Mad About Berries

How to Grow Strawberries in Pots and Containers

Strawberries are one of the most popular berry fruits that can be easily grown in containers and various flower pots. Growing strawberries in pots and containers has its own challenges, but the reward is an almost endless stream of tasty and fragrant fruits.

Strawberries prefer fertile, loamy soil, rich in organic matter, well-aerated, one that drains well, and is slightly acidic with a pH of around 6.

Updated: August 18, 2023.

strawberries on balcony fence w600px

Quick Intro to Growing Strawberries

Strawberries like growing in full sun, and they benefit from regular fertilization, watering, and mulching.

Regular fertilization and watering plants in containers and pots are very important since the amount of soil per plant is limited. However, growing strawberries in pots and containers allow the gardeners to let the fruits ripen outside the pot, preventing root rot - mulching is generally not required for fruit protection, but can help protect the soil from sun and wind.

When choosing strawberry types for growing in pots and containers in small gardens, terraces, or even balconies, stay away from June-bearing varieties since they bear plenty of fruits in a relatively short period of time.

Planting ever-bearing and day-neutral strawberries in pots or containers have many benefits - although they don't bear as many strawberries at once like June-bearing, their bearing season is much longer, which is very important when growing them for home use.

Also, so-called Alpine strawberries bear small fruits and generally require more manual work, but their taste is fantastic.

alpine strawberries w600px

How to Choose Containers for Growing Strawberries

There are numerous benefits of growing strawberries in containers.

Regardless of the size of the plants, strawberries have a very shallow root system, requiring between 1 and 2 liters of growing medium per plant. That amount of soil also means that supplemental fertilization and regular watering are very important when growing them in pots.

When preparing pots and containers for strawberries, be sure to use new potting soil, rich in micro- and macro-nutrients and organic matter, and that it drains well - strawberries like moist soil, but not "wet feet," which can lead to numerous health problems.

Pots and containers must have drainage holes to protect strawberries against overwatering by allowing any excess water to drain out - very important, especially during the rainy season.

Containers and pots should be strong and durable, able to withstand the sun, rain, wind, frost, etc. Plastic containers are, IMHO, better than ceramic since they are cheaper, lighter, and more impact resistant. If you choose ceramic pots, be sure that they are frost resistant since moisture in non-glazed ceramic pots can cause cracks during winter.

On the other hand, strawberries need 2cm of water weekly in moderate climates and at least 4cm (or even more) of water weekly during the summer heat. Of course, water should be applied on a daily basis, especially during summer. Daily watering eliminates moisture swings in the soil and helps grow great-looking and tasty fruits.

Even when there is enough moisture in the soil, during summer heat (40°C, 104°F), some varieties don't bear fruits - don't worry, they will restart flowering as soon as temperatures are back to "normal."

Choose containers that fit into the area you have designated for strawberries.

For example, if it is a side of a walkway, then choose containers that are 15-20cm (6-8 inches) wide, 15-20cm (6-8 inches) high, and of needed length. In such containers, one can plant one row of larger and two rows of smaller strawberries.

Regardless if you can fit one or two rows of plants in such containers, plant strawberries along the edge - this way, growing fruits can freely hang over container sides, avoiding any contact with (wet) soil. Such fruits grow much healthier and cleaner.

decorative pots with strawberries w600px

Vertical Strawberry Growing System

If you don't have much space, have no worries since strawberries are one of the best plants for a vertical garden. Such a setup requires very little space and can be very decorative.

There are many ready-made systems that can be purchased online or in any garden center. If you like to DIY, you can make your own version using wood, various clothes, smaller plastic pots, concrete, PVC tubes, etc. The only limit is your imagination :)

If you decide to buy containers for your vertical garden, have a few things in mind:

  • maximum number of tiers - usually 3-10. More tiers also mean more plants per square foot, but it also means that the vertical planter may be unstable, which may be a problem in windy conditions, for example.
  • number of 'individual' pots per tier - usually 3-6. If you have space and you want larger stack, choose systems that have at least 4 'individual' pots per tier. Of course, systems differ, and so does the size. In most systems, there is enough room for only one plant per pot - recommended for easier maintenance.
  • the material should be 'food grade safe,' not some cheap plastic loaded with chemicals. Also, such material should be strong, flexible, durable, and lightweight.
  • mass of such a system can be relatively large, so be sure to place it on a firm surface, in a sunny spot, protected from wind. Although relatively heavy, especially when watered, due to height, strong wind gusts can tip them over.
  • some systems are so-called 'Flow Through Design' - one has to water only the top tier. Well, this sounds great, but if you have really tall vertical strawberry garden, be sure to water lower tiers, too - observe plants and act as required.
  • such vertical systems are great for growing not only strawberries but also various other smaller plants like herbs, vegetables, and flowers. 

growing strawberries in vertical containers


growing strawberries in vertical containersIn the photo above - five tiers of vertical growing system, around one meter tall and one foot in diameter. There are four 'individual' pots in each tier, providing space for 20 strawberry plants.

