Why Won't These Strawberries Grow?!

Updated on July 27, 2011
M.B. asks from Miamisburg, OH
7 answers

This is my second year of having strawberry plants, and I'm not getting any fruit! The plants are very full, green and healthy looking with flowers, but the strawberries don't get any larger than a minute little bud. I've covered them with a netting to keep animals away, watered, composted, and fertilized. Any ideas? I'm at my wits end with these things!

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So What Happened?

Thanks! I'm still not sure what I'm going to do. I've used organic Miracle 2 or 3 times this summer and compost maybe 2 times, so I don't think (?) I've overfertilized. They got LOTS of good sun, but I'm not sure how to up the pollination. Maybe they just aren't going to work for us. This is the second year with the same plants. It's too bad they are producing too - they're spreading well and really look healthy.

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

I am not an expert, but I think the plants have to be pollinated by bees to produce any/good fruit. Maybe the netting is keeping the bees from doing their job.
Here is an excerpt I found online, it seems even if the strawberry flowers have both a stamen and pistils, it still needs help distributing the pollen.

"Flowers without stamens were common in earlier cultivars, and no fruit setting resulted unless pollen was brought from staminate flowers (Darrow 1927, 1937). Continued breeding and selecting has resulted in the hermaphrodite flowers in all commercial cultivars. However, hermaphrodite flowers may not be completely self-fertilizing. The stamens are so placed that when they crack open they readily scatter pollen onto many, but not necessarily all, of the pistils. Pollination of all of the pistils of a flower is necessary for maximum berry size. If all pistils are fertilized, a perfectly shaped berry should develop. If few are fertilized, an irregularly shaped berry or "nubbin," sometimes only one- fifth the size of well-fertilized berries, will develop.

Allen and Gaede (1963) studied fruit-setting of 'Shasta' strawberries in the greenhouse and showed that plants caged and undisturbed by man, insects, or breezes set no fruit; those uncaged and undisturbed set 20 percent; those uncaged but receiving wind from a fan over them set 77 percent; whereas those that were caged, but brush pollinated daily, set 97 percent of the flowers. This finding indicated that the plants alone set few fruits, and wind has some effect, but insects may be more important than wind as pollinating agents. Couston (1966) also noted that malformation of berries was greater when adverse weather occurred at flowering time. He also obtained more number one berries from exposed plants than from plants caged to prevent insect visitation, indicating that insect pollination increased production."

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

ooh you're better than me. i go to kroger where they're $1.98/basket. sorry...no advice! but good luck, i think it's awesome you're growing your own strawberries, how freakin' cute/cool is that?!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

Have you had the same plants for 2 years, or did you get new ones this year? They usually won't fruit well until the 2nd year, the 1st year you'll get what you are describing. If they are the same, then check lighting, fertilizer and what Sarah K said about the bees... :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Give it one more year! Strawberry plants take a few years to establish regular fruit. They are really low maintenance so you don't have to do much to them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I agree with Sarah, you need some pollination. Also, if you fertilize too much you can inhibit fruiting.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Muncie on

Strawberries are perenial plants. First year you should nip all the flowers off of them and mulch then in the fall, second year you will have lots of growth and yummy berries. Learned this from a strawberry farmer when complaing about mine.



answers from Seattle on

Make sure they have PLENTY of sun light try some merical grow once every two weeks Mine are growing like crazy

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