How to Determine if Your Strawberry Plants are Dead

Strawberries are delicious and nutritious fruits packed with vitamins and antioxidants that are important for a healthy body. 

Whether you grow them in your backyard or in a small container, caring for your strawberry plants is crucial to ensure a healthy and fruitful harvest. 

Despite your best efforts, sometimes strawberry plants may die due to several factors such as root rot, lack of water, or rot. 

What are the Signs of a Dead Strawberry Plant?

How to Determine if Your Strawberry Plants are Dead

It’s essential to keep a lookout for these common signs of a dying strawberry plant to prevent a complete loss of your plant.

Wilting Leaves

A vital sign of a dying strawberry plant is when the leaves start to wilt or droop and feel dry to the touch. Wilting is a visible sign that the plant is struggling to absorb enough water.

Brown Leaves

Another sign of a dead strawberry plant is brown, dry leaves that start to decay and fall off the plant. Brown leaves are usually a sign that the plant is not receiving enough water or is infected by a fungal disease.

No New Leaves

If you notice no new leaves growing from the strawberry plant over an extended period, then the plant may not be adequately nourished and might be dying. New leaves are an essential sign that the plant is still alive and growing.

What Causes Strawberry Plants to Die?

Root Rot

Root rot is a common fungal disease that affects many plants, including strawberries. It’s usually caused by overwatering, poorly-drained soil, or the wrong type of soil that holds onto moisture for too long. 

The fungus attacks the root system, making it difficult for the plant to absorb essential nutrients and water from the soil.

Lack of Water

Strawberry plants need a consistent supply of water to thrive, especially in hot or dry weather. Without adequate water, the plant will start to wilt and eventually die.


Rot is a fungal disease that causes the plant to decay and turn brown. It’s usually a sign that the plant is infected and dying.

What are the Different Types of Strawberries?

There are two main types of strawberries: bare root strawberries and dried up strawberries.

Bare Root Strawberries

Bare root strawberries are grown by planting small plants without soil or container. These plants are usually sold in bundles with their roots exposed.

Dried Up Strawberries

Dried up strawberries are plants that have been placed in a dormant state through lack of water. 

They usually come in a small container or plastic packaging and may appear dead at first glance, but they can be revived if given proper care.

How to Determine if Bare Root Strawberries are Dead?

It can be challenging to determine if bare root strawberries are dead, especially if you’re new to gardening. Here are a few tips to help you figure it out:

Inspect the Root System

Check the roots of the plant for any signs of rot or damage. Healthy roots are firm, light in color, and flexible. If the roots are soft, slimy, or discolored, this may be a sign that the plant is dead.

Check for New Growth

If the bare root strawberry plant has started to grow new leaves, then it’s an excellent sign that the plant is still alive. If there’s no new growth or signs of life after several weeks, then the plant may be dead.

Look for Signs of Rot on the Base of the Plant

If you notice any signs of rot on the base of the plant above the roots, then it’s a clear indication that the plant is dying or dead.

To sum up, it’s essential to care for your strawberry plants and keep an eye out for the signs of a dying or dead plant. 

With proper nurturing and attention, you can often bring your strawberry plant back to life. By following our tips and advice, you’ll know how to tell if your strawberry plant is dead, and if it’s not, you can take steps to revive it.

FAQ: How to Determine if Your Strawberry Plants are Dead

Q: How can I tell if my strawberry plant is dead?

A: Look for signs of rot, such as brown leaves or dried up strawberries. Additionally, if the plant is completely brown and brittle, it’s likely dead.

Q: Can my dried up strawberry plant be brought back to life?

A: If the plant hasn’t completely died, there may be a chance to revive it. Start by removing any dead or diseased leaves and stems. Water the plant regularly and make sure it’s receiving enough sun. If the roots are still healthy, the plant may come back to life.

Q: What causes strawberry plants to die?

A: There are many factors that can contribute to a strawberry plant’s death, such as root rot, lack of water, or disease. It’s important to make sure your plants are healthy and receiving proper care.

Q: How do I know if my strawberry roots are healthy?

A: Healthy strawberry roots should be white and firm. If they’re brown or mushy, it’s a sign of root rot and the plant may be in danger.

Q: How much water should I give my strawberry plants?

A: Strawberry plants prefer consistent, even moisture. Water around the plant, rather than directly on top of it, to avoid damaging the crown. Make sure your plants are receiving at least an inch of water per week.

Q: Is there any way to bring a dead strawberry plant back to life?

A: If the plant is truly dead, there’s likely not much you can do to bring it back. It’s important to remove the dead plant from the soil to avoid spreading disease to other healthy plants.

Q: What do healthy strawberry leaves look like?

A: Healthy strawberry leaves should be a bright green color and free from any brown or yellow spots. Make sure the leaves aren’t wilting or drooping.

Q: Can using too much fertilizer kill my strawberry plants?

A: Yes, over-fertilizing can actually harm your plants and even kill them. Make sure to use a balanced fertilizer and follow the instructions closely.

Q: Do potted strawberry plants require different care than those planted in the ground?

A: Potted strawberry plants may require more frequent watering and fertilization than those planted in the ground. Make sure your pot has proper drainage to avoid waterlogged roots.

Q: What types of fertilizer are best for strawberry plants?

A: Strawberry plants prefer a balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Look for a fertilizer with a ratio of 10-10-10 or 12-12-12.

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