Actually, on the top, it is possible to plant more than four plants - in the middle, there is enough room for at least one more plant.

This system is good even for hanging on a suitable place using a strong chain.

It is a 'Flow Through Design' system, meaning that it is enough to water top most pot. However, it is important, especially during the summer heat, to carefully observe plants and, if required, water lower plants, too.

Note that this system can have more than five tiers, but it would make this vertical garden too unstable - very important if you have small kids or pets and there is a danger of strong wind gusts.

Since the central part of the growing system (soil) is protected from the sun, this system can be left unattended for 2-3 days, even during the summer heat.

To increase the stability, some models feature a metal or plastic rod that goes through the center of the vertical planter and is fixed to the floor or preferably a small cart with wheels, which allows the gardener to reposition the vertical planter as needed.

The next table shows a short description and comparison between popular vertical container growing systems.

Note: all links in the table are Amazon links, feel free to follow them for the most up-to-date offers and prices. Links open in the new windows.

Photo Growing Container/System Description

Mr. Stacky 5-Tier Strawberry Planter Pot

A five-tier vertical growing system, one meter high and one foot in diameter. There are four 'individual' pots in each tier, with space for 20 strawberries or other similarly sized plants.

Flow through design, however, observe lower plants during hot days.


Nancy Janes Stacking Planters

A three-tier vertical growing system, 1 foot in diameter. There are three 'individual' pots per tier, each one can easily accommodate 2 strawberry plants.

It is a flow-through design watering system. Up to 5 tiers can hang from the chain, and up to 9 tiers can be stacked using metal dowels placed through the pots.


Akro-Mils RZJMEDI Medium Stack-A-Pot

A three-tier vertical growing system that can be stacked even higher.

Two capacities: 30 quarts (28.4 l) per three tiers and 14 quarts (13.3 l) per three tiers.

For growing strawberries, a larger capacity version is recommended - plant two strawberry plants per 'pot', or six strawberries per tier.


Gro Products Vertical System with 3-Planter Boxes

3 planter boxes vertical system, 58 inches (148 cm) tall, three widths: 18 inches (46 cm), 24 inches (61 cm), and 30 inches (76 cm).

It can be wall-mounted or free-standing. Planter boxes have removable liners and can be arranged to accommodate plants of different heights.

Note: Models with or without casters are available.


Bloem (Fiskars) 3-Piece Hanging Gardening System Planter

Hanging growing system suitable for herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers. For limited-space environments - can be hung vertically or horizontally.

Planters have a self-watering grid which creates water reservoirs - reduced watering frequency, healthier plants.

Stainless steel fasteners included.

Obviously, growing systems can be adapted to any area suitable for growing strawberries and other similar plants. Best of all, they can be repositioned as required - outside during warmer months, inside during winter.

Maintaining Strawberry Plants Potted in Containers and Flower Pots

Maintenance is, more or less, the same as with strawberries planted in raised beds or anywhere else:

  • watering must ensure a constant level of moisture in the soil in order to promote vigorous growth and blooming. Irregular watering leads to the growth of deformed fruits and weak plants.
  • refeeding with NPK fertilizers must provide enough micro and macro-elements in the soil, especially during periods of strongest growth, blooming, and bearing fruits. Organic fertilizers are important, too, since they improve soil structure and feed the plants without significant spikes of nutrients in the soil.
  • pests and diseases - chemicals that kill bad insects also kill good and beneficial insects like ladybugs and praying mantises and similar. Using organic repellents and fungicides ensures that home gardens remain clean and healthy zone, producing fruits that can be consumed fresh right after picking. Unfortunately, sometimes one simply must use chemicals - in that case, be sure to read instructions carefully BEFORE introducing the agent into the garden.
  • pruning dead leaves can be done on a daily basis. Simply take a look at your strawberries and remove what you don't like. Only 5 minutes per day of such activities can keep strawberry plants in excellent condition. Have kids? Teach them what they can do and how to do it, and you will have lifetime help in your garden :)
  • propagating strawberries via runners helps the gardener keep the strawberry plants healthy and vigorous - after some time, usually within 2-4 years, old strawberry plants should be replaced with young ones, which can be done easily.

rooting a strawberry runner w600px

When the runner starts to grow the first leaves, place it in the smaller pot with good potting soil and fix it using toothpicks or bent nails, or anything similar.

Very soon, the runner will start to grow its own roots and become an independent plant, which can be transplanted to a new location, as required.

Obviously, it is highly recommended to use runners from your best strawberries.

hanging strawberries w600px

Long story short - growing strawberries in containers and flower pots can be very successful. Vertical growing systems can be very decorative, too - 20 strawberry plants can easily yield more than 10kg (20 pounds) of delicious and very healthy fruits.

And best of all, one doesn't have to grow strawberries only - various herbs, vegetables, and other fruits can be easily grown in such pots.

Go to Top