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How to Grow Strawberries in a Container

By Jenny Green

Growing strawberries (Fragaria X ananassa) in a container allows you to move them around outside to the best spots for catching the sun or to protect them from heavy winds or rain. Container growing also helps keep strawberries free of pests, diseases and weeds. Special containers for growing strawberries are called strawberry pots or strawberry jars. These are upright containers with holes in the sides, where the strawberries grow.

Containers for Strawberries

Strawberries grow well in a pot, planter, half whiskey barrel, window box, hanging basket or strawberry jar, but some containers are only suitable for certain types of strawberries. June-bearing and everbearing strawberries grow best in containers 16 to 18 inches wide or half-whiskey barrels, which provide plenty of room for their shallow root systems. To make the best use of space, plant strawberries at the edge of the container as well as in the middle, spacing them 6 inches apart.

A window box, hanging basket or strawberry jar provides effective growing conditions for day neutral and Alpine strawberries (Fragaria vesca), which are hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9. Space the plants 6 inches apart in a window box or hanging basket, and place one plant in each hole in a strawberry jar.

Strawberry Care

Growing in a container filled with general purpose potting soil in a spot that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day, strawberries need little care other than regular watering and fertilizing.

Water requirements

Strawberries in a container need frequent watering, especially during dry spells. When the soil surface is dry, slowly pour water into the container until it flows out of the drainage holes. In hot weather, strawberries may need water every day.

Fertilizer Needs

Fertilizing strawberries growing in a container helps the plants grow healthily and produce a good crop. A weak solution of organic fertilizer applied regularly provides a steady supply of plant nutrients.

Mix 1/2 teaspoon of a liquid into 6 cups of water and pour the solution over the soil surface until it flows through the drainage holes. Apply the solution every two weeks.

Frost Protection

Strawberries are hardy plants that can withstand frosts within their USDA hardiness zones, but freezing temperatures damage strawberry flowers, and damaged flowers don't develop into fruit. If frosts are forecast, move flowering strawberries in their container indoors to an unheated but frost-free area, and place them outdoors when temperatures rise above freezing.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Strawberry pot
  • High quality, soilless potting mix
  • Granulated organic fertilizer
  • Pea gravel
  • Cardboard tubing or 2-inch PVC pipe
  • Strawberry plants

About the Author

 

A graduate of Leeds University, Jenny Green completed Master of Arts in English literature in 1998 and has been writing about travel, gardening, science and pets since 2007. Green's work appears in Diva, Whole Life Times, Listverse, Earthtimes, Lamplight, Stupefying Stories and other websites and magazines.