While I love a large garden bed that is full and almost bursting with strawberry plants that are all ready to be harvested, the reality is that many of us don’t have the facilities to garden or plant strawberries in a garden bed.
Does that mean we will never have our own strawberry patch?
How to Grow Strawberries in Pots
Growing strawberries in pots require an urn-shaped container with a planting depth of 7 inches (18cm). The best potting mix includes a mixture of peat moss and perlite. Use careful seasonal planning for planting, harvesting of berries, and transplanting of runners to prevent crowding of the pots.
Consideration One: The Container
If you think you need to rush out and buy an expensive strawberry planter, guess again. It’s possible to use any container, and I do mean ANY.
Some of my best strawberry harvests have come from plants that have grown in old wheelbarrows, empty tires, and old clay pots. You can also use a wooden crate lined with sacking or mulching.
I always encourage new gardeners to get a container that has a well-formed drainage hole. Strawberries don’t like too much water, but they also don’t want their water supply sucking out the bottom of the pot, so test the size of your drainage hole.
It shouldn’t be bigger than the width of your index finger.
Whichever container you choose, be sure to have enough space for the strawberry plant or plants. There should be a clear diameter of around 22 inches for each plant if you are planting the June-bearing strawberry variety or 10 inches for the everbearing variety.
The depth of the container should be at least four inches to ensure enough space for the roots to grow.
Consideration Two: Prepare Your Planting Mix
Strawberries love an organic mix with soil, decaying plant matter such as compost or manure, and fertilizer.
Consideration Three: Hydrate the Roots
Before planting your strawberry plants, I recommend soaking the roots of each strawberry plant in room temperature water for several hours. This will help the roots fill and hydrate.
Your strawberry plants will handle being transplanted to the pot much better if they are hydrated.
Consideration Four: Mound the Mix and Plant the Berries
To plant the strawberry plants, simply create a mound of potting mix, then make a divot or hollow in the mound, placing the hydrated strawberry plant inside.
Push the remaining potting mix to support the plant by closing the divot’s level with the strawberry plant’s crown.
I have discovered that my strawberries don’t like being watered from the top. The water collects and causes the strawberry plants’ leaves to rot.
Consideration Five: Create a Watering Schedule
Strawberries love water, but they don’t like being overwatered or underwatered either. I ensure my strawberries are lifted from the garden bed or from the pot as contact with soil will cause rot.
Since it’s a struggle to water them without doing so from the top, I came up with an easy solution.
I use a larger pot than what I technically require. Then I cut the bottoms of the smallest size soda bottles.
Inserting these into the pot with the de-capped size down, I have created small reservoirs to pour water into. These little tanks will release the water much slower, and since the water is released at root level, it also reduces the chances of water rotting the plant.
Consideration Six: Mulching Helps Your Plants Grow
By adding loads of mulching, I can stop the berries from rotting once my strawberries have formed. The idea is to keep the berries and flowers off the ground as much as possible.
Luckily, mulching also helps lock in moisture in your pots. This is a great idea if you suddenly have to be away from home for a few days.
Consideration Seven: Choose Your Spot
Strawberries love at least six to ten hours of direct sunlight a day. With a pot, you can move your berries with the sun.
My own berries migrate from the veranda to the back porch, depending on where the sun is in the sky.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Grow Strawberries in Pots
What’s the best container for growing strawberries?
Strawberries love a container that has a distinctive urn shape. These containers usually also have openings on the sides to accommodate multiple plants.
Do strawberries grow well in pots?
Strawberries can grow very well in pots and produce a large harvest too. It all depends on whether the strawberry plants have been properly planted by soaking the roots, then transplanting, and finally watering. The added bonus is that you can move the strawberry plant to follow the sun, giving the strawberry plant a chance to flourish.
How often should you water pot-grown strawberries?
Your strawberry plants will appreciate good watering, and you will probably do so when you plant them. Following their germination or transplanting as a seedling, it is a good idea to use the reservoir system.
The Last Berry Growth
Strawberries take quite well to being planted in a pot and not in the garden. They will require good care to check for diseases and infestation.
Soak the strawberry plants’ roots several hours before transplanting them into your new pot. Ensure the pot has a good drainage system and use plastic reservoirs to help dry out overly wet soil.
So choose your pot, prepare your potting mix, soak in water, and plant in the container hollows.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.