The barren strawberry (Waldsteinia) is the ideal choice for low-light beds under woody plants. The plant even knows how to hold its own against powerful root competition.
With its golden-yellow flower carpet, the evergreen barren strawberry is a splendid border for graves. The following answers to frequently asked questions reveal what other conditions are required and how successful cultivation can be achieved.
Planting Barren Strawberry Properly
When the days get shorter in the fall, it’s planting time for the barren strawberry. Choose a partial shade or shady location with moderately dry to fresh soil.
Thorough weeding and removal of roots and stones will initiate the planting process. Subsequently, dig planting pits at 10-14 inches (25-35 cm) intervals.
Collect the soil in a wheelbarrow to mix in leaf compost and horn shavings. Place the potted-out young plants in the middle of a hole, which you then fill with the substrate up to the lower pair of leaves. Now gently press the soil with your hands and water it afterward.
You will only need to spend little time on care work for barren strawberries. These plants are really easy to care for.
Only the following measures are important for care:
- Water the plant during drought in summer and winter.
- Alternate soft rainwater and normal tap water.
- Provide a starting fertilization with leaf compost and horn shavings in March.
- Prune withered flower stems only to prevent self-seeding.
- Cut off the winter-stressed leaves close to the ground in January/February.
In the fall, we recommend covering the root disc with leaf compost. This organic material protects the root ball from permanent moisture and keeps the soil life vital.
Which Location is Suitable for Barren Strawberry?
Barren strawberries are at their best in a semi-shady or shady location. This is especially true in moderately dry to freshly moist soil that is well-drained and humus-rich.
A neutral pH value of around 7 is advantageous for its vitality and abundance of blossoms.
The Right Planting Distance for Barren Strawberry
A prime example of a group plant, the barren strawberry comes into its own beautifully in tufts or flat arrangements. The plant exceeds its 4-8 inches (10-20 cm) growth height in width by almost double.
Therefore, with a planting distance of 10-14 inches (25-35 cm), you create a dense ground cover. In large areas, in the best case, place 8-12 specimens per 10 sqft.
What Soil Does the Barren Strawberry Need?
The barren strawberry especially loves loose, humus-rich soil on tree discs and along the edges of woody plants. The soil should be rich in nutrients and not too moist.
First-class water drainage is essential because the otherwise so robust perennial does not tolerate waterlogging at all.
What is the Best Planting Time for Barren Strawberry?
The barren strawberry is one of the classic perennials with robust winter hardiness from the start.
Therefore, you should choose as a planting time the autumn months of September to mid-November.
At this time of year, the soil has stored the heat of the sun, which is very conducive to rapid rooting.
When is Flowering Time for Barren Strawberry?
The countless, bright yellow cup flowers with five overlapping petals set off from April to June. The flower spectacle is accompanied by dark green, trifoliate leaves.
Thanks to a brownish-red foliage color from the fall, the barren strawberry also decorates the garden during the cold season.
Pruning Barren Strawberry Properly
Cut the wilted flowers down to the evergreen foliage unless you want self-seeding. To elicit a repeat bloom, it’s not worth the effort because the perennial does not rebloom.
At the end of winter, when the reddish-brown foliage has lost its beauty, cut off the leaves close to the ground. Thanks to this prudence, the fresh shoots will have a clear path for another garden season full of flowers.
Watering Barren Strawberries
If the site conditions meet all the requirements, the normal rainfall is sufficient for an adequate water supply. Water the barren strawberry only when the soil surface has dried noticeably.
It is advantageous for the ideal pH value if you alternate between normal tap water and soft rainwater or pond water.
Fertilizing Barren Strawberries Properly
To start the season, the barren strawberry will be happy to receive a portion of leaf compost with horn shavings. Work the organic material into the surface of the root disc and then water it.
In the fall, cover the soil with leaf compost one more time without working it in. In this way, it acts as a natural winter shelter and provides soil organisms with plenty of replenishment for the next growing season.
Wintering Barren Strawberries
The barren strawberry is completely hardy. While other perennials retreat into their root balls, this hardy plant busily graces your garden throughout the winter.
As a supportive measure, we recommend covering the root disc with leaf compost in the fall without working the material into the ground. In this way, the evergreen plant receives natural winter protection, while at the same time vitalizing the soil life.
Propagating Barren Strawberry
By dividing the root ball, you can propagate the barren strawberry in no time at all.
It is best to dig up the perennials in spring or fall for propagation. On a firm base, divide the root ball into several segments, each with at least 2-3 shoots.
In a semi-shaded to shaded location, set the segments in a humus-rich, fresh to moderately dry soil, maintaining the previous planting depth, and water it afterward.
Barren Strawberries in a Pot
You won’t get much enjoyment out of a barren strawberry in a pot. Rather, the vigorous perennial unfolds its full splendor in flat group collections of 10 specimens or more.
Predestined as a flowering ground cover for shady areas, the barren strawberry falls far short of expectations as a specimen in a pot.
Is the Barren Strawberry Poisonous?
Barren strawberries fall under the category of non-toxic ornamental plants. This member of the rose family is therefore ideally suited for the greening of low-light beds in the family garden.
Although the barren strawberry is botanically widely related to garden strawberries, the fruits are nevertheless inedible due to a high content of bitter substances.
Should your child ever taste it, there is no need to worry, though. Because of the bilious taste, it will remain with this one test anyway.
Is the Barren Strawberry Suitable for Lawn Replacement?
As a groundcover, barren strawberries have medium tread resistance. It may well be considered as a substitute for lawn, as long as you are not considering the perennial as a replacement for a playground or sports green.
As recent field trials have shown, the plant develops a largely tread-resistant lawn substitute within 3 years. Problematic sites in the shade and under the root pressure of mighty trees are greened by the barren strawberry with a low-maintenance, splendidly flowering, evergreen cushion.