How to Grow Strawberries in Pots

Grow tasty strawberries in pots in a small space garden with this simple growing guide.

If you have a small garden space, you might not think you can grow strawberries at all. Well, think again, because strawberries are some of the best plants to grow in small spaces and they will thrive in container gardens and pots. To learn how to grow strawberries in pots, follow the simple steps and use the growing tips below to harvest your own mouth-watering homegrown fruit.

terra cotta strawberry planter growing fruit plant

Why grow strawberries in pots?

Strawberries are relatively small plants with short root systems, which makes them appropriate for growing in containers. However, there are some specific reasons why you may want to keep strawberries in pots, including:

  • Small space. Growing strawberries in pots can save you a lot of space. In fact, container grown strawberries are so compact that they can be kept on balconies and small patios in urban spaces.
  • Aesthetics. Strawberries are attractive plants with a cascading growth habit that looks enchanting in hanging baskets, especially when these plants are in bloom.
  • Poor soil. Strawberries prefer rich, well-draining soil and keeping plants in pots is a good solution for gardens with nutrient poor or soggy earth.
  • Pests. As much as we love strawberries, many animals and insects love them too! Birds, slugs and rodents often target berries, but they are less likely to cause a problem in container grown plants.
  • Convenience. Growing strawberries in pots will give you more options for where you can keep your plants. In fact, you can even keep berry pots right by your door to make harvesting that much more convenient. 

When to Plant Strawberries in Pots

You can grow strawberries either from bare root strawberry crowns or potted plant starts from your local plant nursery. Strawberry crowns are usually more budget-friendly; however, they will take a bit longer to grow and produce leaves. Both strawberry crowns and nursery plants should be planted outdoors in pots in March or April when the temperature is warm enough that the soil begins to thaw.

hanging basket with strawberries
Marty Baldwin

Choosing the Best Strawberry Pots

Many different pots, grow bags, hanging baskets, and planters will work for strawberries. The important thing is that you choose a container that has plenty of drainage holes. Because strawberries have a short root system, they don’t need very deep pots, but wider pots can allow them to spread and send out more runners.

Ideally, choose a pot that is at least 8 inches deep and 10 to 12 inches in diameter, which can hold between 2 or 3 strawberry plants. If you’re working with a small growing space, you may also want to consider growing strawberries vertically. Strawberry jars, hanging baskets, and vertical towers can all accommodate strawberries and they are a smart way to pack in more plants in a balcony or urban garden.

Best Strawberry Varieties for Pots

Strawberries are usually divided into three main categories and all three of these strawberry types will grow beautifully in pots. All you need to do is pick the strawberry type that sounds appealing to you.

  • Everbearing strawberries usually have smaller berries, but they will produce a harvest of berries at the beginning and end of the season.
  • Day-neutral strawberries are less commonly grown but they provide about three crops of strawberries in June, mid-July and August.
  • June-bearing strawberries offer an impressive harvest of large, juicy berries all at once in June but they won’t produce again until the following year. Harvesting all of your berries at once can be useful for canning and preserving though.

How to Plant Strawberries in Pots

When you’re ready to plant strawberries, follow these simple steps to produce your own harvest of luscious berries.

1. Prepare your pot.

After you’ve selected your growing container, fill your pot most of the way up with a rich, well-draining potting mix. Avoid using garden soil for container grown strawberries as it can become far too dense and compact in pots and it won’t drain properly.

2. Plant your strawberries.

Next, locate your strawberry crowns. this is the section of the plant where the roots and stems meet. Plant your strawberries so that the crowns are just above the soil line and then firm the soil around the roots of the plant. Don’t cover the crowns up though.

3. Add mulch.

Once your plants are in their pots, add a thin layer of straw or other organic mulch along the top of your soil line. Although this isn’t strictly necessary, it will keep your berries cleaner and reduce your plant’s watering needs.

4. Water them in.

Finally, give your new strawberries a good, deep drink of water to help them acclimate to their new containers and then care for them as usual. You should begin to see new growth and leaves develop in the next few days to weeks.

How to Care for Strawberries Plants in Pots

Container-grown strawberries are quite easy to care for and they have similar maintenance needs to strawberries grown in the garden. Follow these suggestions to boost your strawberry harvest and grow healthier plants too.


Strawberries grow best in full sun, so make sure your plants receive at least 6 hours of bright, direct light daily.


Plants in pots often dry out more quickly, especially if you’re using a small growing container. Check your strawberries regularly and water them when the top 1 to 2 inches of soil feels dry to the touch. Watering once or twice a week is usually all these plants need.


Strawberries will produce more fruit and grow more vigorously with regular applications of a quality fertilizer. Liquid, organic fertilizers made from kelp or fish emulsion are usually a good choice and they can be applied every 3 to 4 weeks throughout the growing season.

Propagating Potted Strawberries

Strawberries are technically short-lived perennials and they usually produce fewer berries and begin to die back after 3 to 4 years. However, you can keep your plants productive by planting strawberry runners.

Runners are basically baby strawberry plants that appear at the end of long stems that grow from the parent plant. Runners should be snipped off your plant and discarded during the first year to encourage your strawberries to grow bigger. But after that, you can pot up your strawberry plant runners and grow even more strawberries from them.


Because they are just so delicious, many pests love munching on strawberries almost as much as we do! While growing strawberries in containers can reduce a lot of pest activity, some pests may still attempt to eat your berries. Common strawberry pests include:

  • Slugs and snails are common strawberry pests, but they can be deterred by keeping strawberry companion plants like chives nearby.
  • Birds also love gobbling up strawberries, but you can protect your plants from foraging beaks by covering them with floating row covers.

When and How to Harvest Strawberries in Pots

Strawberries are usually ready to harvest about 4 to 6 weeks after they flower. Only select berries that are fully ripe and bright red and pick berries about every 2 to 3 days to encourage your plant to produce even more.

When picking strawberries, avoid pulling on your plant’s stems, which can damage them. Instead, snip off berries with a pair of scissors. Then store your strawberries carefully and use them as soon as you can for optimal flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can you grow strawberries from seed in a pot?

    While strawberries are most often grown from nursery starts or crowns, you can also sprout strawberries from seeds. Plant seeds indoors in early spring, just like you would plant wildflower seeds. Strawberry seeds can benefit from cold stratification, but should otherwise germinate well with a bright grow light and a quality seed starting mix.

  • How can I make potted strawberry plants produce more fruit?

    Planting strawberries in a rich potting mix and fertilizing them regularly will encourage your plants to produce a larger harvest of berries. Additionally, plants will grow more berries if they’re kept in bright sun.

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