kimmie: Bitter strawberries...


You may have simply shocked them by moving them from their conditions when you bought them "...not much sun/water". Imagine being inside all winter and spring and you go outside for the first time in 9 months in hot, full sun. You'll get a sunburn in 10 minutes!

That's why those growing in partial shade are doing better. You'll have to "harden them off" or condition them to their new environment. They may even lose most of the original leaves which were there when you bought them. But new ones will grow and they will be better adapted to the new environment. Give them about a month to really get established. Patience is the key.

If your pot and soil were sterile when you planted the plants, I doubt it is any type of disease.

It sounds like the biggest factor is lack of water. Berries are comprised mostly water just as we are. If you don't mulch your pots, you should consider doing so. This will retain moisture and keep the soil temperature more constant. Red mulch is best because it reflects wavelengths of light onto the underside of the leaves which would not normally get that type of light. This will result in sweeter berries. There has been a lot of research lately about this with several vegetables including tomatoes. Don't be surprised if not too long from now you see red plastic mulch available at your local garden center.

Give them a good drink every morning. In this heat, container plants evaporate most of their water within 24 hours. Make sure your soil is good soil. For more on this, check out the black soil thread.

Give them some good nutrients like fish emulsion, manuer tea, compost, bone meal, etc.

About overwintering. If you want to keep them in pots, you'll need to cover the top of the crown with an inch or two of soil. If you want to plant them in the ground, read the post here by daffodyllady.

Here are some articles which should provide you with a great deal of insight into growing strawberries:

Planting and Care of Strawberries

How We Raise Our Berries

Growing Strawberries

Strawberries and red mulch and red plastic mulch.

Yes, I do believe over wintering them is like other strawberries when in the ground, not much maintenance needed, just helps to cover with nutrient rich soil in the fall. They are commonly called alpine strawberries here.

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