The Q&A Archives: How To Care For A Terra Cotta Strawberry Planter

Question: Last year I brought in my terra cotta strawberry planter because I did not want it to crack during a frost. I put it out again in the spring and now the plants are not coming back. Should I have watered the plants inside over the winter? Or left the planter outside? What is the best way to care for the plants and the pot?

Answer: The terra cotta plant will probably get ruined if you leave it outside in freezing temperatures. Strawberries set the buds in fall for the next season's berries, so it is important to keep them healthy over the winter. Setting the pot in an unheated garage might do the trick, as long as you water it as needed to keep it from drying out completely. The begin setting it outside on mild days as soon as possible in the spring. The plants need to be kept barely moist during the winter although with reduced light and essentially stopped growth they will not need a lot of water. When actively growing, strawberries need a rich, humusy, evenly moist yet well drained soil and this high level of soil quality can be difficult to maintain from year to year in a container. At that point, you may find it eaier to replace both the plants and the soil annually.

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