Strawberry is a non-woody, short plant, is technically a berry. Rather, it belongs to the classification of an aggregate accessory fruit. This means that the flesh is not from the ovary of the plant, but from the receptacles holding the latter. Outside of the fruit, there are achenes, or an ovary of the flower with a fruit inside it.
The average height of a strawberry plant is below six inches while the width is usually under 18 inches. With its size, there is no doubt that this will make the perfect option for a houseplant. Nonetheless, it is important to be familiar with the different varieties that are available, choose a cultivar that will thrive even in an indoor environment. Generally speaking, there are two types of strawberry plants that are available: June bearing, which bears fruits in June, and ever-bearing, which can bear strawberries throughout the years. While there are many cultivars that are available, Alpine strawberry is one of the best. The latter comes with a clumping habitat, which makes it ideal for a place that has limited space. It also bears small fruits, making it perfect even for planting in containers.
Planting and Growing Conditions
The first thing that you have to do is to obtain strawberry seeds. Choose a strawberry that is ripe and fresh. Use a toothpick to push the seeds out of the fruit. Collect up to 30 seeds and lay them on a clean plate. To speed up the germination of the seeds, it will also be good to keep it in the refrigerator for at least two weeks. Once the seed is ready, it is now time to prepare the container. Fill about 1/3 of it with a well-draining soil. Dip your toothpick in water, just enough so that the tip will be wet. Poke the seeds using the wet toothpick and transfer it to the soil.
Alternatively, you can also use an existing plant. This is a better option for people who are impatient. Make sure that the plant is clean. Take out the old leaves and runners, especially those that are showing signs of weakness. Keep the length of the root at least four to five inches. Soak the roots in water for about 60 minutes before you plant. Fill ½ of the container with your choice of potting mix. Bury the roots and fill the container with more potting mix.
One of the most important things to ensure success in growing strawberry is the right location of the plant. look for the sunniest spot at home. As much as possible, see to it that the plant will enjoy up to six hours of sun in a day. When indoors, you can supplement this with the use of artificial light.
Another critical growing condition is the soil. The ideal pH level of the soil is anywhere from 5.3 to 6.5. There are also certain soil amendments that will help to supply the nutrients that the plant will need. Some of the good examples of this include coconut fiber and sphagnum moss.
Need reasons to be convinced to plant and eat strawberries? Here are some of the ways by which it can be great for your health:
- Improves Vision: If you are looking for fruits that will be good for the eyes, strawberry is one of the best. It provides protective nutrients that will protect the eyes from vision loss that results from aging.
- Boosts Immune System: The consumption of strawberry also positively impacts the immune system, improving the defense of the body against the most common health problems. One of the reasons for this is the high content of Vitamin C.
- Improves Weight Loss: Strawberries contain anthocyanin, which is basically the one that is responsible for speeding up the burning of stored fat. It also has compounds that aid in stimulating metabolism. To add, it makes you feel fuller longer.
- Lowers Blood Pressure: The magnesium and potassium in strawberries are two of the reasons why it is excellent for regulating blood pressure and preventing hypertension. It also makes you less at risk of various health problems, such as cardiovascular diseases.
- Fights Cancer: One thing that makes this possible is Vitamin C. To add, strawberries also have ellagic acid, which is effective in the suppression of the growth of cancer cells. Zeaxanthin and lutein, two forms of antioxidants, also helps to make the fruit neautralize cacer cells.
Pests and Diseases
There are different diseases that can affect strawberries throughout its lifespan, including powdery mildew, transit rot, root-knot nematodes, root lesion nematodes, fusarium wilt, and grey mold. For pests, meanwhile, the infestation is often caused by cutworm, aphids, spider mite, cluster caterpillar, and looper.
Care and Maintenance
To take good care of your strawberry plant, here are some of the best things that you have to do:
- Make sure to water the plant when it needs to be moist. Avoid overwatering, especially if you plant seeds. A good way to water the soil is through the use of a spray bottle. Do not soak the soil with water. Keep it moist, but never wet. Otherwise, problems like molds will start to appear.
- See to it that you feed the plant with the nutrients that are essential for it survival. Use organic matter to make the soil richer. In the summer, it will also be good to add a slow-release fertilizer. Make sure that there are equal parts of phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen.
- Another important concern would be pollination. Because the plants are indoors, you need to exert more effort in helping the plant to pollinate. After the full opening of the petals, it is not ready to pollinate. Using a soft makeup brush, run it through the pollens of the flowers. There are also hand pollinators that you can operate using batteries.
Delicious and succulent strawberries are possible to grow as an indoor houseplant. Start with choosing the right variety, making sure to pick one that will be compact, making it ideal in a place that has a small space, such as containers and pots. Pay attention to light, soil, and other requirements of the external environment to make sure of its healthy growth.