With proper soil and lighting, it is not impossible for growing strawberries indoors. Besides, this fruit plant is perfect to be grown in a pot or container.
You can use a hanging basket or other kinds of decorative pots to grow strawberries. Don’t worry since these fruits can thrive perfectly fine in containers as they do in the ground.
However, whether you grow the strawberry plants by buying plants or from seeds, there will be several crucial tips to consider. Read on to find out more!
1. Pick Strawberry Varieties for Indoor Growing
For growing strawberries indoors, you better pick compact varieties that stay neat and short throughout their growth. Those that generate less or even no runners are the best options at this point.
Nevertheless, the size of the varieties is not only the thing. You should also consider other factors including taste, jams, canning, container growing, and freezing when selecting the right strawberries to grow.
For example, sparkle strawberry varieties tend to have a strong flavor. However, their fruits are typically medium-sized.
Meanwhile, June-bearing Honeoye is popular for its strong resistance toward soil-borne diseases. It also generates big-sized strawberries.
When it comes to growing strawberries indoors, day-neutral Seascape is probably the best cultivar to choose since this plant is ideal for container growing.
Even though this strawberry is tinier in size, it produces flavorful, large fruits. Besides, day-neutral varieties are also perfect if you prefer ones with the longest fruit-bearing season.
Another good reason to pick a day-neutral variety is that this strawberry can produce year-round in particular climates and is known for its high productivity.
For the best results, you must keep the temperature around your day-neutral strawberries below 104 degrees Fahrenheit in summer.
If you are growing strawberries indoors throughout winter, keep the temperature above 59 degrees Fahrenheit, especially if they are put on the windowsill.
One more benefit of growing this variety is that the fruiting doesn’t rely on the length of the days. This characteristic allows you to utilize grow-lights when needed.
If you are interested in growing strawberries indoors, Alpine is another variety to take into account. It can do well in a partly sunny area since the cultivar originally grows in a lack of sunlight and harsh weather circumstances.
Also known as wild strawberries, these fruit plants don’t generate runners and stay compact, making it appropriate for restricted space.
You can grow 20 to 25 small Alpine strawberries without having too much space for them. Meanwhile, despite the small fruit sizes, they are very sweet, flavorful, and even fragrant.
2. Specific Requirements for Growing Strawberries Indoors
Whether you want to grow strawberries from seeds or seedlings, providing them with slightly acidic soil is the best thing to do. Don’t forget to make the pH ranging from 5.3 to 6.5 for the most suitable condition.
However, you can also take advantage of neutral soil for growing strawberries indoors. If possible, provide one that is rich in organic matters like well-rotted manure, humus, or compost. Then, make sure it doesn’t contain any contamination.
In terms of watering, you have to maintain the soil a bit moist throughout the time without getting it overly soaked.
If your indoor area doesn’t have much sunlight and the surrounding air is damp or rather cold, water only when 2.5 centimeters of the topsoil is arid.
Pot Size for Planting Strawberries Indoors
Since strawberries acquire a petty root system, it is not impossible to grow several plants in the same container or narrow space.
You can use a 15-20 centimeters deep pot that is pretty wide. A window box would make a great option as well.
When planting multiple strawberries in one container, make sure to space each plant around 8-10 centimeters. You can grow them closely, but frequent watering is necessary to keep everyone happy.
For another fun idea, growing strawberries indoors in hanging baskets will be perfect. To plant them vertically, you can use PVC pipes or grow towers.
Any veggie or fruit plant will grow perfectly in full sun and strawberries are no exception. When growing these cultivars indoors, make sure to place them neither near to the glass door nor on a sunny windowsill.
If there is a small balcony in the home, you should consider placing the containers around it. Generally, any part of your house that obtains at least five to six hours of daily sunlight will be enough.
Besides, you need to avoid placing the strawberry plants near to cool and hot air vents since both of them may harm your fruits.
You may consider growing strawberries indoors under lights if any space of your home doesn’t receive the minimum required sunlight.
In terms of artificial light, you should put the plant under it no more than 16 hours daily. The ideal amount is around a half-day only.
Simply place the full-spectrum LED grow lights over the containers and follow the package’s instructions. You can utilize the timer so that the device switches off automatically after the sunset or do it manually to let your strawberry plants take a rest during the night.
3. How to Grow Strawberries inside Your Home
Growing strawberries indoors mean that you should find a great spot where the plants can receive the ideal sunlight. Besides, it is possible to start with seeds or get a potted plant from a nearby nursery.
If you are more interested in growing strawberries indoors from seeds, begin with taking a starting tray and fill it with one centimeter of soil, a quarter of potting mix, and three-fourth of peat moss.
Sprinkle some seeds over the growing medium after damping it with water. Then, incorporate a thin layer of peat moss on the top.
Do it by lightly sprinkling the peat moss over the seeds. After that, you can wait for the kernels to germinate.
