How To Grow And Care For Strawberries In Pots

Create your own berry patch in a compact container.

Trips to the farmers' market in the summer are fun, but there's nothing more satisfying than growing the bounty right in your own backyard. Strawberries are one of our summertime favorites that are easy to grow in your garden. Once they're ripe, pluck these juicy gems off the vine to use in sweet desserts like Strawberry Shortcake Sheet Cake or savory appetizers like Strawberry Caprese Salad. If you're not ready to commit to a full-blown berry patch, strawberries also grow well in containers. Set the plants in regular pots, hanging baskets, or window boxes. Some gardeners prefer using terra-cotta strawberry pots. The best part? You don't need a backyard to harvest your own strawberries. Containers are a low-maintenance and convenient way to enjoy cultivating strawberry plants on apartment balconies, front stoops, or patios. Here's how to grow your own strawberries in pots.

Strawberry in pot

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Plant Attributes

 Common Name:  Strawberry
 Botanical Name:  Fragaria x ananassa
 Family:  Rosaceae
 Plant Type:  Perennial, fruit
 Mature Size:  4-12 in. tall, 6-24 in. wide
 Sun Exposure:  Full
 Soil Type:  Loamy, well-drained
 Soil pH:  Acidic
 Bloom Time:  Spring, summer
 Flower Color:  White, pale pink
Hardiness Zones: 4-9 (USDA)
 Native Area:  North America, Europe

Growing & Caring Tips

Pick a pot with plenty of room for the strawberries' roots to grow. Strawberries don't like to be crowded, so space out three (or so) plants in each container. The Grumpy Gardener recommends using name-brand potting soil in containers for best results. Deadhead spent blooms to keep the plants healthy. Give them plenty of sunlight and water for a season's worth of delicious produce.


Strawberries produce a greater harvest when grown in full sun. Place the strawberry container in a sunny area that receives eight hours of sun each day. If one side is shaded, rotate the container every few days.


Plant the strawberries in a container with brand-name soil that is loose and well-draining. They prefer loamy soil that is acidic. Strawberries only need to be planted in four to six inches of soil, so shallow containers will work. Use a container with a hole in the bottom to allow excess water to drain.


Give strawberries an inch or two of water per week. Water regularly once the fruit begins to form. Plants in containers dry out more frequently, so make sure to check the soil’s moisture every day in hot temperatures.


Strawberry plants in containers benefit from supplemental feeding. Use a 10-10-10 fertilizer every three or four weeks and in the fall when next year’s perennating buds are forming.

Types of Strawberries for Pots

When looking for plants at the garden center, choose the best selection for your zone. Strawberries are divided into three categories. June-bearing varieties are known as dependable growers throughout the South and produce one crop per year in late spring or early summer. Try selections like 'Allstar' (US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9), 'Chandler' (US, MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 6-11), and 'Surecrop' (US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8). Everbearing types produce two crops—one in late spring or early summer and another in the fall. These selections prefer the Upper and Middle South (they can't handle the summer heat any farther South). Look for 'Ozark Beauty' (US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8) and 'Quinault' (US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8). Day-neutral, the third type, also produces two crops per year; it grows fruits for longer and with better quality in the fall. We suggest 'Aromas' (US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9) or 'Tristar' (US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8).

Planting Strawberries in Pots

You can start strawberries from seed and transplant them to a strawberry pot or other container once they have leaves, or purchase plants from a garden center.

  1. Add name-brand potting soil to a container with a drainage hole.
  2. Mound the potting soil and place the crown of the plant, where the leaves meet the roots, on the surface. Spread the roots and cover them up to the crown with soil. Give the plants plenty of room to grow, using only three plants per 12-inch container. Water them well.
  3. Place the pot in an area where the full plant will get 8 hours or more of sun each day.
  4. Cover with netting to keep birds and other animals from the plants.
  5. Water about once a week or when the soil one inch below the surface feels dry.


Typically, strawberry plants should be protected in colder climates by a layer of mulch. Strawberries in containers can be moved to a garage or shed that remains above 28 degrees F. In a cold environment, place the pot against an inside wall of the house for warmth and use straw to insulate if necessary. Move the plants when the crowns become dormant, turning brown and shriveled. Remove any dead leaves. Water occasionally.

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