How Are Hydroponic Strawberries Grown?6 min read


 The Sweet Secret: How to Grow Strawberries Hydroponically 

Imagine the sweet, sun-kissed taste of perfectly ripe strawberries even in the depths of winter.  With hydroponics, this delicious dream can become a reality! While strawberries are typically associated with sprawling garden beds, hydroponic methods allow you to enjoy these delectable fruits year-round, regardless of your available outdoor space.

Hydroponics offers several advantages for growing strawberries.  By providing precise nutrients and a clean, controlled environment, you can minimize disease issues common in soil-based cultivation.  The ability to manipulate factors like light and temperature indoors extends the growing season, potentially leading to larger and even sweeter harvests.

Ready to transform your strawberry experience? Let’s dive into the world of hydroponic strawberry cultivation!

  Why Strawberries Love Hydroponics 

  • Reduced Disease Pressure: Soil-borne diseases and pests can be a major headache for strawberry growers. Hydroponic systems, with their sterile growing media and controlled environment, significantly reduce these risks.  This means healthier plants and fewer lost fruits.
  • Precision Nutrition: Strawberries have different nutrient needs depending on whether they’re in a growth phase or producing blossoms and fruit.  With hydroponics, you can fine-tune their nutrition at each stage.  The result? Robust plants, abundant flowering, and those irresistibly sweet berries.
  • Controlled Environment (Indoors):  When you grow hydroponic strawberries indoors, you become the master of their climate.  By optimizing temperature and providing ample light even during shorter days, you can trick your plants into fruiting outside their typical season and potentially improve the overall quality of your harvest.

Important Note: While hydroponics offers advantages, it’s not without challenges!  Careful monitoring of nutrient levels, pH, and environmental factors is still crucial for success.


Popular Hydroponic Methods for Strawberries 

  • NFT (Nutrient Film Technique):
  • How it works: Strawberry plants are nestled in channels or troughs with their roots exposed to a shallow, continuous flow of nutrient solution.
  • Benefits: Highly space-efficient, especially for vertical growing setups.
  • Considerations: Requires close monitoring to ensure roots don’t dry out if there’s a disruption in nutrient flow.
  • Drip Irrigation:
  • How it works:  Individual strawberry plants are often grown in pots or grow bags filled with a growing medium (like coco coir or perlite). Emitters deliver precise drips of nutrient solution directly to the base of each plant.
  • Benefits: Adaptable to a wider range of strawberry varieties and allows for some buffering if there’s a temporary issue with the drip system.
  • Dutch Buckets:
  • How it works: Similar to drip irrigation but uses slightly larger containers (buckets) and a system for draining excess nutrient solution.
  • Benefits: Excellent for larger fruiting plants like strawberries, ensuring ample root space and good drainage.
  • Vertical Systems:
  • How it works:  Hydroponic towers or stacked systems are fantastic for strawberries.  Their cascading growth habit fits perfectly with the vertical format.
  • Benefits: Maximizes yield in minimal floor space, ideal for balconies, patios, or even indoors.

Note: The best system for you depends on your available space, budget, and the level

 Choosing the Right Strawberry Variety 

Not all strawberries are created equal, especially for hydroponics. Keep these factors in mind:

  • Everbearing:
  • These provide multiple harvests throughout the season rather than a single concentrated burst. This maximizes the potential of your hydroponic system, giving you continuous fresh berries.
  • Day-Neutral:
  • Day-neutral varieties are less reliant on specific daylight hours to trigger flowering. This makes them ideal for indoor growing situations where you’ll likely be using artificial lighting to supplement or replace natural sunlight.
  • Compact Plants:
  • Some strawberry varieties are specifically bred for smaller growth habits. These are perfect for space-conscious setups like hydroponic towers or smaller grow tents.

Popular Choices:

  • Albion, Seascape, Quinault, and Tristar are well-known everbearing or day-neutral strawberry varieties that perform well in hydroponic systems.

Pro Tip: Research varieties recommended for your region or consult your local hydroponics store for tailored advice.

 Tips for Success 

  • Light Matters: Strawberries are sun-lovers!  For optimal flowering and fruiting, ensure they receive plenty of light.  If growing indoors, high-quality grow lights are essential.
  • pH Control: Strawberries thrive in a slightly acidic environment. Aim to maintain your nutrient solution’s pH within the range of 5.5 – 6.5. Monitor regularly and adjust as needed.
  • Pollination (Indoors):  When growing indoors, the lack of insects means you might need to lend nature a hand. Pollination is necessary for fruit formation.  Gently shake your flowering plants or use a soft brush to transfer pollen between blooms.
  • Support:  As strawberry plants produce those delicious fruits, their branches can become heavy.  Consider using lightweight trellises, netting, or ties to support the weight, especially in vertical setups. This also helps with airflow and prevents berries from resting on wet growing medium.
  • Regular Maintenance:
  • Remove runners (unless you want to propagate new plants).  Runners divert energy away from fruit production.
  • Prune away older, yellowing leaves to keep plants healthy.

Important:  Be vigilant for signs of pests or diseases. The controlled environment of hydroponics can sometimes make plants more susceptible if an issue does arise.


Growing strawberries hydroponically opens up a world of delicious possibilities.  By providing a clean environment, precise nutrition, and the ability to control growing conditions, you can enjoy the sweet taste of these summer favorites year-round.

While hydroponic systems require some attention to detail, the reward of harvesting plump, juicy strawberries from your own indoor setup or space-saving vertical garden is unparalleled.

Ready to get growing? The Farmstand Is Your Self-Watering, Self-Fertilizing Solution for an Easy to Grow Harvest

  • Start Small: If you’re a beginner, try a simple hydroponic tower with a few everbearing strawberry plants. I would recommend the Farmstand by Lettuce Grow. It is the best system to start out with, or even upgrade to. 
  • Experiment:  Explore different hydroponic methods to find what works best for your space and preferences.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help!  Online hydroponics communities, local gardening clubs, or hydroponic stores offer a wealth of knowledge and support.

 FAQ: Growing Hydroponic Strawberries 

  • Can I use regular garden strawberry plants in a hydroponic system? While technically possible, it’s best to choose varieties specifically bred for hydroponics or known to perform well in these systems. These often have better disease resistance and growth habits suited to soilless cultivation.
  • Do I need special hydroponic fertilizer for strawberries? Yes! Use a fertilizer formulated for hydroponics. These have the correct balance of nutrients and are water-soluble.  Look for formulas that adjust depending on if your plants are in their vegetative or fruiting stage.
  • How often should I change the nutrient solution in my hydroponic system? This varies based on your setup’s size and plant maturity. A general rule of thumb is to top up the reservoir as needed with a diluted nutrient mix, and perform a full solution change every 1-2 weeks.
  • My strawberry plants are flowering but not producing fruit, why? There are a few possibilities:
  • Inadequate pollination (especially indoors) – assist by hand as explained in the guide.
  • Insufficient light – ensure ample light for fruiting.
  • Incorrect nutrient balance – make sure your fertilizer is suitable for fruiting strawberries.
  • Can I grow hydroponic strawberries from seed? Yes, but it’s more challenging.  Starting with established strawberry runners or young plants from a nursery will give you a headstart and faster results.






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