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Everyone enjoys a lush red and juicy bunch of strawberries.
The strawberry plant is easy to grow and well-yielding, though there is a vast array of problems that one might face while growing this plant.
The most common being browning of leaves, yellowing, plant death, stunted growth, leggy-ness, leaf spot, and leaf curling.
This is also another identify the gardening problem and fix article and will help you take better care of your strawberry plants, so read on!
Identifying and Fixing Common Problems With Strawberry Plants
Strawberry plants are small shrubs that are in close contact with the soil in which they grow. This makes them much more prone to diseases of various sorts.
They affect different parts of the plant, ranging from the roots to the fruit itself making it inedible sometimes.
So, if you are planning to grow or are already growing these gorgeous fruits, it is essential to familiarize yourself with these common diseases and how to prevent and/or treat them.
Problems With Strawberry Plants (and Solutions)
Some of the most common issues that one might deal with when it comes to strawberry plants are:
1. Angular Leaf Spot
Angular Leaf Spot is a plant disease that can sometimes cause the entire plant to die.
It occurs on the underside of the leaves and calyxes (the green leaf found above the fruit) of the strawberry plant, where they look like water-soaked lesions.
With time the leaves turn white powder, followed by purple or red discoloration, and at an angle to the stems to which they are attached to start turning yellow.
The most practical approach to treating angular leaf spots is through soil management.
Though it can also be controlled by spraying copper-containing sprays in young plants and using a plant antibiotic called validamycin for mature plants.
2. Leaf Blotch
Leaf blotches cause gray to tan blotches on older leaves and sometimes cause damage to the calyx making the fruits unattractive, though still edible.
There is the presence of tiny black or brown fruiting bodies in affected leaves.
Planting your strawberries through a sheet of perforated red plastic mulch can prevent this disease.
Leaf blotch is an incurable plant disease and we should only work toward preventing it.
3. Fusarium Wilt and Verticillium Wilt
Fusarium Wilt is a very devastating strawberry disease, that has the ability to wipe out an entire strawberry plant.
It causes slow growth, stunting, wilting of older leaves, discoloration of crowns, and a decline in yield.
Verticillium also results in severely stunted plants. It causes older leaves to wilt, dry, and turn a reddish yellow to dark brown, while younger ones remain green.
Manage Fusarium wilt through proper soil management and disinfection of contaminated tools, providing good growing conditions for your plants and taking good care of your plants.
Verticillium is very difficult to control once it is in the soil. The best way to treat Verticillium is by crop rotation and using fertilizers with lower levels of nitrogen.
In addition, growing crops resistant to these two wilts and/or generally of high quality is recommended.
4. Powdery Mildew
Powdery Mildew causes fine white powdery spots on strawberry leaves and fruit. They also cause strawberry leaves to roll in late summer
The best defense against powdery mildew is planting resistant varieties of strawberries. You can also treat it by applying fungicides such as Abound and Rally 40W.
You should also remove infected tissue.
5. Various Types of Rot
Plant rots can be of various sorts and affect different parts of strawberry plants.
Botrytis Fruit Rot affects the plant fruits and flowers. The fruit develops gray mold in just hours of infection.
Mucor Fruit Rot affect injured strawberry fruits causing them to liquefy. What’s left of the fruit will be covered with white furry spikes.
Charcoal Rot initially just causes stunting of growth, followed by dying of outer leaves, and eventual drying of the crown.
Phytophthora Rot also causes stunted growth and the sudden collapse of the entire plant.
In general, rots can be prevented through proper growing conditions, including crop rotations, growing disease-resistant plants, and proper harvest methods.
Botrytis can be managed by immediately chilling ripe strawberries after harvest, and spraying beneficial bacteria or potassium bicarbonate
Mucor can be prevented by fungicides like Captan, while Phytophthora may be treated by chemical treatments like mefenoxam.
Finally, solarization may help with Charcoal rot as well.
Suggested Reading: How To Grow Strawberries: Gardening Guide
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