I have a strawberry plant it's been extremely healthy through out the entire...

Asked June 1, 2014, 4:09 PM EDT

I have a strawberry plant it's been extremely healthy through out the entire process, nice white petals. Then I noticed that the white petals (not the actual leaves) were turning brown. Is this the natural part of the life cycle of these flowers or is there something wrong?

Adams County Illinois

1 Response

Thank you for your email to eXtension.
Generally, immediately after pollination, the flower petals should drop off. You should see a developing berry almost immediately.
If the berry patch was hit by the recent late frost, the petals (and possibly the embryos of the fruit) could have been damaged or killed. A healthy bloom should have a green center; if the center is brown or black, it was killed by the frost. The photo on this page shows a damaged blossom next to a healthy one: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/frosprot_strawf1.jpg . All blooms that look like this will drop off without producing a fruit; however, later-developing blossoms should produce fruit as the season progresses.
If this is not what you're seeing, could you send me some photos of what's going on? Thanks!