Rising alpine strawberries all summer season lengthy

"In a nutshell" is the perfect way to describe alpine strawberries. These bright red berries are only half an inch in diameter and grow on plants that are less than a foot tall. They are also very easy to grow in the garden or on the windowsill. When shopping for your gardening supplies and landscaping this spring, consider growing alpine strawberries!

Alps are smaller than normal strawberries, but they have a flavorful punch. This is an ancient variety of strawberry that was discovered 300 years ago. Unlike the plump, red giants in the grocery store, they weren't bred for size at the expense of taste. Their tiny size and powerful taste make them perfect for dessert toppings, salads or a bite-sized snack.

These little plants are so beautiful that they are often planted decoratively. They produce throughout the summer, so that the strawberry landscape is constantly littered with dainty white flowers and red button berries. You can use alpine strawberries as a whimsical ground cover between the trees or as a little splash of color in rock gardens.

Good products for growing alpine strawberries:

Brief instructions for care

When you grow alpine strawberries, you get an abundance of tiny berries. Source: Björn S.

Common Name (s)Alpine strawberry, wild strawberry, wild strawberry
Scientific nameFragaria vesca
Days to harvest3-4 months after the transplant
lightFull to partial sun
groundFertile, well-drained, compost
fertilizerOptional; balanced
PestsAphids, spider mites, strawberry root beetles, birds
DiseasesAnthracnose, leather rot, angular leaf spot

Everything about alpine strawberries

Alpine strawberry blossomsAlpine strawberry flowers, like other strawberries, are white and pretty. Source: Lynne Hand

You will often hear alpine strawberries called wild or wild strawberries. The names fit because although they are native to Europe and Asia, these plants occur naturally throughout North America. They spread through clumps and self-seeds and work together in strawberry fields.

This type of strawberry (Fragaria vesca) grows best as a perennial in zones 5-9. It blooms from May to August, dormant and comes back the following spring. The small plants are bushy with dark green, toothed leaves. They produce classic strawberry flowers that are white with yellow centers.

Some alpine strawberry varieties produce white or cream colored fruits. These are naturally occurring hybrids that simply lack the protein responsible for that cherry red color. They are said to have a delicious guava pineapple flavor. These fascinating strains include Pineapple Crush, Krem, and White Soul.

Some people are highly allergic to strawberries, but these plants can cause mild allergy symptoms as well. If you've ever got a rash or itchy hands while gardening strawberries, you are likely to be mildly allergic to the plant. Many people can still eat strawberries, but they will respond to the plant's foliage (myself included!). If strawberry plants irritate your skin in any way, wear gloves when handling them. If your skin reacts strongly to these plants, consult a doctor and wait until you have planted these berries.

Planting alpine strawberries

Like most garden crops, alpine strawberry seeds should be planted in the spring. You can't go into the ground until after the frost, so you can buy starter plants or get a head start on planting alpine strawberries from seeds.

Growing alpine strawberries from seeds is not always successful. The seeds are tiny and don't always germinate. However, if you get involved, it's worth a try!

Plant your alpine strawberry seeds about 3 months before the last spring frost. Start them in fine-grain growth medium and add a shallow layer of topsoil. Water them very lightly so that the seeds don't wash away. Most seeds take between 1 and 6 weeks to germinate.

When the frost is gone and your seeds have grown (or you've got seedlings from the store), it's time to go gardening! If the seedlings lived indoors, harden them before transplanting. Place the plants about 1½ feet apart. Be careful not to overcrowd them as dark and damp conditions can trigger disease and pests.

You can also grow alpine strawberry plants in containers. Use a medium-sized, shallow pot with drainage holes. Alpine strawberries are ideal as container plants for potting soil. It's easy to grow alpine seeds and plants indoors as long as they get plenty of light.


Wild strawberryAlpine strawberries are smaller than regular strawberries and full of flavor. Source: cone dog

Growing alpine strawberries takes work, but it's not that difficult to figure out. Starting in spring, follow these guidelines for some delicious fruits.

Sun and temperature

Wild strawberries are best grown in full sun. However, they can withstand some sun and even some shade. As long as they get 4-6 hours of light regularly, they should be happy.

As mentioned earlier, active alpine strawberry plants should be protected from frost. On the other hand, high heat can stunt their growth and even burn the leaves. The ideal temperature range in summer is between 60 and 80 ° F.

Water and moisture

The soil needs a moderate amount of water to grow alpine strawberries. This means it won't dry out without puddles forming on the surface. Alpine and normal strawberries both have shallow roots, so watering lightly and often is better than heavy and infrequent.

One of the best things you can do to keep your alpine strawberry plants healthy is water at ground level. This prevents the growth of bacteria, fungi, mold and insect infestation. It's difficult to glue a watering can under these short leaves, so waterer hoses are the best option (you can use them for gardening other plants too!).

Strawberries, alpine and normal, need 65-70% humidity for optimal production. If you live in zones 5-9, the humidity should be perfect for them.


For productive growth, use a humus-rich clay soil that is full of organic matter. You may not look like it, but these plants are heavy feed! To keep the nutrients going – and to protect the shallow roots – put some compost as mulch. It is imperative to use well-drained soil.

Wild strawberries require a soil pH of 5.5 – 7.0. You can also turn off the soil completely and grow alpine fruits hydroponically.


If the growing medium is loaded with compost, the plants should be fine without fertilizer. However, you can always add something to encourage growth and help the plants produce fruit. Use a balanced, granular fertilizer or liquid option up to once a week at the start of the season.


For the first year of life your strawberry plants need to focus their energies on putting down good roots. As a rule of thumb, cut off the first round of flowers in June. This should result in a stronger plant and plumper strawberries in the next harvest.


