Hydroponic Strawberries

Best Techniques for Growing Strawberries Hydroponically

Quick Facts            Plant Selection            Nutrients            Containers

Secrets Of Hydroponic Gardening Paperback September 19, 2015 - ISBN-13: 978-1517350857

A major advantage to growing strawberries hydroponically is having fresh strawberries that you can harvest throughout the year. And if your strawberry plant should yield more strawberries than you can eat, you can always freeze or preserve any excess production.

Quick Facts

  1. pH range 5.5-6.0 for optimal results, up to 6.5 acceptable

  2. Strawberries prefer low humidity

    • Good air flow is essential for plant vigor.

    • Strawberries are prone to powdery mildew in high humidity.

  3. 65-75 degrees F is best for fruiting

  4. 12-16 hours of light daily optimal - but a minimum of 6 hrs.

  5. Annual yield: up to 3lbs fruit per plant

  6. Harvest 12 months/year is possible - Shorter Plant Life expectancy

1. Select a Strawberry Plant

I suggest avoiding June bearers as they won't bear past summer, they are suited for one heavy crop only. Day neutral or Ever Bearing varieties are best for Hydroponic growers who want an extended season. Some varieties that have shown to do well in hydroponics are

  • Red Gauntlet

  • Brighton {Higher Yields - some sacrifice of flavor.}

  • Chandler - reasonable yields and flavor

  • Douglas

  • Tuft {Lower yields, sweeter berry}

  • Tioga {Lower yields, sweeter berry}

Growing Strawberries from seed will take 2 - 3 years to attain maturity, which is not good for hydroponic growers. Cold-stored certified virus tested runners are best. Runners are the off-shoots of a mature strawberry plant that have been cut off and re-rooted.

Ideally the runners you choose should be in flower or at least have buds . Planting chilled cuttings to your Hydroponic garden at staggered intervals will help to ensure a supply of fresh strawberries year round.  See Also :Strawberry Varieties

2. Nutrient Solution

Presoak all media {LCA, Rockwool, vermiculite...}  in a pH balanced water for at about 45 minutes before using it. Dry media will soak up moisture from the  plants roots.


Nitrogen, potassium ,phosphorous are the three primary nutrients required by strawberries. Substantial amounts of calcium, magnesium and sulfur, are also needed, as well as the hydrogen, carbon and oxygen they will naturally get through the air and water.

Strawberries also need trace amounts of certain elements in order to thrive. These elements are copper, manganese, molybdenum, iron, cobalt, chlorine and zinc.

Strawberry Nutrient SolutionsStrawberry Nutrient Solutions for Hydroponics are available ready mixed from many online sellers.

Yellowing or browning leaves, brown spots, strangely-colored plants, or poorly developed berries, are all signs that your strawberry plants arenít getting all the nutrients that they need.

Properly cared for Hydroponic strawberry plants will produce up to 25 percent faster than if grown conventionally.
See: Hydroponic Nutrients

3. Containers

Obtain a 5 gallon food-grade plastic bucket. If not already, present drill drainage holes in the bottom. You should avoid containers that contained chemicals such as paints and other coatings - use Food Grade containers only. Thoroughly clean and dry your container.

Fill the container about 2/3 full with your pre-soaked growth media - vermiculite is best for strawberries, but other media will also suffice.

See Also :Hydroponic Growth Mediums


4. Planting


Fill a second bucket with cool water.

If you are transplanting strawberries from soil, gently remove the strawberry plant from its container and remove attached soil from the roots with a mild shaking. You should also lightly tap any dirt clinging to the roots with your fingers, try to avoid damaging the root systems, even the finest of roots contribute to the plants overall health and production.

Soak the entire root system in the cool water bucket.

After 10 - 15 minutes remove the roots from the bucket and rinse them gently under cool running water to ensure that any remaining soil is removed.

Before placing the strawberry plants in the pot remove any dry, discolored or dead leaves.

Place the plants in the pot by holding the crown and evenly splaying the roots above the vermiculite, or chosen growing media.

Proper technique of planting hydroponic strawberries

Shop for Hydroponics Supplies


Add enough media to cover the roots, but not the crown. The crown should be exposed to light and air.

Make sure all plants receive adequate light, for optimal results 12 - 16 hours daily is best.  If you do not have grow lights place them near a sunny window.

Mix your Hydroponic nutrients according to the package directions, and thoroughly water your plants with the nutrient solution.  The water should checked daily and water added as needed in order to keep the roots constantly moist.


Runners on strawberry plants should be cut back




5.Care and Tips

Premature flower blooms may appear before the plant reaches 10"-12" round , these should be removed and not allowed to re-grow until the plant is able to support the weight of the berries {10-12" round} without being anchored in soil. Runners that may appear should also be cut back, even after the plant has reached full size,  Runners use up the plants energy that otherwise would be put into fruiting. You may want to save the runners to grow more plants.

Temperature levels are vital. Too hot, and your strawberries will slow down , cease  flowering and sometimes stop producing fruit.

Too cold, they simply wonít grow. 65-75 degrees F is best for fruiting.

Strawberry plants actually do benefit from chilling during the winter months, some varieties tolerate more cold than others. In all likelihood your plants would  benefit from over-wintering in an unheated location.  You can also simulate a winter season for new seedlings. Dip the roots in a microbial solution, carefully and loosely wrap them in a clear plastic and refrigerate them for up to three months.

Misting strawberries weekly is advisable. Strawberries do better with lower humidity and good air circulation to ward off mildews.

Strawberries do not continue to ripen once they have been picked, so donít harvest them until they are fully ripe.

Other Methods of Growing Hydroponic Strawberries

  1. Nutrient Film Technique - a system where the roots of the plants are suspended in a trickle of nutrient solution.
  2. Flood and drain - Nutrients get pumped into a tray containing the strawberries, the tray contains holes allowing the nutrient to drain back into a reservoir and re-circulated.


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