The Q&A Archives: Strawberries Won't Set Fruit

Question: We bought this house 4 years ago, and there was already a bed of strawberries planted in the front of the house. Full sun all day, but surrounded by large bushes. Don't know variety of strawberries, but has very large leaves (average size of one leaf in group of 3 is 3" long X 2" wide), elliptical type with many straight parallel veins running to serrated edges. I get tons of white flowers in spring, but never see a berry! The wild strawberries are growing like crazy in the lawn, but I can't get one strawberry out of these that have their own bed. I feed them this spring with Miracle-Gro, and still nothing. Any suggestions?

Answer: It's quite possible you have Fragaria chiloensis, more of an ornamental strawberry than one that bears fruit. These plants form low, compact, lush mats 6-12 inches high. They have dark green, glossy leaves (3 toothed leaflets) and large (one inch wide) white flowers in the spring. Fruit seldom sets in gardens, but if it does, it will ripen in the fall. The 3/4 inch berries are seedy and attractive to birds. If you want to harvest strawberries you may have to replace the plants with some June or Everbearing strawberry cultivars.

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