Growing cool seasoned plants such as strawberries outside their ideal zones is not difficult as long as we understood the plants’ signals.
From the experience of seeds grown plants, we first recognized what are the healthy signals.
For strawberries, the most indicative of health is red or vivid stems/crown. Next are open faced leaves, upright standing plant, and vigorous growth of leaves.
In fatigue stress, the first sign is declining red in the stems.
Remedy – Repot in new soil and let tired plants rest and wait for recovery.
Colour will first return to crown then stems if all is well with the plants. If the plants have been too dependent on fertilizers or not healthy to begin with, they may not be able to recover. This is the same as natural zone grown strawberries. Not every plant returned after wintering outdoors. But for those that do, they are stronger and more vigorous plants.
Not all droopy leaves and stems are indicative signs of bad health. Sometimes, strawberries can be temperamental plants as well.
Don’t be fooled ! These plants are not sick. The stems and colour are still in the pink of health.
Remedy – Study the growing environment and reverse whatever is causing fatigue in these plants. Young seedlings are less hardy and can be easily stressed. Example, if wind is too strong, remove pot to less windy areas. The solution can be as easy as that!