Strawberry leaves are brown around the edges

Written by k.c. morgan
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Strawberry leaves are brown around the edges
Garden-fresh strawberries look delicious until you find out something's been putting stress on the foliage. (OksanaMerzlyakova/iStock/Getty Images)

It's hard to pass up a fresh strawberry. The small, bite-sized fruits are red, heart-shaped and visually inviting. Many gardeners plant strawberry in their outdoor spaces so they can enjoy the summertime treat fresh from the garden. But when strawberry leaves begin turning brown around the edges, the fruit becomes a lot less appetising. Isolate and treat the problem before it destroys the whole crop.

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Cultivation

Proper cultivation helps keep strawberry plants healthy, preventing wilted foliage and other problems. Plants under water and weather stress often exhibit signs of damage through wilted, curling or otherwise damaged leaves. Plant strawberries in full sunlight and choose a site with well-drained soil. Strawberry plants may be put in the ground as soon as spring soil is warm and workable, which is as soon as March in the south. Before planting, add 5-10-5 fertiliser to the soil -- 4.5 kg (10 lb) per 92 square metres (1,000 square feet). Strawberries need rich soil to grow in good health.

Disease

Verticillium wilt is caused by a fungus that may live in soil for years at a time. In early stages, verticillium wilt causes strawberry leaves to turn brown around the edges and between the leaf veins. Leaf scorch also creates browning of leaves. As the problem progresses, the edges of leaves turn brown and brittle. Prevent fungal infection on strawberry plants by keeping foliage dry. Give plants plenty of space to promote cooling air circulation. Water strawberry plants in the morning, giving them time to dry in the sunlight during the day.

Pests

A variety of pests are attracted to strawberry leaves. The stress caused by certain insects will make the leaves wilt and turn brown around the edges. Leaf rollers do exactly that -- they roll leaves together to feed on them. Feeding damage creates wilting and jagged holes in leaves. Mites suck the nutrients out of the leaves, creating discolouration.

Treatment

Prepare for disease and pest damage before planting strawberries. Do not plant strawberries in soil where tomatoes and potatoes have been recently grown. Treat the soil with fungicide in autumn, before strawberries are planted in spring. A fungicide treatment may also be applied in spring to prevent fungal diseases. To protect plants against pests, use pesticides that work to repel invasion.

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