I just started my gardening journey, so I apologize if this is a novice question. I have recently started growing some strawberries in containers, indoors. Several of the bare root plants I got were growing well but have since shriveled, dropped their leaves and their leaf stems have drooped and turned black.
I saw somewhere online that brown roots could mean the plant has drowned and that they should be discarded if the roots are mushy and no light brown / white roots remain. I dug up the dying plants and many of them have only dark brown roots (but they aren’t mushy). Is there any way to save these plants? Or should I toss them? If I do need to trash them, does someone know approximately how much water strawberries need in indoor containers (in hardiness zone 7a) so I can avoid drowning any others?
Thanks so much
Do your pots / containers have holes (drainage)?
If not, or if setting in a tray of water, then likely that’s the issue.
Sunlight is also required (or growlights).
There are holes 10" apart and the containers are 15" long (they’re on a windowsill). I’m thinking it’s possible there just weren’t enough holes… I’ve punctured some more into the bottom of the plastic containers, and hopefully the remaining plants will do better! Does that sound like a reasonable strategy?
Type of soil? Potting mix?
Amount/type fertilizer if any?
More drainage is good…lots of sunlight also good.
I’m using Perfect Plants (from Amazon) organic potting mix and Stark Bros. Strawberry food. They should be getting lots of sunlight, and good, hopefully the new drainage holes will help!
Good luck. Every gardener starts somewhere. Berries can be pretty easy.
Thank you! Any hints for the brown roots? Just focus my efforts on the others?
No, it’s hard to pin down problems from a description that sometimes may omit part of the pertinent facts.
But lack of light colored roots after being planted a few days sounds like too much moisture and the roots drowned. (for i"m sure they didn"t dry out completely, did they?)
Yeah they’re still damp in fact (and some I pulled out 2 days ago)… just all roots for some of these plants are uniformally very dark brown.
I like to use weight of the container as a measure of when to water. Some soil can be deceiving. You will get the feel of when to water that way. I think a good soaking and then somewhat dry in between (but not to the point of wilt) is better than constant watering and wet feet.
Thank you all! I will keep all of this in mind going forward
They just sound over watered.
The bad ones probably have a wilt or damping off fungi. These fungi like wet anaerobic conditions. Let plants dry well and if you want to try and save the bad plants let them dry and water with a 50 solution of hydrogen peroxide. This can be messy as the soil will bubble. This will kill any damping off fungus and aerate the soil. Yes it appears you are watering too much. Roots need air too and can only get it when dry.
Getting the hydrogen peroxide now, I’ll give it a try. Thank you!