The Q&A Archives: Strawberry Problem

Question: I have two strawberry plants purchased from Home Depot about 2-3 months ago. One of them has already been producing healthy fruit, the other has not produced any and has white-red spots. Some of the leaves have turned completely red. Is this something that can be treated, and can it spread to the other one?

Answer: I would remove the puny plant from the garden now and replace it with a healthier plant. Dig down to remove the soil, as well, replacing it with new soil from another part of your garden. What you describe sounds like Red Stele. Diseased plants produce fewer runners and smaller berries than unaffected plants. The tips of young roots rot first, after which the stele of infected roots becomes red. Lateral roots also die and decay, producing a ?rattail? symptom. Red color may extend up to the plant crown. Plants may appear stunted or wilted, and leaf color may change to red, orange, or yellow. Rather than hope the disease doesn't travel to your healthy plant, I would remove the diseased plant from the garden. Good luck with your strawberries!

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