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Drooping bare root strawberries?

Posted by angela.t Utah (My Page) on
Tue, May 1, 12 at 17:48

Hello! I'm Angela, and this year is my first year planting a garden! And since ya'll are pros about fruit, I have a question for ya. :)

I bought two buckets of bare root strawberries at the local nursery a few days ago. Each had about twenty plants in each bucket, surrounded by wet peat moss. It stayed wet, and the plants perky, all the way to me planting them. I planted them all, and they still looked fine. I forgot about the immediate watering part, and started planting my peas as well. Once I was almost done doing that, I happened to look up and see the stems started drooping, and remembered I needed to water them ASAP. I did so, and, though it was on "gentle shower", the spray made most of them sprawl almost to the dirt. Today, after some more rain last night, they seem to be more perked up, but only about half their original tallness. They're still kinda bent like a rainbow shape, with the leaves at the dirt level.

My question is, is this normal after planting bare root strawberries? Does it just take a few days for them to realize their planted, and in soil now or something? And yes, I watered them plenty, so I don't think they need water...

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Drooping bare root strawberries?

Yes, this can be quite typical. Stop watering for a few days, it sounds as if they are soaked and you don't want them to rot. Did you make sure the crowns of the plant are above the soil line? If you plant them too deeply they can easily start rotting. But remember planting the strawberries is traumatizing to the plant. They naturally droop a bit until they get used to their new home! Hope this helps, Mrs. G

RE: Drooping bare root strawberries?

Yep! The lady at the nursery told me how deep to put them. :) And thanks so much for the reassurance! Interesting thing is, I went out today to look at them up close. The ones towards the back, one whole variety, are pretty perky, but the front ones aren't. But I think it's probably a combo of what you said and since they were closer to the sprayer nozzle when I was watering them, it might have pushed them further down. So I guess I'll just have to wait a few more days and hopefully all will be well again! :D

RE: Drooping bare root strawberries?

I'm not sure what the weather is like where you are but they will also droop if it gets too hot. Apparently, it serves as a defense mech against water loss, they will return to normal once they have had a chance to recover as well.

RE: Drooping bare root strawberries?

Does it just take a few days for them to realize their planted, and in soil now or something?


since you are excited and a newbie.. i will explain ...

i will yell this part ... THEY CAN NOT 'REALIZE' ANYTHING ... and when you wrap your head around that part.. you will be on your way to understanding plant dynamics ...

when you ripped apart the bunch.. out of the pot ... you interfered with the roots ability to move water thru the plant ...

a plant full of water stands erect due to turgidity .. or the water pressure in the tissue ....

upon planting.. it lost such.. and flopped ... and that is not all that uncommon ...

depending on weather.. heat.. sun .. it takes a few days.. for the roots to get established.. and start pumping water.. to re-establish the lost pressure ...

sometimes the plant stands right back up.. other times. those leaves remain on the ground.. but the new leaves come out upright and proper ... and at that point they are on their way to becoming fully established ...

but the most important thing you need to understand.. is WATER MANAGEMENT ... and drowning things.. is NOT better ...

you have to water deeply.. and then let things NEAR DRY before watering deeply again .. you have to provide water thru the whole root zone ....

and this is all solved by inserting your index finger.. to the second knuckle.. and testing.. your soil .... in your yard ... its not really about guessing..

i like to think that a real gardener doesnt really have a green thumb.. but a brown finger.. its all in how you provide water.. and if you master water issues.. you are 95% of the way to success ...

make any sense??


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