White Strawberries

2018 began new exploration of white Alpine strawberries varieties in KRATKY (passive hydroponic) that were too fragile to ship and had to be grown from seeds.  Their taste profiles were described as intensely aromatic, mostly sweet with different variant of interesting flavors, such as pineapple, cotton candy, rose syrup or caramel. Its akin to growing our own natural candies tree.

True white strawberries belonged to 2 groups only.

  1. Alpine (Fragaria Vesca, originated in Europe)
  2. Beach (Fragaria Chiloensis, originated in Chile, also known as South American or coastal strawberries)

Both the alpine and beach strawberries are wild species.

White strawberries are white because they lacked the protein FRA a1 which made red strawberries red. People who are allergic to red strawberries have no problems eating white strawberries because of the absence of this protein.

I found  reading on white strawberries simply fascinating and wanted to grow them myself and hopefully , sample the fruits of my labor soon!

After waiting 6 months for the seeds, my White Soul finally arrived and they were frozen overnight for direct sowing on moist soil on August 23 2015.

WHITE SOUL

 2015 & 2018 – Germination was very fast, only 6 days. Most other white varieties were slower, 10 – 20 days.

Germinated White Soul Strawberry seeds

2015 August 23 – Tiniest seedlings

Grow gourmet strawberries

2018 April 27 – Hydro, 7 days

 

Experiment 2 (2015) – Wanted to test if seeds frozen for over a month will improve its germination time, in the second batch.

White Soul Strawberry seeds germinated

Oct 21 2015 – White Soul germinated in 5 days (start Oct 16) after freezing seeds for over a month.

Conclusion – It made only one day difference in germination rate for seeds frozen overnight or one month.

Example of a white variety of strawberry sold in Isetan on January 8 2016. Fifteen pieces of gourmet white strawberries from Japan cost Singapore dollars almost $200!

Photo : Joyce Ho, January 8, in Isetan (Japanese Supermarket)

Photo : Joyce Ho

Common varieties of Wild Alpine White strawberries are the following –

  1. Krem
  2. Pineapple Crush
  3. White Delight
  4. White Giant
  5. White Solemacher
  6. White Soul

As it was not stated on the Isetan White strawberries, one cannot tell if its the true wild or hybrid white strawberries. A much well known and sought after white hybrid variety is Pineberry (white flesh, red seeds), a cross between Fragaria and Ananassa varieties. This cannot be grown from seeds, as Pineberry is a cultivated hybrid, thus please do not buy pineberry seeds online.

My observations on White Soul –  

  1. Seedlings were very small.
White Soul strawberry babies

September 18 2015 -White Soul strawberries seedlings were 20 days old

2. Roots are frail and delicate, not easy to transplant.

Growing White Soul strawberries from seeds

Oct 20 2015 – White Soul strawberries are 52 days old

It would be very difficult to transplant them if I had no prior experience growing strawberries!

White Soul strawberries roots

Oct 25 2015 – Look how delicate the White Soul strawberry seedling and roots are!

Most of the white soul strawberries seedlings were transplanted into its individual bottles. I really do not want to transplant them too often!

Grow strawberries from seeds

2015 November – 1 month old from October batch

Hydro White Soul grew faster than soil based seedlings.

Grow strawberries from seeds

2018 June 14 – 1 month old (10 cm)

 

3. Seedlings had low survival rate, more than half my 50 seedlings died after transplant 🙁

White Soul strawberry seedlings died

Nov 2015 – Dying White Soul strawberry seedlings

4.  For those that survived, they grew very slowly 🙂

White Soul Strawberry seedling

Nov 10 2015 – 3 months old White Soul strawberries are small compared to other strawberry varieties!

5. Hardier plants from the 4th month. Survival rate is very good from this point.

White Soul strawberry seedling at 4th month

January 7 2016 – White Soul seedling are slightly over 4 months old

White Soul Strawberry at 18 weeks old

Jan 18 2016 – White Soul strawberry seedling is 4 inches tall!

White Soul strawberry crown

2016 January 28 –  4 months old emerging crown (soil)

Grow strawberries from seeds

2018 – Hydro, 1 month old

 

White Soul strawberry developing a crown

Jan 28 2016 – Most varieties of strawberries developed a crown by the 4th month

Growing White Soul strawberries indoors

Jan 28 2016 – White Soul strawberries are growing taller

Growing White Soul Strawberry

March 5 2016 – Almost 8 months and no flowers yet! 🙁

Grow White strawberries

March 6 2016 – Cupped leaves on this white strawberry plant. Cannot figure out the ‘why’ yet. Grown in grow bag with loose coco peat soil and compost.

March 10 2016 – First flower bud 🙂

White strawberry from seed

After 8 long months, finally the first white strawberry ‘s flower bud appeared!

Growing white strawberry

March 12 2016 – White strawberry’s flower

Self pollinating strawberry flowers

March 18 2016 – Human bee Summer pollinating strawberry flower again 🙂

White Strawberries

First set of flowers did not made it!

White strawberries

April 10 2016 – More tiny flowers and fruits !

Outdoor Trials – Bright Corridor

Even though this variety thrived in USA Zone 4 – 8, I wanted to see how they grow in our natural environment without air-conditioning. Thus 10 plants in 3 batches were planted in my 60L compost pot in my bright corridor.

From this pioneer batch, only one survived today (March 8 2016), however I learned how to adjust the pot environment to enable them to survive in Singapore without air-conditioning! 🙂

Outdoor Trial began on January 18 2016.

