Welcome back Strawberry lovers. Do you know You can Grow Strawberries from store-bought Fruit? If you are not sure then give it a try and see the results. Don’t know what to do, don’t worry keep reading for details. Interested in strawberries, check out this article- Can You Plant a Whole Strawberry?
Check out my previous post: Can you Grow Celery in Containers?
Can You Grow Strawberries from Store-bought Fruit?
Yes, You can grow Strawbery plants from a store-bought strawberry fruit. Although the fruit should be fresh and healthy. Otherwise, you may not get any viable seeds to grow.
You can purchase fresh big cherry-red Strawberries as they are easier to extract seeds. If you don’t find those then any strawberry variety will do the job unless it is stale.
Moreover, you can ask whether you should grow strawberries like this or not? The answer may seem unfair but ist true. Store-bought strawberries don’t grow to their true types. You may succeed in germinating the Strawberry seeds and finally get some fruits.
Although those fruits may not look and taste like the ones that give the seed. This is the main problem with every open-pollinated fruit. Their seed always yields inferior fruit unless grown in a certain condition.
Therefore you can grow strawberries from store-bought fruits especially for the gardening purpose not for farming.
Are Store-bought strawberries viable to Grow?
The Answer to this question depends on two factors. First, whether the strawberry you bought has some seed or is seedless. Next Are those fruits healthy, fresh, or frozen.
If the strawberry is a seedless variety then you can’t get any seed to grow. Seedless strawberries either don’t produce any seed or may produce a few infertile ones. So the whole idea of growing strawberries from seed ends with a single note- “No Seed No Plant”.
Sometimes you will find frozen strawberries in the market. These berries may have lost their viability due to consistent freezing. If you collect seed from frozen strawberries then its germination chance is very rare though possible. Few of those frozen Strawberry seeds may sprout with proper care.
If the store-bought strawberries are not healthy, diseases or stale then also their chance of germination is very low. Possibly a few seeds may germinate but the seedling may get infected with the diseased seeds. So growing strawberries from infected fruits is not a good idea. They often get the same disease and the new plant will perish.
At last, only fresh healthy, and good-looking strawberries should be grown. These strawberries have higher viability than others. After all, the quality and viability of strawberry seed determine the successful germination. Therefore choose only the best quality strawberries from stores to grow in your garden.
Do Store-bought Strawberries Contain Seeds?
It depends on whether you have bought a regular farm strawberry or a hybrid seedless strawberry. The variety you choose will determine whether it has any seed or not. More often you will get some viable seed from most store-bought strawberries.
Those strawberries will give you sufficient seed to sprout and grow. And yes, you need not waste any fruit just to obtain seeds. Strawberry seeds develop outside of the fruit. So you may see some with a glance. Dark black or brown seeds are usually mature while pale seeds are immature.
Look out for strawberries that have a few seeds of any type or color. It’s not that difficult, just give it a thorough look and you’ll see if it got any seed. Only buy those strawberries that have at least a few visible seeds.
Seedless strawberries are also very popular among fruit lovers. That’s why you may find a lot of seedless strawberries in the store. Keep in mind sellers sell strawberries at stores for consumption, not for gardening. They prefer growing big juicy strawberries without caring for viable seeds.
Therefore, finding a seeded strawberry is important if you wanna grow them.
Preparation To Grow Strawberries
Let’s prepare for the Strawberry garden. We already have the fruits, maybe some potting soil, a few containers, and water. Now you have to set up your garden and containers to grow strawberries. There are a few easy steps that can help you in this process.
- Extract Seeds from store-bought Strawberries.
- Choose a container or garden area for Strawberries.
- Prepare Soil for Strawbery seeds as well as seedlings.
Strawberry is a delicate fruit. You can easily buy these from stores but growing them is another job. You have to learn some basics about gardening as well as the plant need. The delicate strawberry plants require a controlled environment for optimum yield. They don’t like too much heat or too cold. The soil should be perfect and free from diseases coz strawberry plants are prone to soil-borne diseases. Sunlight, water, and fertilizers are a few other important aspects of gardening.
That’s it, these are the only task that you need to do. Follow along with us and we will help you through the process.
How to Extract Seeds from store-bought Strawberries?
Strawberry seeds are located on the outer portion of the fruit. It is one of the few fruits that grow seeds outside. Extraction of strawberries seeds will take time and effort although it is quite easy.
You can simply scrape off a few seeds using a spoon or maybe your long nails. Otherwise, just follow the right way of strawberry seed exxtraction.
- Take thin slices of Strawberry skin using a sharp knife. You can also use a peeler if you are comfortable with it- I am certainly not.
- The peeled skin will contain most of the strawberry seeds. You can either dry it in part shade or let it soak in plain water for a few hours.
- Rub the dried strawberry to detach all of the seeds. the seeds are really very tiny so keep an eye as they can swirl off your hand.
- If you are using the soaking method then start with draining the water. Place the swollen strawberry skin on tissue paper and roll it with a toothpick. The paper will absorb the excess water and the seeds will stick to it.
- Let the tissue dry in shade for a few hours and collect the seeds afterward.
- Keep in mind only a few of these seeds will germinate so collect as many as you can. You should store these strawberry seeds in small air-tight containers or packets with a pinch of contact fungicide until germination.
Prepare container or garden area for Strawberries
Gardeners should prepare raised beds to grow strawberries. These beds must have a minimum of 6 to 8-inch height. You can prepare long narrow raised beds instead of wide garden beds. Strawberries grow runners in all directions. These narrow raised beds can help them to thrive in a controlled fashion.
