Homes & Gardens

What To Do With Strawberry Plants in Winter

Strawberries are perennial plants. They will get certain benefits from the chill of winter. The weather not only helps them to survive but also set the base for strong growth and production in the next summer and spring.

Whether you grow your strawberry plants, in the garden, in a container, in hanging baskets, or raised beds, you need to take extra care of them during the winter months.

Moreover, protecting strawberry plants is certainly not a difficult or time-consuming task. While taking care of strawberry plants you need to consider two important factors- what types of strawberry plants you grow and how and where you grow them.

Here, we are going to round up some tips on what to do with strawberry plants in winter-no matter how, where, and what variety you grow!

Types of Strawberry Plants

There are mainly two types of strawberries: June-bearing strawberries and ever-bearing strawberries.

June-bearing strawberries

They get their name from their intense production time. As most of the production occurs near or around June, that is why this type of strawberries is known as June-bearing strawberries.

These types of strawberries are almost planted in garden settings or permanently raised beds. They are rarely planted in a container. This variety produces all their crops at once. Because of this, they need more care than everbearing strawberries.

Some o the June-bearing strawberries are Earligrow, Honeoye, Chandler, Allstar, etc.

Everbearing strawberries

They produce their crops all year long. They can grow anywhere-it can be a traditional garden setting, raised beds, or pots and containers. As the ever-green strawberries produce fruits all year long, they never cut back. They still need some extra care during the winter months.

Some of the ever-bearing strawberry varieties are Ozark Beauty, Seascape, Surecrop, Sparkle, etc.

How to grow Strawberry Plants in winter

To grow well your strawberry plants during the winter months you need to follow the below points:

Pruning strawberry plants before winter:

Pruning helps the strawberry plants revitalize and re-energize. For the June-bearing strawberry plants, next year’s crops are in process within the plants. so, you must avoid cutting them at this point.

Cutting the plants can eliminate most of the coming years’ fruit. You can perform pruning just after the last fruiting in early summer. This will give the plants time to regrow. This growth will protect the plants all through the winter.

If you missed pruning the last summer, then let it be. You need to mulch them in the late fall.

  • Mulching options:
  • If you grow your strawberry plants in the garden or raised bed set, you need to apply 4 to 6” thick mulch over the strawberry plants. You need to choose a mulch that allows providing air to the plants and the roots.
  • You can choose straws as covering the roots of the strawberry plants as it will give complete protection to the roots. Besides, allow the plants to breathe and take in moisture over the winter.
  • You can also choose pine needles to cover the strawberry plants. The best option is to mix the pine needles with some straw and shredded leaves so that they cannot mat down much like whole leaves.
  • You can also choose shredded leaves to cover and protect your strawberry plants. You can choose oak leaves as they will add a bit of acid to the soil. That is perfect for an acid-loving strawberry plant lover.

Grow Potted strawberry plants during winter:

Strawberry plants can grow in containers and pots but as they are sitting above the ground they are more vulnerable to the winter than ground-planted plants. Potted plants become dry out more quickly. To grow well the potted strawberry plants you can try out several things:

As the potting soil becomes drier more easily that is why you need to check that your container-grown strawberry plants have not dried out. You need to water them when needed to keep them moist.

The potted strawberry plants have the advantage that they can be easily moved under a sheltered place. You can keep them all winter under any wooden or polyester roof.

If you live in a frost-prone area you need to cover your potted plants with brushwood, fleece, or straw. You need to water the under-roofed potted plants on a frost-free day.

But, you need to remember that too much watering can be dangerous, as the water in the soil frost on the next frosting day. It will damage the root of the plant.


It is recommended that the application of a balanced 10-10-10 (NPK) fertilizer of five pounds per 100 feet of row. Otherwise, you can apply one pound per 25 plants. You need to apply the fertilizer at least one month before the date of your first frost.

You do not apply the fertilizer directly to the foliage; apply granular fertilizer between plants in the bed, or pot. You can also use the fertilizer in the soil between rows. Water them well.


After renovating your strawberry plants you need to apply water till the first frost. In the absence of rain, you need to apply supplemental water to the rain once a week.

During the cold months, you do not need to apply supplemental water to the garden-grown plants.

You need to keep the container-grown plants under any shaded place and keep them with minimal watering. It must be just enough to prevent the potting soil from drying out completely.

 Prepare Strawberries for winter and Care

The strawberry plants need some special care and protection before setting the winter to ensure that they are healthy and ready for fruiting the next summer. You need to take care of the summer-bearing strawberry plants just after they have fruited. Here we have prepared a step-by-step guide:

Cut back after fruiting:

After the fruiting in the summer, you need to cut down the plants back to 3 inches to the ground. It will help the plants reenergize their roots. Their roots will grow enough and create space for new shoots to grow before they go into dormancy.

You need to remove all the dead leaves and prune them. But, this is not necessary for the autumn fruiting plants

Remove summer straw mulch:

Strawberries are low-laying fruits; so many gardeners cover the bases of the plants with straw mulch to protect the fruits from dirt and pests. So, this straw mulch should be removed before the winter otherwise it will become the breeding place for pests, and disease.

In areas of mild winter, you do not need to re-apply mulch, but in the frost-prone region, you need to re-apply mulch.


After cutting the plants you need to apply fertilizers to the plants so they can grow well before the dormant period. Fertilizing should be done before the winter or in late summer. Then, the plants can fully grow in the winter and prepare for the next fruiting.

Clear Up:

Strawberries are susceptible to disease. So, before winter you need to clear up all the dead leaves from around the ground. Also, you need to remove any dead plants. It is also important to keep the around area weed free.

Mulch after the first frost:

In the frost-prone areas, you need to add a layer of mulch of 2-3 inches around the plants. it will protect the roots from the ground frosts. If your area is really cold in winter then you can round the roots of the plants with a thicker layer of mulch.

Before adding the mulch, you need to be sure that your strawberry plants have entered dormancy.

Care for frosted plants:

If your strawberry plants get too much cold or even frosted, you need to apply some emergency measures to save them. It is important to warm them up immediately.

You can water them, water helps your plants recover from stress. If you can apply lukewarm water to the ground, it will be better. Luke warm water helps the ground to come to normal temperature if it’s still frozen.


Is strawberry good to grow in winter?

Yes, strawberries grow well during the cooler months with appropriate care and protection. It is usually better to allow your strawberry plants to go dormant after entering the winter months. To grow well, you need to cover them with mulch and water them at the right time.

Do strawberries need water in winter?

During the winter months, while the strawberry plants are dormant you need to minimal water them. But, you need to frequently water the container or potted strawberry plants. The soil of the pot must not be dried out.

Do strawberries survive over winter?

Yes, with a little extra protection, strawberries survive over the winter. Strawberries are hardy plants and can survive during the harsh winter very well. You can move the potted plants indoors to protect them from the harsh cold. You need to add mulch around the ground-grown strawberry plants.


Strawberries are small plants but they have a big productive capability. Because of their size and easy adaptability, they make great potted plants as well as ground plants. Strawberry plants need extra care and protection when the temperature drops below 20-degree centigrade.

You also need to start caring for the plants after the summer or the beginning of the fall. In December, the plants should be at their dormant stage. So, it is time to mulch them. The secret to keeping warming the plants is a thick covering or light mulch that can trap air inside it.

So, you can follow all the advice on this page, have fun, and maximize your harvest!

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