How to Take Care of Strawberry Plants

How to take care of strawberry plants

Tips for Tidying up Strawberry Plants

Recently I was doing some spring cleanup and I noticed that my strawberry plants needed a bit of tender love and care. Since I was cleaning my strawberry patches anyway, I thought I’d make a nice little tutorial for anyone interested in learning how to take care of strawberry plants.

Strawberries are actually quite easy to take care of, there are just a few things that are important to know before you get started. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Before and after shot of tidying up strawberry runners

Cleaning the Strawberry Patch

I started by clipping off the old runners that I had conveniently neglected last fall so these little plants could have room to grow. Look how much better they look!

You may be wondering, “What’s a runner?” Strawberry runners (also called shoots) are basically really long stems that connect the original plant to the new plant. This is the way the strawberries replenish themselves, but if you do not cut them off all the energy will go into the runner and the new plant, instead of producing larger berries and a more plentiful crop.

Keeping the runners clipped helps to increase the berry production and you will get bigger berries!

caring for strawberry plants and clipping runners

How to Clip & Clean Your Strawberry Plants

Clipping off the runners and dead leaves is really pretty simple. Just take a pair of pruners (like the red ones in the picture above) and cut off all the brown foliage close to the base of the plant.

Strawberry plant

Strawberry Gardening is Exciting!

There were even a few blossoms, hooray! Maybe that means we will get strawberries soon!

This is the patch of Albion Everbearing Strawberries that we planted last spring. I am so impressed with how well they are doing! They produced all summer long and they make my mouth water just thinking about how yummy they are!

Things to Consider When Planting Strawberries

1. Find a sunny location

It could be a spot with enough room for a planter like this:

Strawberry garden

Or you could use them like ground cover in a flower bed! Like this: 
Strawberry patch

This method will yield berries but they might not be as big (because it is harder to keep up on the runners). Strawberries also do well in pots, if you don’t have much room.

2. Prepare your soil

You’ll want well-drained sandy soil, high in organic matter.

3. Don’t plant where tomatoes, potatoes, peppers or eggplant have been grown recently

If you do, it will cause your strawberry plants to get Verticillium Rot. Verticillium wilt is a soil-borne fungal disease that results in the yellowing, and eventual browning and death of foliage, particularly in branches closest to the soil.

That’s a Quick Rundown on How to Care for Strawberry Plants

Strawberry gardening is quite a bit of fun once you know what you’re doing, and it’s not too hard either! Once you bite into once of those delicious, juicy berries all the work you put into it instantly becomes worth it as well.

If you want some more tips on starting your own strawberry patch, check out our guide on how to plant strawberries. That guide goes over everything from choosing what type of berries you want to plant, preparing the soil, planting the plants, and taking care of them as well!

Once you have your strawberries planted, check out our other guide on how to make your strawberries last longer!

For more tips, I highly recommend this book: Grow the Best Strawberries: Storey’s Country Wisdom Bulletin

Tidying up strawberry plants


  • I had no idea about not planting near tomatoes. Interesting.

  • I have read that about clipping off the runners. But I also read that you just let those runners grow too so that you get even more berries. They have their own root system. Good to know about tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, etc. though. I had not heard about that.

  • Thanks Kearna! This motivated me to go clean out my berry patch, Those berries we got from Farmer Kurt last year are coming back great!

  • Cathy of Fabulessly Frugal

    I need to buy some berries!!! I didn’t know what type of sun they needed… so thank you for sharing that info!!!

  • It should be mentioned that the original plants will someday stop producing (after maybe 4-5 yrs) so you need to let some of the runners grow so you will always have berries. Garden boxes are a good solution; they keep the runners contained but still able to grow, and it is easier to reach the berries without stepping on them. (Some strawberry farms use only last year’s runners for this year’s crop. ). Personally, I don’t discourage runners. 🙂

    Oh and, don’t buy plants! Find a friend who has a patch already. They will probably have some plants they can share (since they reproduce on their own).

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