In the spring and summer, you can plant strawberries outside. But in the fall and winter, they need to be confined to a greenhouse, or they’ll rot or develop severe diseases.
The main challenge trying to grow strawberries indoors is the lack of sunlight. Strawberries need sun, and a lot of it!
Some strawberry types routinely and regularly need around 8 hours to 10 hours of sunlight every single day.
But can you really grow strawberries indoors?
Strawberries can be grown indoors. Strawberries are one of the easiest fruits to grow indoors. They can be grown from a plant or from seeds. Strawberries on average take 30 days to 45 days to grow and become ripe. An indoor grow light can produce the best results.
Here are some tips for growing strawberries indoors, including advice on when to plant them, how to grow them and a full step by step guide for getting started growing strawberries indoors for the very first time!
How to Grow Strawberries Indoors – The Perfect Beginners Guide
Although there are lots of ways to grow strawberries this is the method I have found, by experience, to bring the best results.
Choose the right strawberry type
Choosing the right strawberry type for indoor growing is as important to the way you plant, care for, cultivate and ultimately harvest your fresh, ripe strawberries.
With over 70 different types of strawberries, it can be really confusing for a beginner to know which one to choose.
Trial and error can be fun, and experiments in growing can lead to lots of unexpected and sometimes wonderful results, but at the same time it can be very frustrating.
If you are in a dilemma, and simply want to know the best strawberry type to choose, then go for the Alpine Strawberry.
Not only extremely succulent, but also one of the most resilient and strongest of the strawberry types. This makes it perfect for indoor growth where of course sunlight is limited.
Choose a Good Location
Although alpine strawberries can survive with limited sunlight, it’s always best to feed them with as much sunlight as you can give them.
Strawberries absolutely love and thrive on sunlight.
10 hours to 12 hours a day would be well absorbed. A minimum of 4 hours though is required.
If this is difficult in your home you may want to consider an indoor grow light.
These are a great tool for those with limited sunlight (obstructing buildings in apartments etc…). It will help give your strawberries the correct amount of sunlight, albeit in an artificial way, to help them grow.
Prepare the Soil and Fertilizer
Now it’s time again to get our hands dirty.
The best type of soil is a nutrient rich potting soil, and a soil that doesn’t retain too much moisture.
This mixed with a little organic fertilizer really is a perfect combination to good strawberry growth.
Find a Suitable Container
To correctly plant a strawberry plant, ready to grow into some nice fresh strawberries, you’ll need to find a container similar in size to a Pyrex or cooking bowl.
Add your soil, mix with a little water and massage into the soil your chosen fertilizer.
Now, you’re ready to start planting!
Prepare and Plant the Strawberry Plant
Although you can use strawberry seeds, in this walk through we will look at growing strawberries using a strawberry plant.
With your container and soil mixture ready we can plant the strawberry plant.
You’ll want to ensure the join between plant stem and roots are inline with the height of the soil mixture.
This allows your stem and plant to grow outward, whilst the roots continue to grow inside, and spread into the soil.
Like all plants, vegetables and fruit – you will need to add some water.
Strawberries do need water. An average of 1 inch to 2 inches per day to keep the strawberry healthy and aid its development.
This is usually easier to do indoors as you’re reminded each time you walk past your indoor garden – and if you’re anything like me, you check at least two or three times a day!
Native to North America they acclimatise well to Northern Hemisphere temperatures.
Although strawberries have been found in both Europe and Japan, it is widely recognized that the first strawberries found in North America in 1588 were by far the biggest and sweetest.
Sunlight or Indoor Growing Light
As we have already covered, your strawberries need as much sunlight as you can give them.
Choose a south facing window where the amount of sunlight coming in through the window will be greater. You’ll have 85% more sunlight coming through a south facing window than a North facing window over a 12 hour period.
If you are unable to give your strawberries the sunlight they need naturally, then consider an indoor grow light.
Many indoor gardeners invest in small grow lights to help replicate the effects of the sun’s rays on a wide variety of indoor plants, herbs, flowers, vegetables and of course fruits.
Indoor grow lights are relatively inexpensive. They can be purchased for around $30-$60 depending on size required.
No usually, of course, pollination of our flowers usually happens by wandering bees and curious insects, as they pass the pollen from the outer edge of the plant to the inner side.
Before you put on your bee costume and start dipping your nose in to your sprouting flower – why not try a pollination brush.
An egg white brush will do if not – it will need to be clean of course.
By gently brushing the tips of the flower buds you will help recreate the pollination effect bees and insects ordinarily have.
It’s surprising how many small insects find their way inside into our indoor gardens, but of course no where close to the number that would ordinarily pay a visit to your plant.
Harvest Your Strawberries
After 30 days to 45 days your strawberries should be ripe enough to harvest.
The time taken depending on whether you start with a strawberry plant or seeds, as well as the amount of sunlight absorbed and general care and maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I grow strawberries indoors all year round?
It is possible to grow strawberries indoors all year round. An indoor grow light will help to replace the lack of natural sunlight in the winter months. Growing strawberries indoors in winter will take between 30 days to 45 days to be ripe for harvesting.
The indoor grow light, some indoor pollination techniques using a pollination brush and the right amount of soil and water, can see strawberries growing indoors any time of the year.
Can you grow strawberries on windowsills?
Strawberries can be grown on window-sills at home as long as the window-sill is south facing and can capture as much sunlight as possible. In fact, a south facing window-sill is one of the best locations to grow strawberries indoors.
How long does it take for strawberries to grow inside?
It takes strawberries an average of 30 days to 45 days to grow.
Conclusion – Growing Strawberries Indoors
Growing any type of fruit for the first time can be really exciting and fun!
Whether you want to grow strawberries or whether you want to grow lavender indoors (this is another great article by the way) there’s always a sense of fascination and pride watching your seedlings or flowers develop into editable fruit.
Growing strawberries, which can be a good fruit to start with, is a great stepping-stone to growing other types of fruit and herbs indoors.