Growing Strawberries in Pots & Planters

There's nothing quite like the experience of biting into sweet, juicy, freshly picked strawberries. And the good news is that you don't need a sprawling garden to enjoy them. 

Strawberry plants do very well as container crops. Growing them takes about 60 to 90 days, and it’s not berry hard at all.

Here’s what you need to know.

Selecting the right strawberries

You have several options for your strawberry plants: The key is picking a plant that will do well in your region.

Everbearing strawberries, good choices for the northern and western regions of the U.S., can be harvested in late spring/early summer and in the fall. These berries are a bit on the small side, but they make up for it in flavor and aroma. Good varieties for containers are Ozark Beauty and Quinault.

June-bearing varieties do well in most regions of the U.S., particularly in the Midwest and Northeast, and produce one crop in late spring or early summer. These plants produce large berries that come in all at once, making them a great choice for canning or freezing. For container gardens, Chandler or Allstar are good varieties.

Another option, the day-neutral strawberry, fruits as long as temperatures are between 40-90 F (4-32 C), meaning they can produce through spring, summer, and well into fall. Their fruit is firmer and larger than June-bearing strawberries. Good varieties for container gardens include Seascape and Albion, which thrive in a wide range of U.S. regions, including coastal and temperate areas.

A less common but intensely flavorful choice is the Alpine Strawberry plant. It’s ideal for container gardening and can thrive in a variety of climates across the U.S., especially in cooler regions. Alpine strawberries are known for their continuous fruiting throughout the growing season. Varieties like Alexandria and Mignonette are excellent choices for container gardens.

Selecting the right pots

While growing strawberries in pots is very doable, some pots will deliver better results than others. 


For individual plants, choose pots that are at least 12 inches in diameter and 8-12 inches deep. That will give your strawberry plants’ roots enough room to grow and provides stability for the plant.

If you’d prefer to group multiple plants in one pot, look for larger containers like half-barrels or big planters.


You have multiple options:

  • Plastic: Lightweight and affordable, plastic pots retain moisture well, but they tend to heat up quickly in direct sunlight. Choose UV-resistant plastic to prevent degradation.
  • Terracotta: These pots are porous, allowing for good airflow and root health. Keep in mind that the soil terra-cotta pots can dry out more quickly than it would other materials, and the pots are heavier to move around.
  • Ceramic: Glazed ceramic pots retain moisture well and add aesthetic appeal. 


No matter which material you choose, make sure your pots have drainage holes at the bottom so your strawberry plants don’t sit in water, which can lead to root rot. You can improve drainage even more by placing a layer of gravel or small stones in your pots before adding soil.


One way to make your life easier with container gardening is to use pots with wheels or to put your pots in caddies for easy movement. This is especially helpful during hurricane season, when you might need to move your plants to protect them from wind and water damage.

Pot colors 

Light-colored pots reflect heat and keep the soil cooler, which can be beneficial in hot climates.

Dark-colored pots absorb heat and may help keep the soil warm in cooler climates or during the early growing season.

Pro tip: Think about self-watering pots. They have a reservoir at the bottom that provides a consistent water supply to the plant. They’re excellent for maintaining consistent moisture levels, especially in hot or dry climates.

Your strawberries’ soil

Look for a high-quality potting mix designed for container gardening. We recommend incorporating organic matter like compost or aged manure into the potting mix to improve its fertility and structure. Adding perlite or vermiculite will help with aeration and drainage.

Your strawberries also will benefit from some added nutrients. Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to provide essential nutrients. A 10-10-10 or a 14-14-14 fertilizer would be a good choice. Feed your plants every few weeks during the growing season, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

When you plant

Select healthy strawberry plants from a reputable source. Bare-root plants and starter plants are both good options.

When you plant, you’ll want the crown (the point where the stem meets the roots) at soil level. Planting too deep can cause the crown to rot, and planting too shallow can dry out the roots.

Space the plants about 12 inches apart to encourage air circulation and room for growth. 

After you plant, water the soil well to settle it around the roots.

Apply a 1-2-inch layer of organic mulch around the plants to help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and keep the fruit clean.

Caring for your strawberries

Ideally, you’ll want to keep your plants in a spot where they get six to eight hours of full sun exposure. If that isn’t possible, you can still grow strawberries, but your yield might be smaller.  

Here are a few more tips for plant care:


Strawberries need consistent moisture, but they don’t like to be waterlogged. Irrigate when the top inch of soil feels dry. Water deeply to encourage strong root growth. 

Pests and plant diseases

When you grow strawberries in pots, you reduce the risk of pests helping themselves to your fruit, but you won’t eliminate it. Placing netting over the plants will help.

Pots also allow diseases to spread quickly. Inspect your plants for gray mold and powdery mildew and remove infected leaves and fruit immediately.

Harvest time

You can tell your strawberries are ready to be harvested when they have reached their full color, which varies by variety but is typically a deep red. The berries should be firm but slightly soft to the touch and have a sweet, fragrant aroma. 

Fully ripe strawberries will easily detach from the stem with a gentle twist.

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