Alpine strawberry plants do not produce runners like normal strawberries. They grow in clumps so this is the perfect opportunity to practice dividing your plants! In early spring, before the plants bloom, dig them up and carefully break them in half. Both sides must have good roots and leaves. Transplant each section in its own place and continue gardening as usual.

Harvesting and storing

Alpine and normal strawberriesA comparison of normal and alpine strawberries. Source: Scott SM

Lucky you! You can harvest and enjoy alpine strawberries all summer long! Here's how to make the transition from garden to plate.


Most strawberry varieties turn completely red in color when ripe (with the exception of the creamy ones, of course). Wild strawberries are roughly the size of your fingernail. You want to harvest the fruits when they are fully ripe but before they are overripe. With age, the wild berries turn dark red and have a mushy texture, causing the seeds to loosen. Decaying fruits can lead to pests and disease. So try to keep an eye on the harvest.


For the best taste of any variety of strawberry, eat it right away. However, you can extend the shelf life of your small alpine strawberries. First, leave the stems on and don't wash them right away. If possible, distribute in a single layer in a sealed container. Stored in the refrigerator like this, they should take about a week. If you see mold, remove the affected fruit and change the container immediately.

For long-term snacks, you can freeze alpine strawberries for a few months. Remove the stems and place the fruit on a baking sheet. Freeze them completely and put them in a sealed bag. If you don't freeze them one at a time, they will freeze into a large mass in your pocket (I speak from experience!). Strawberries can also be dried in a dehydrator or oven.


Bumpy alpine strawberryBumpy berries are common in the wild. Source: Aria Nadii

Alpine strawberries are usually resistant to most pests and diseases. But plants that are easy to grow also have potential issues to watch out for.

Growing problems

We have all seen deformed strawberries. Usually they look like a bunch of berries fused together (there are even some that are shaped like hands or animals!). Incomplete pollination is usually the culprit here. Strawberry flowers have multiple pistils (pollen receptors) that lead to individual ovaries. When pollinated, each ovary ripens into its own fruits and seeds called an achenes, and all of them are fused together by tissue that makes up most of the strawberry. If some of the ovaries are not pollinated, they will not develop fruit, resulting in a lumpy berry.

It takes about 20 visits from pollinators for a whole strawberry to grow and produce seeds. So you have to make sure that there are lots of bees in your garden. Sow some pollinator-friendly plants that will bloom at different times. The bees need to know that your garden is the right place!

Deformed berries can also be the result damaged flowers. The damage is usually caused by frost or lack of nutrients. So if pollinators don't seem to be the problem, take a look at nighttime temperatures and the nutrients being added to the soil.


Spider mites and Aphids are classic garden pests that simply do not leave us alone. When growing your alpine strawberry plants, watch out for these tiny insects to keep them from getting out of hand. Both aphids and spider mites are tiny pests that rob your alpine strawberry plants of life. Neem oil is very popular for preventing and controlling this nuisance. For a more aggressive approach, Safer and pyrethrin spray from the Safer brand work against aphids and spider mites.

A great way to keep pests off your alpine strawberries is to give them friends. Marigolds, thyme, mint, and other herbs are excellent companion plants for strawberries. Alpine berries have a sweet smell that is very inviting to insects. So try to cover it up. Garlic, onions, and chives will definitely put the pests off. Finally, it's always a good idea to add flowers that attract beneficial insects like lacewing and ladybugs.

The Strawberry root beetle can become a problem in some regions. While the adult strawberry plants do not cause serious damage to strawberry plants except for a few chewed leaves, their larvae chew through the roots and cause massive damage. Pyrethrin can be used to treat adult beetles, but beneficial nematodes are invaluable in treating beetle larvae.

Birds also have a cute beak for strawberries. Some gardeners keep them away by hanging something shiny like aluminum foil or CDs. However, other gardeners report that shiny things are more of a sign of the birds being buried (I think it depends on the species of bird present). Some other methods use a net, floating row cover, or a curling owl. When you ride the bait make sure you move it from time to time so the birds don't get used to its presence.


Anthracnose is a nasty fungal infection that hits the fruits and leaves. It will eventually seep orange spores that infect other plants. These spores spread through water, i.e. always water at the roots, not overhead. Anthracnose can survive in the soil for 9 months. Therefore, remove diseased plants immediately and do not plant anything there for a while. Fungicide can help control the disease. So add something to the neighboring plants.

Angular leaf spot causes water-soaked lesions and chlorosis on the leaves. If left untreated, it can drastically affect yield and fruit quality. Avoid this by keeping the soil free of dead plants. Existing infections should be treated with copper fungicide.

Leather rot is as uncomfortable as it sounds. It makes brown spots on the berries at any stage of development. This disease spreads quickly. Therefore, remove any diseased berries as soon as possible. The key to keeping rotting away is good ventilation of the strawberry field. Grow alpine berries at least a few inches away from them and not over water. If the disease is prevalent, use a fungicide to control it.

frequently asked Questions

Alpine strawberry leafFragaria vesca leaves are clearly shaped. Source: Mobentec

Q: Do alpine strawberries taste good?

A: Definitely! The fruits may be small, but they have a sweet taste. If you're looking for something completely different, there are cream colored alpine strawberries that taste like pineapple!

Q: Do alpine strawberries come back every year?

A: Yes. If originally planted in spring, they become dormant in winter. You will find that they will bear better fruit in the second growing season than in the first.

Q: Do alpine strawberries need full sun?

A: Lots of light is ideal, but the leaves can be burned. So be careful. This ground cover should produce just as well if grown in partial light or even some shade.

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