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Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:57 pm
Location: Atlantic Beach Florida

strawberries are!

I bought 2 strawberry plants from home depot a few months ago...I'm growing these indoors under grow lights along with the rest of my veggies and herbs. the plants did well and even bore a tiny strawberry on each before the leaves started to brown. I can see VERY tiny insects on them and ive heard taking a few drops of dish soap to a half gallon of water and spraying it will didn't. I use an organic miracle grow fertilizer once ever 2 weeks, they're not over watered, and not underwatered, and ive already transplanted them into my compost mixture to see if that was the problem. they get anywhere from 12-16 hours of light a day. maybe too much? look how sad they are
anyone know whats wrong? ive searched all over the internet and can't get exact answers :/

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Posts: 29535
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

I always get this problem when I try to overwinter strawberry plants indoors. I'm pretty certain your astrawberry plant is infested with red spider mites, and by the looks of it, the plant is pretty far gone.

I can't guarantee you'll be able to save it, but here's what you want to do.

keeping the leaves exposed, wrap the container in a plastic bag Or plastic food wrap in such a way that the plant and the soil won't fall out when you turn it upside down. Now, instead of a dish soap, which may or may not be detergent (detergent can burn your plant leaves) take a mild unscented glycerin soap (or I use Dr. Bronners Liquid soap) and make a slightly sudsy solution in a bowl large enough to accommodate the leaves.

Dunk the leaves in and swish around. Wait a minute and dunk and swish again. Now give it about 5 minutes, they dunk in fresh bowl of water and swish until completely rinsed off. You will see tiny reddish specks floating in both the soapy and fresh water. Remove the wrap.

Repeat every 2 or 3 days for two weeks to break their breeding cycle.

Now, the plants may be able to recover if given good care. Are you sure you are giving them sufficient light -- I.e. Duration is fine but what about intensity? What kind of supplemental light are you using? how close to the plant leaves are they positioned? The soil is well draining? The crown (base of the leaves) of strawberry plants should not be too far buried.

Don't fertilize again until the plants have recovered and start to green up or grow new leaves. I would use Tomato- tone or other organic tomato fertilizer rather than general vegetable fertilizer which may be too high in nitrogen and prevent flowering. BUT strawberries are either June bearing and only fruit for a short period of time in late spring/early summer OR they are everbearing/Day neutral. Which kind do you have?

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Senior Member
Posts: 184
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:52 am
Location: Barrie, Ontario,Canada

red spider mites

Red spider mites are so hard to get rid of! If you have had those near your other plants, you probably have mites on everything. I would give the soapy water treatment to all your plants. Look for tiny, very fine webbing between stems.

Are you planning on putting the strawberries outside? They can go in the ground anytime now. The frost doesn't hurt them.

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