How to Plant and Grow Strawberry Spinach

More heat tolerant than common spinach, strawberry spinach is an easy plant to grow, and it will reward you with gorgeous, edible berries and leafy greens too.

close up of strawberry spinach

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Native to the United States and Canada, strawberry spinach is an attractive, annual vegetable that is cultivated for its nutritious leafy greens and bright red fruit. The arrow-shaped leaves of this plant look and taste a lot like common spinach and can be used in fresh salads or cooked dishes. While the vibrant fruit may look a lot like strawberries, the flavor is milder and slightly sweet.

Editor's Tip

Use moderation when eating this plant’s seeds, as they can be toxic when consumed in large quantities.

Strawberry Spinach Overview

Genus Name Blitum capitatum
Common Name Strawberry Spinach
Plant Type Annual, Vegetable
Light Sun
Height 16 to 20 Inches
Propagation Seed

Where to Plant Strawberry Spinach

Strawberry spinach grows best in full sun and loose, well-draining, and loamy soil. If your soil is dense or nutrient-poor, enrich it with compost or aged manure before you sow your strawberry spinach seeds. These highly adaptable plants can grow in soil with a pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.5.

For small-space growers, strawberry spinach can also be grown in containers. Just make sure that any container you choose is well-draining and at least a foot deep.

How and When to Plant Strawberry Spinach

Strawberry spinach doesn’t transplant well, so direct sowing is generally recommended. To plant your strawberry spinach, sow seeds in your garden in spring as soon as the soil is workable. Scatter your seeds in rows spaced 18 inches apart and cover your seeds with ¼ inch of soil. After the seeds have sprouted and developed two sets of true leaves, thin your spinach seedlings, allowing 12 inches between each plant.  

Care Tips for Strawberry Spinach

While strawberry spinach is related to common spinach, it hasn't been cultivated as long and remains truer to its wild form. This plant can adapt to a range of growing conditions; however, understanding its growing needs will help you grow healthier plants.


Strawberry spinach should receive 8 to 12 hours of full sun. Gardeners in hot climates may want to locate their plants in an area that receives partial afternoon shade to slow down bolting (flowering).

Soil and Water

Like other leafy greens, strawberry spinach will grow best in light, well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Adding compost or aged manure to your soil can help support plant growth and help the soil retain water better.

To slow bolting and grow healthier plants, strawberry spinach should be watered regularly and deeply, so that the soil remains moist but not soggy.  Ideally, your plants should receive about 1 to 2 inches of water per week.

Temperature and Humidity

Strawberry spinach is a hardy plant that can tolerate light frost and some heat. While this plant grows best at temperatures between 45 and 75°F, it will bolt when temperatures get hot. However, when strawberry spinach bolts, it produces its distinct, edible berries.

Strawberry spinach can handle some humidity, but it may develop powdery mildew in certain conditions. For this reason, always water in the morning and keep leaves dry by directing water to the base of your plants.


Strawberry spinach should be fertilized every 5 to 7 weeks throughout the growing season with a quality liquid or granular fertilizer. Opt for a balanced fertilizer or one that’s rich in nitrogen, which will help support the growth of lush leaves.

Pruning and Harvesting

Strawberry spinach leaves are ready to harvest as soon as they are a usable size. Picking leaves often will also encourage your plants to produce more greens. Berries should only be harvested after they turn red.

Strawberry spinach easily self-sows, so if you don’t want your plants to spread, deadhead berries before they are fully mature. Removing old or damaged leaves will also improve the look and health of your plants. 

Pests and Problems

Aphids are sap-sucking insects that can cause leaf deformation and leave behind a sticky “honeydew” residue on plants as they feed. To treat for aphids, try spraying your plants with a strong blast from your garden hose, or treat your strawberry spinach with an organic insecticidal soap or neem oil spray.

Flea beetles are small, black insects that are well-known for their rapid jumping movements when disturbed. Adding floating row covers at the beginning of the gardening season can keep these pests away, while existing infestations can be treated with neem oil.

Slugs and snails can quickly riddle leaves with holes. Placing slug traps baited with stale beer or old orange juice around your garden can protect your plants.

Companion Plants for Strawberry Spinach

Lettuce and strawberry spinach have similar growing requirements and won’t compete with each other for light and nutrients.

Many common garden pests are naturally repulsed by the strong scent of leeks and other alliums.  Interplanting these types of plants with your strawberry spinach will help protect your strawberry spinach from pest predation.

Radishes are cold hardy plants that grow quickly and don’t take up a lot of space. Growing them with your strawberry spinach will ensure you get the most out of your garden beds.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What do you do with strawberry spinach?

    Strawberry spinach can be added to any dish where you’d use spinach. From fresh salads to soups and sautés, this versatile leafy green can do it all.

  • What do strawberry spinach berries taste like?

    Strawberry spinach fruit has a mild taste and a delicate sweetness, as well as pronounced seeds.  The flavor and texture of the fruit is very similar to mulberries.

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