You can get ready to transplant the young strawberry plants once they have grown three to four sets of true leaves.
However, since you are growing strawberries indoors, simply skip this process. This is especially better if there are only a few plants grown from the seeds.
Moreover, growing this cultivar from seeds may take time to produce fruits as well. The more suitable choice will be finding a vigorous, disease-free strawberry transplant from online stores or a nearby local nursery.
Growing Strawberry Plants from Runners
In case you already have strawberry plants, simply reproduce them from their runners. Most strawberry varieties generate runners, so it would be a great choice for the majority of growers.
If you prefer to grow your strawberries from runners, simply plant the tip of the runner in a different pot. However, put the container near the mother.
You may need to trim it when some growth appears in the clone plant. Meanwhile, since this cultivar tends to release a lot of energy once generating runners, consider pruning them off. This way, they will be able to focus more on their flowers and fruits.
Nevertheless, if you don’t have an existing strawberry plant, simply shop around for healthy transplants and be prepared to plant them.
Start by removing the transplants from their mini containers without bothering the roots. Then, plant them in your indoor strawberry planter.
Make sure you don’t burry the crowns in fresh potting soil. Besides, remember to cut the diseased and discolored foliage if any before planting.
4. How to Care Strawberry Plants Indoors
Luckily, strawberry plants don’t need a lot of care. You just have to water them on the bottom so that the stream not gets in touch with the leaves directly.
When you are growing strawberries indoors, remember that the best time to shower the plants is in the morning. Then, make sure to not doing it too much since these cultivars cannot endure standing water.
Throughout the winter, you may need to maintain the container away from cold temperatures. It is also important to keep an eye on potential fungi and pests.
To promote the growth and production of more fruits, you need to prune the runners of your strawberry plants. Removing unwanted blooms is also necessary to maintain the same.
Once the fruiting season is over, you better prune back the strawberry plant. For the most effective way, consider eradicating all the leaves except the innermost young foliage.
You don’t need to hang around too long until the plant can heal itself if the climate is still temperate.
Even though strawberry plants cannot stand much water, they still require nutrition with fertilizers that are rich in potassium and phosphorus.
It is a good idea to feed your strawberry plants with a well-balanced liquid fertilizer that acquires all the micronutrients needed.
Fertilization can be done once in every two or three weeks when growing strawberries indoors. Whichever brand of food plants you pick, it would be better if the product also contains magnesium and calcium, especially if your soil is acidic.
You can also consider providing the strawberries with rose or tomato fertilizer at the time of the blooming.
Try to decrease food plant dose or lengthen the duration before feeding again if the strawberry demonstrates the signs of over-fertilization line wilted lower foliage, yellowish leaves, margins, and brown leaf tips.
Diseases and Pests
Even though it is pretty uncommon, growing strawberries indoors may face some pest problems as well.
The most possible pests that can infest your strawberry plants include aphids and red spider mites. You can utilize a natural pesticide to deal with the problems or simply create a homemade one.
For creating a DIY pesticide to manage pests, you just need to mix 15 parts water with one-part unrefined dishwashing soap. Then, spray the solution to your strawberry plants comprehensively.
However, there can still be a time when you need to use fungicides to deal with strawberry pests and diseases. At this point, make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions. Then, do the process outside the house.
After the strawberry plants are treated, you may need to wait for a required period before being able to pick the fruits for consumption.
Since you are growing strawberries indoors, birds and mice are probably not a problem. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that you are free from them.
Parrots and other similar birds are frequently left outside their birdcages. They may go to your windowsill and make a mess by damaging your strawberry plants or eating the ripe fruits.
Another problem with growing strawberries indoors is incomplete pollination. When you are planting the cultivars outdoors, it won’t be an issue.
However, indoor strawberries require you to do pollination by hand for the best results. The good news is that the process is not difficult and won’t take much time.
You can perform the pollination when the petals of your strawberry flowers are completely open. Meanwhile, the pistil (female piece) looks yellow-greenish and the stamens (male parts) turn brownish.
After that, simply take a makeup or soft-paint brushes to manually help the pollination of the strawberry flowers.
Gently sweep the pollen from stamen to the pistil with your brush. You should perform the same method from one flower to another.
Make sure to brush and cover the whole pistil or you may end up having incompletely pollinated strawberries.
Once finished with all the blossoms, feel free to do it again from step one. As a result, you can be sure that no flowers are missed and the entire pistils are pollinated.
When growing strawberries indoors, hand pollination can be performed every day. Once the flowers are pollinated, the white petals will typically begin to die shortly and green sepals are left behind surrounding the upcoming berry.
5. Final Thoughts
All in all, strawberries are not complicated to grow. They may need some care, but you will earn a rich and delicious crop in no time.
Since there are varieties of strawberries available out there, feel free to try growing some of them in your home. This way you can figure out which variety is perfect to cultivate.
Therefore, now you can start growing strawberries indoors by using the above secrets as your guidelines.