Strawberries don't grow the same way other fruit-bearing plants do. By understanding their unique plant structure, you can learn how to give them better, more specific care, and grow the most bountiful berry crop on your block.
This is the central "trunk" of the strawberry plant from which all other parts grow. It's perennial, reviving each spring and sending out new growth. Take care when planting that the crown remains right at ground level. If it is buried, it could rot.
Strawberry roots grow shallowly, remaining mainly in the top three to six inches of soil, depending on the variety. They must compete for water with other plants unless you weed them scrupulously. Each spring, new roots grow from higher and higher up the crown, eventually climbing up above the soil. Cover them with more soil each season.
Leaves develop from points on the crown called "nodes" or "auxiliary buds." Three jagged-edged, oval leaves bud from the end of each bud stalk.
Flowers, from which fruit develops, appear on thin, leafless stalks that grow from the crown. Different strawberry varieties will flower and fruit at different frequencies. Some will do so only once a season, some have several fruiting times and some will produce strawberries throughout the season.
After fruiting time, auxiliary buds start producing runners: long stems whose ends form crowns, take root and become new "daughter plants." Depending on the variety, you may see many runners or only a few. Prune these off to keep your strawberries contained, or let them shoot out to create thick ground cover.