Strawberry in Hawaii

randg(11)December 19, 2008

When I first saw my first ever strawberry plant that was being sold at Home Depot, I was very wary that it will not grow in Hawaii's tropical weather condition. A year before that, I was told that I couldn't plant rambutan tree in the arid, dry, climate of Waipahu, so my skepticism was a bit stronger than usual. Rambutan requiring a subtropical climate and I used to assume that strawberries are only grown in area where it is seasonally snows.

Last month at the Oahu Urban Garden Center, I saw once again a strawberry plant and it was being sold. Unlike the strawberry I saw at Home Depot in the past, this plant has bigger and darker leaves, which indicate it is more mature. With the success I had with the Golden Dorsett Apple that I planted last year, I was excited buying it. A few days later, it bloomed and produced fruits:

More than a week ago, Home Depot was selling strawberries again and it was producing runners (daughters). I immediately bought three small pot of strawberry plants full of runners. During the transportation, some of the runners broke. I planted the three strawberry plants in a wide pot and forced the runners to touch the soil so it will root. Then I filled the left-over containers with potting soil to plant the broken runners, a few hours later it started to wilt; I then decided to place the whole thing in Sam's (or Costco's) rotisserie chicken container that I saved, I put on the lid to have a humid condition, and placed it in a bright area, but not directly from the sun. With that three plant that I bought, it produced over a dozen new plants currently, and it still producing more!

Here is the question:

What is the season for strawberries in Hawaii?

Does any one the characteristic of the ever-bearing and seasonal strawberries?

In what months does the strawberry usually bear fruits for you?

I know that Garden Isle Dave has this plant, as well as other members--I searched strawberry in this Hawaii forum--so you may know more about it.

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garden_isle_dave(9b)

Hey Rand,

Yup I have them growing again now. I'm not sure what species/variation/hybrid these are though,(I'll look at the label if it's still intact on the planter) and I can only assume that fruiting periods vary from species to species. I think mine came from Pangs Nursery over in Kaneohe on Oahu, but can't be certain. Thats where either Walmart, Kmart, and/or Home Depot get alot of their fruit/veggie starters.

I THINK, but take it with a grain of salt, that most of the Strawberry plants sold in Hawaii are ever-bearing, but I could be wrong. I bought some about 6 months ago which came with a few flowers, and they produced a few strawberries for about 2 weeks there. They then started producing keiki, and no fruit, for about a month or so before they started fruiting again.

From what I've heard, these strawberries have a few seasons per year, and it seems possible since mine produced a few different times. I got rid of that batch, and more recently bought another. They aren't set up to hang this time around, I just have them elevated on a board in a large planter. They came with flowers and even some small berries this time too, which of course got eaten by snails/slugs... but thats another story for another time...I'm getting out the salt shaker...the very reason I hung my previous batch in the first place... why didn't I think this time around? Anyway, it's currently producing runners and no berries, for about the last month now. It seems about time I should start seeing some berries...I placed the babies into their own planters until they were rooted, and trimmed 'em off this time around, hoping the berries would get more nutrients and be worth the time put into it! Plus I get some extras for when I randomly decide to trade-off this one =/

About the hanging Strawberries...I had never seen this done here in Hawaii so I set one up...gave that plant away a long while ago...now all of a sudden there are hanging strawberry baskets everywhere...Lol. How it goes I guess =p

Talk to ya later, hope this scrambled post gives you SOME idea of what's going on with your berries!

Aloha,

~Dave
Kauai
P.S. Will post some photos (just because I can!) tomorrow.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 1:00AM
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randg(11)

Thank you, David, for that information.

The two books that I acquire today ("Growing Fruits in Hawaii" by Kathy Oshiro and "Gardening in Hawai'i" by Peggy Hickok Hodge) does talk about strawberry plants in Hawaii. The books said that the strawberry bear fruit and can be harvested in December to June.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 5:42AM
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garden_isle_dave(9b)

No worries. I'll have to check out those books, sound like great sources for HI-grown info. So we should be watching for berries anytime now...Can't wait...MMmmm.....

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 5:51AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

There's a web page up that says they are being grown commercially in higher, cooler areas of Maui and Hawai'i.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 6:01PM
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randg(11)

Yeah, I read that old article.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 6:34AM
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seanwg_hawaii_edu

Here in Kailua it's pretty much year-round for fruit production. I had several "alexandria" alpine strawberry plants that grew very nicely and always had fruit on them but unfortunately they died while I was in Taiwan (nobody watered them =( )....For the larger regular strawberries, I have "quinault" (Everbearing) and "eversweet" (Day-Neutral) which bloom at monthly intervals and seem to produce more fruit in the spring.

Put out slug poison because the slugs and snails love all parts of the strawberry plant. I grow mine under several peach trees so that they receive some shade. Also, remove any runners that form and flowers for the first year so that the energy of the plant will go into establishing itself and thus bigger and more fruit....I know this is really hard to do, but in the long-term it's worth it. =)

hope this helped!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 11:51PM
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randg(11)

Thank you Sean!

Well, the cold weather we are having currently in Hawaii, I presumed, made some of the strawberry from Home Depot flower! I know that I should take Sean's advice about cutting the runner and flower off for the first year, but I think I'll leave some of the plants to flower and other to have runners. Usually when the runners establish roots I quickly cut it from the mother plant, this way I could continue propagating the plants.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 7:41AM
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sincerelysarah

My strawberry vines are growing well but the berries will not ripen nicely. They end up all mutated and mushy on one side. I am in the Wailua Homesteads of Kauai. Any suggestions on what to do?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 2:07PM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

I grow strawberries, but not in Hawaii. They don't like to have their roots dry out, but they also don't like to have the crowns wet. If the crowns stay too wet too long, they mildew.

Because strawberries are grown commercially in both Southern California and Florida, I would just assume that the air temperature would not be that big an issue. I'd be looking at controlling the moisture.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 11:14AM
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randg(11)

Don't let the strawberry fruits touch the soil, mulch it with straws if it's not too windy where you are, otherwise mulch with heavier materials like wood chips. Mulch will keep the soil temperature and moisture constant to a degree, and will keep the soil from splashing on the underside of the leaves and on fruits.

This is one of another plant that I stop growing, slugs and snails are a big problem for me, and I needed more space for other plants. Mulching the plants did encourage those pest, and I even planted it on a 4 feet large container, but those small variety of snails somehow could climb up and slightly damage the fruits.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 3:02PM
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