Why Is My Strawberry Plant Wilting and the Leaves Turning Fuzzy?

Updated July 19, 2017

Strawberry plants are a fruiting bush plant that produces low-lying vines. Strawberry plants are an early summer fruit that prefers warm weather and requires regular irrigation. Strawberry plants can become overwatered either because of heavy rainfalls or overzealous gardeners. Overwatering strawberry plants creates stressed plants and, in extreme cases, the plant will die.


Strawberry plants require regular watering to maintain a consistent soil moisture level. Proper soil moisture is when the soil is routinely damp when touched. The strawberry plant is overwatered when the soil is routinely saturated long after watering or rainfall. Standing pools of water are also an indication of overwatered plants.


When first overwatered, strawberry plants wilt and the leaves turn yellow as an indication of stress. If the strawberry plant is routinely overwatered, the plant begins developing mould or mildew along the lower leaves of the plant. The fruit of the plant also becomes susceptible to mould, and it is likely that blight or other infections will start afflicting the plant. After a prolonged period, the leaves of the plant will be very visibly mouldy, with grey to black fuzz appearing on the leaves. The roots of the plant turn black and mouldy, and after a period of time, the plant dies.


Stop watering your strawberry plant as much or as frequently at the first sign of overwatered strawberry plants. Adjust your watering schedule so that the plants still receive water on a regular basis, but they are not subject to as much or as frequent of a watering schedule. If you have a clay-heavy soil, water your plants less frequently than if you have a sandy soil. Mulching your strawberry plants helps keep steady levels of moisture in your soil.


Prepare the soil before planting your strawberry plants by mixing in compost, peat moss and manure to help create a nutrient-rich soil that is well-draining. Plant your strawberry plants in an area that is not susceptible to flooding and receives plenty of sunshine. Tilling your garden soil before planting can help ensure well-aerated soil that drains easily.

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About the Author

Lang Tun has been a professional writer since 2001. She has written on landscaping and the environment for the BBC and is currently at the University of Toronto, finishing a doctorate in international relations. She also holds degrees in English from Wilfrid Laurier University (film and literature studies) and the University of Toronto (British and Canadian literature).