Choose a garden location where these plants can get 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight every day. It is better if the plant receives only morning and evening sunlight instead of overhead noon light. Strawberries prefer direct sunlight although the part shade is better for these plants especially during the summer season.
Strawberry plants have a shallow fibrous root system. They can easily adapt to small flat containers. Strawberries are among a few fruits that grow well in hanging baskets.
Consider placing planters where the strawberry plant can receive at least 4-6 hours of partial sunlight. Avoid keeping container-grown strawberries in direct sunlight during a summer afternoon.
You can use a 6 or 8-inch deep container to grow strawberries. Always prefer a good quality seedling tray to germinate strawberry seeds. Keep in mind strawberry seeds are not very easy to germinate. They require some expertise with a lot of effort. That’s why commercial farmers and gardeners prefer runners and plant division better than seeds to grow strawberries. Seed-grown strawberry plants can take 2 or more years to mature and bloom.
Soil Preparation for Strawberries
Strawberry plants prefer healthy, light soil with excellent drainage. It grows well in slightly acidic soil. You must use commercial potting soil to grow strawberries. Prefer seed starter soil mix to germinate the strawberry seeds.
Regular garden soil is not sufficient for strawberry plants. It does not contain enough nutrition for these heavy feeder plants. Still, you can use garden soil with some amendments to grow strawberries. I’m using garden soil with some other indigents for the past 7 years to grow 4 different varieties of strawberries. Believe me, it is as good as any potting soil mix.
My soil mix contains 25% regular soil, 30% compost, 15% river sand, 20% cocopeat, 5% perlite, 3% Neem Cake Powder, 3% Mustard Cake Powder, 2% NPK 20:20:20 and 2% SuperPhosphate fertilizers. I also add 1 teaspoon of Contact or systemic fungicide to each container. Additionally, add 1 spoon of potash fertilizer to each container once in Spring and Fall. It helps in stronger plant growth with bigger blooms.
If you are uncomfortable with percentage measurement. Then use a cup or glass and measure everything by part. Don’t worry you need not be exact and perfect. A little change or adjustment is perfectly fine, after all, everything depends on the availability of resources.
How to Grow Strawberries from store-bought Fruit?
- Fill the seedling tray with seed starter mix. You can also use the soil mix that we have already prepared.
- Moisten the soil thoroughly until water drips out from the drainage holes.
- Sprinkle only a few strawberry seeds in each cell of the seedling tray. Don’t worry if a few more drops in it. You can thin out extra plants.
- Sprinkle a thin layer of cocopeat to cover the seeds. Don’t use heavy soil for this purpose else the seeds may die.
- Cover the seedling tray with a transparent lid or plastic wrap.
- Place the seedling tray over a meeting mat or near a window where it can get full sun to regulate temperature. These seeds will require 55 degrees Fahrenheit or more to germinate properly.
- These seeds may take 3 to 4 weeks to germinate.
- Take care of these seedlings until they reach 6 inches in length. This may take a couple of months of plant care.
- Meanwhile, keep the soil lightly moist and feed the seedlings with an all-purpose fertilizer once in 15 days.
- Transplant the seedlings to their desired location once the risk of frost is over and they attain sufficient height with a strong root structure.
- These seedlings will take at least 1 and a half years to bloom. So have patience and keep them healthy and well feed.
- Change the location of the strawberry plant once in 3 years to avoid pests or disease accumulation.
Common Problems and Their Solutions
There are a few problems that you may face while growing strawberries from store-bought fruit. Pest and plant diseases are common but they are not listed here. As they occur once you have the seedling, before that the germination is the priority.
- Viability of seeds
- Slow Germination rate
- Unhealthy seedling germination
These are the three main problems that you may face. First of all, finding viable strawberry seeds from store-bought fruit is challenging. Even if you got some then the slow seed germination rate with push you to the edge. Finally, if you manage to sprout a few of those seeds. Then there is a fair chance that most of the seedlings will either get infected or perish due to unknown reasons. I have faced these problems soo many times that now I don’t care much for them. Simply prepare a backup plan as the seed is not the best way to grow strawberries.
Every gardener especially the pros prefers strawberry runners or plant division to grow new strawberry plants. They know the importance of time and effort. As a seed grown plant will take at least 2 years to produce any fruits. Even after such a long time, you may end up with a tiny inferior fruit that looks entirely different from what you have expected.
If you manage these inevitable irritating problems then bugs and pests are just child play for you. Use neem oil, or any all-purpose pesticide to treat pests and insects. Avoid splashing water on the leaves to control fungal powdery mildew attacks.
The drawback of growing Strawberries from Store-bought fruit
This is my personal experience Although the data is legitimate. You can trust my words as I know what I am talking about.
Strawberry plants grown from store-bought fruits always differ from the original fruit. They are not only inferior in quality but also pretty small in size. And you have to wait 2 years to get the result. So I can’t say wait for 2 years to very my words. It is as it is. You can query for the same result to any garden forum or any local farmer. They will verify my words.
Another drawback that I found in these strawberry plants is- They are more prone to pests and disease. I don’t know why but seed-grown especially these plants face more pests instead of my other nursery-bought strawberry plants.
The quality and variety of these Strawberry plants are unknown. This is a difficult task to determine as you don’t know what is going to grow from these seeds. Trust me you will not get the same fruit that yields those seeds. The fruit it produces will never match your expectations.
Even though I would say give it a try. Start experimenting in your garden. This is the only way to develop new strawberry varieties. Maybe you can grow the next popular strawberry variety. At least, I can say that you will not regret your work.