White Soul strawberries tested in outdoors trials

Jan 18 2016 – First batch of 3 months old White Soul strawberry seedlings grown outdoors

White Souls in a 60L corridor compost pot, Jan 18 2016

White Souls in a 60L corridor compost pot, Jan 18 2016

Ice and ice bottles to cool soil where air-conditioning is not available

Ice and ice bottles to cool soil where air-conditioning is not available

white strawberry

Sole surviving white strawberry in corridor pot, finally learned how to grow them without air-con!

As the weather became warmer in Singapore, more adjustments were made in our corridor pots 🙂

Tropical care for strawberry plants

March 18 2016 – Frost arrived in our corridor strawberry pots

May 2016 – Corridor trails without air-conditioning, sun, and shelter from rain, were a total failure. All 30 plants died ! White Soul strawberries seem to need air-conditioning and a cooler climate/environment to thrive. Luckily for our studies, Regina Fok, who is based in USA, will germinate her seeds to help us test this theory.

White Strawberries

April 6 2016 – White Strawberries in air-conditioned library where I read and wrote blog’s posts!

After the post of Hydroponics Strawberries was written, I decided to experiment with half hydroponic/half soil method on the white strawberries. This was more a pragmatic decision rather than a zest to experiment with hydroponics! 🙂 The roots of some plants had already outgrew their pots and transplanting flowering white strawberries was too risky. White Strawberries as we already learned during the seedlings stage, did not like to move! :

White Strawberries

Roots finding purchase outside my pot!

Net the bottom of the pot to prevent more soil erosion and the pot is sitting on an old steamer’s tray instead of resting fully in the nutrients solution. I needed to see how these plants react to the nutrients solution first before I changed them over totally!

White Strawberries

April 2 2016 -Testing pot of soil based white strawberries on nutrients solutions

White Strawberries

April 4 2016 – White pot of soil based flowering white strawberries and fully hydroponics from soil based (cups) survived! Air pump added for aeration in the tray as well.

White strawberries are by far, one of the most difficult to start from seeds. The seedlings are slow to grow and delicate.

In 2017, new trials continued to improve our understanding of this type of strawberries.

Comparative data from USA Regina Fok will collect data on white strawberries from seeds journey in cooler USA zone for us 🙂 Thank you, Regina!!

Grow white strawberries from seeds

April 8 2016 – About 9 days to germinate and almost all seeds are viable. (Same as Singapore based data)

White Soul strawberries from seeds

May 21 2016 – Regina Fok’s white  strawberries are 2 months old. Small seedlings (same as our Singapore based data)

Grow white strawberries from seeds in Singapore

White strawberries variety from SG Strawberries seeds

The size of first harvest fruits are same as ones grown in tropical Singapore.

Grow white strawberries from seeds in Singapore

White strawberries are alpines

As there is not much information available on white strawberries in our tropical zone, we are hoping to record more data as we grow them in our blog. 🙂

2018 – Sowed  a few varieties of  white strawberries on January 20. They germinated on January 26 after 6 days, although it felt longer. The taste profile is caramel flavored and sweet when ripe.

Grow white strawberries in Singapore

January 26 2018 – tiny peek of life (CREAM)

White strawberries varieties are considerably small in size and slower to grow than the common red varieties. See how tiny they were when they began this journey in Singapore!

White Strawberries from seeds in Singapore

4 varieties of WHITE strawberries

White strawberries have the characteristics red stems of normal red garden varieties. From germinating through growth stages here, we are breeding in natural SG environment.

White Strawberries from seeds

2018 March 8 – Some have graduated from nursery !

We aimed to grow 5 varieties of white strawberries in 2018 and built a portfolio of gourmet hydro plug-ins for gardeners to grow.

Hanging strawberries gardens

White Strawberries varieties

An uphill battle won ! Finally we got fruits from our February 20 batch of seedlings!

Grow white strawberries from seeds

2018 Aug 01 – Caramel + Pineapple

Grow white strawberries from seeds in Singapore

2018 August 01 –

Grow white strawberries from seeds in Singapore

Seeds harvest

Do check in to our SHOP when these plugs are ready for reservation. In the meantime, other kits, seeds, customized soil mix etc are ready for consideration!

Grow gourmet strawberries

Bulk Delivery of hydro plugs

With the compilation of 2 years of strawberries growth data in our tropical zone, we discovered new ways to grow them better. Future strawberries will be breed this way, with zero carbon footprint, yet tough enough to fruit in natural environment. In addition, our hydro seedlings can be easily plugged in high tech systems or stand bare in Kratky.

Grow white strawberries from seeds

Strawberries grown in Kratky

White Strawberries Summary –

  1. Perennial plant
  2. Heavy feeder, need Phosphorous and Potassium like most strawberries
  3. Minimum 6 hours light, prefers shade over full sun
  4. Minimum soil temperature is 15 degree Celsius
  5. Well drained loamy soil
  6. Moderate watering, preferred drip irrigation
  7. Temperature not above 29 degree Celsius 
  8. Mature plants are 6 – 8 inches tall, Width 10 – 12 inches across
  9. Suitable for USA zone 4 – 8 (For reference, Singapore is beyond Zone 13 )

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “White Strawberries

  1. WHOAA!! white strawberry from japan available in SG? that’s rare. you should (oh no, you must) take the seeds. have you ever try to grow garden strawberry (fragaria x ananassa) from seeds before?

    • HI,

      White Soul was not successful. This variety was from the States. We succeeded with the Heirloom Pineapple strawberries, yellow color. And yes, seeds from them are viable. Their seedlings are acclimatized to SG weather. We are hopeful that this new generation will begin Singapore’s alpine strawberries gardening. Yes, last year we grown and harvested red strawberries variety.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.