Alpine Strawberry

This pretty little plant forms a small clump of deep green, three-leafed foliage. Unlike regular garden strawberries, alpine strawberries don't send out runners, so they stay neatly in place.

Alpine strawberries bloom and fruit from early summer through mid-autumn, bearing many small white flowers followed by petite, pointed, bright red fruit (there are also white or light yellow selections). These little jewels are prized for their fragrance and rich flavor—enjoy them right off the plant or use them as garnish in an elegant dessert.

Common name: Alpine strawberry, woodland strawberry

Botanical name: Fragaria vesca

Plant type: Herbaceous perennial

Zones: 3 to 9

Height: 6 to 8 inches

Family: Rosaceae


Growing conditions

  • Sun: Full sun or part day shade
  • Soil: Loamy or sandy, with ample organic matter
  • Moisture: Evenly moist but well-drained

Care

  • Mulch: 1 inch of fine mulch, such as pine needles or cocoa bean hulls
  • Pruning: None
  • Fertilizer: Apply compost or balanced fertilizer in spring.

Propagation

  • Seed
  • Division

Pests and diseases

  • Slugs, snails
  • Crown rot may occur in overly wet sites

Cultivars

  • ‘Rugen' (also listed as ‘Ruegen') is an heirloom red-fruited selection from France.
  • ‘Mignonette' is a popular selection available as seeds or plants.
  • ‘Pineapple Crush' has pale yellow fruit with a fruity pineapple scent and taste.

Garden notes

  • Plant alpine strawberries as an edging in either vegetable garden beds or flower gardens.
  • Alpine strawberries are beautiful in containers on the deck or patio. In cold regions, move containers to a cool but protected spot, such as a garage or root cellar, to overwinter, or remove the plants and heel them in the garden.
  • For the sweetest flavor, be sure alpine strawberries are fully ripe before harvesting.

All in the family

  • Alpine strawberry is a member of the rose family (Rosaceae), a large family of woody and herbaceous plants.
  • Many fruit trees are members of this family, including cherries, apples, peaches and plums.
  • In addition to roses, other ornamental shrubs in the rose family include ninebark (Physocarpus spp.), potentilla and spirea.

Where to buy