Strawberry Fruit That Aren’t Developing Normally?

SAMSUNGIf you have strawberries you may have noticed some of the fruit are not developing properly. They stay tiny, are misshapen or have areas that appear to be just a bunch of “seeds” where the fruit didn’t grow. This is usually due to a pollination problem. Technically speaking an individual strawberry is actually an aggregate of many fruits with each of the seeds on the surface of the strawberry part of many individual fruits that make up the entire strawberry. When a seed is not pollinated the fleshy receptacle behind it (the part we enjoy eating) does not develop. Therefore the more seeds that are successfully pollinated, the more full and normal looking the strawberry will be.

Poor pollination can be due to rainy, cold or windy weather conditions, which hinder bees from getting out and doing their job; or from a lack of pollinators for any other reason such as bees being killed by pesticides or the plant being in an area where pollinators don’t have access to the blooms.

If bad weather is the cause the problem should remedy itself but may return and affect individual strawberries that have their blooms open during such weather conditions. Remember to avoid application of insecticides that are harmful to bees. If the plant is in a container inside a greenhouse move it out to an area where bees have access to it.

Malformed fruit can also be due to damage from small insects with piercing sucking mouthparts such as the tarnished plant bug but this appears as dimpled and misshapen strawberries, and is most likely not what is affecting the berries at this point in the season.

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