The reasons for strawberry plants dying is because of a nutrient deficiency in the soil, frost damage, crown rot or drought stress due to under watering which causes the leaves to shrivel and turn brown. Strawberry leaves turn yellow and die back in response to over watering and crown rot.\n\n\n\nKeep reading to learn what exactly is causing your strawberry plants to die and how to revive them or prevent it from happening...\n\n\n\nIt is important to note that strawberry plants have a relatively short lifespan of around 6 years and tend to decline after two years in terms of fruit production and healthy of the plant.\n\n\n\nStrawberry Plants Dying after Planting (Brown Leaves)\n\n\n\nThere are several reasons why strawberry plants appear to be dying shortly after planting.\n\n\n\nPlanting the strawberry plant too shallow increases the risk of drought.Planting strawberries too deep in the soil can cause crown rot.Not watering strawberry plants frequently enough as this is the time they are most vulnerable to drought.\n\n\n\nThe symptoms of an under watered strawberry plant suffering drought stress are brown wilted leaves and shriveled fruit.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nStrawberry plants should be watered as frequently as required to keep the soil moist whilst the roots are establishing in the soil. \n\n\n\nWatering generously encourages the roots to grow which increases the plants resilience to drought.\n\n\n\nWatering too lightly causes the surface of the soil to be moist but the water does not infiltrate the soil to the strawberries plants where it is required causing the leaves to wilt, shrivel and turn brown.\n\n\n\nDrought can affect strawberry plants in pots in particular. \n\n\n\nPots have less capacity for soil and do not hold as much moisture. If the pot is in full sun then the soil tends to dry out much quicker, therefore you should water pots more frequently. \n\n\n\nWater pots as frequently as required to keep the soil moist which you can test with your finger or a water meter which monitors the moisture content of soil.\n\n\n\nStrawberry plants can usually recover from drought stress if you adjust your water practices but this depends on how long the strawberry plant has been without enough water.\n\n\n\nTo help mitigate the risk of drought as much as possible, strawberries should be planted in soil that has been amended with compost, leaf mold or well rotted manure as these materials help to conserve moisture.\n\n\n\nOn the hottest days of Summer it is likely that the strawberry plant requires daily watering to provide enough moisture for the developing fruit if it has to contend with blazing sun and high temperatures.\n\n\n\nNote that it strawberry plants should ideally be planted in Spring so that the roots can establish in the soil without the heat of summer sapping moisture from the leaves before the roots can uptake enough moisture. \n\n\n\nIf planting during the Summer, water your strawberry plants everyday to prevent them from turning brown and dying.\n\n\n\nStrawberry Plants Dying from Crown Rot \n\n\n\nOne of the most common causes of a dying strawberry plant is crown rot.\n\n\n\nThis happens when the crown (the point at which the stems meet the base of the plant) is planted too deeply in the soil and therefore in constant contact with damp compost. \n\n\n\nThe crown of a strawberry plant.\n\n\n\nThe roots require consistent moisture but the growth above the ground prefers to be on the dryer side to avoid disease.\n\n\n\nThe risk of crown rot is increased by watering the strawberry plants overhead as the overly moist and humid micro-climate which encourages the disease.\n\n\n\nCrown root slows the growth of your strawberry plant and discolors the tissue of the crown and often with brown or yellow leaves depending on the stage of infection.\n\n\n\nOnce your strawberry plant has crown rot or root rot it dies back and should be discarded. Do not plant any strawberry plants in the same place as the fungus that is responsible can live in the soil and infect new plants.\n\n\n\nUse a fungicide on the soil to prevent reinfection of other plants.\n\n\n\nPrevention is key so always water you strawberry plants at the base rather then overhead to prevent promoting the conditions for the disease.\n\n\n\nStrawberry plants that are planted at the right depth in well draining soil are at a much lower risk of crown rot. \n\n\n\nPlant strawberries 18 inches apart to ensure good air flow to reduce the risk of a humid micro-climate which can promote crown rot.\n\n\n\nStrawberry Leaves Turning Yellow and Drooping\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nIf your strawberry leaves are turning yellow and wilting this is a sign of stress cause by too much moisture around the roots. \n\n\n\nStrawberry plants require the soil to be moist yet well draining. If the roots are in consistently damp soil then this causes the leaves to turn yellow and promotes the conditions for the fungal disease root rot which can cause the strawberry plant to die back.\n\n\n\nStrawberry leaves turn yellow because:\n\n\n\nSlow draining soils. Strawberries planted in heavy soils such as clay retain too much water and are most likely to suffer from leaf yellowing and root rot. Strawberries require porous, light, friable soil that that allows for good drainage. This is achieved by amending the soil with lots of organic matter such as compost, leaf mold or well rotted manure as these materials have a tremendous capacity to hold moisture yet allow excess water to drain away from the roots which is the perfect balance for healthy strawberries.Pots without drainage holes in the base. Strawberry plants should be grown in pots with drainage holes in the base so that excess water can escape. Some decorative pots do not have drainage holes which causes the water to pool and the soil to become saturated which causes the leaves to turn yellow.Watering the strawberries too frequently. Strawberries prefer moist soil but if you water everyday with a soaker hose then excess water does not get a chance to drain away from the roots which promotes root rot. Well draining soil with lots of compost mitigates most of the risk from over watering as its structure encourages excess water to drain away rather then pool around the roots. Water strawberries as frequently as required to keep the soil moist but not boggy.\n\n\n\nWith well draining soil amended with compost, and watering to ensure the soil is moist rather then saturated and with suitable pots and containers the starawberry plant stands a chance of recovering from its yellowing appearance.\n\n\n\nHowever strawberry plants that have been in boggy soil for long periods are likely to develop root rot and such be discarded to prevent spreading the disease.\n\n\n\nStrawberry Plants Turning Yellow and not Growing \n\n\n\nIf your strawberry plants are yellow despite best watering practices then the most likely cause is a deficit of nutrients in the soil which most often happens in sandy or stony soil that does not retain much nutrients.\n\n\n\nStrawberry plants are heavy feeders in the Spring and Summer, when the foliage is growing and they are developing fruit. Therefore they require rich fertile soil for healthy growth.\n\n\n\nYellow leaves and stunted growth is a sign of stress due to poor soil.\n\n\n\nTo prevent yellow leaves it is important to plant strawberries in soil that has been amended with compost, well rotted manure or leaf mold as these materials have a good balance of nutrients and create the optimal balance of moisture for strawberry plants to thrive.\n\n\n\nThe soil should be amended to a depth of at least 10 inches before planting. \n\n\n\nFor strawberry plants growing slowly with yellow leaves, I recommend transferring them to pots or containers as it is easier to control the soil profile for the strawberries requirements.\n\n\n\nFeed strawberry plants with a fertilizer that has a high potash content (such as a tomato feed) over the Spring and Summer every two weeks to encourage good fruit production and to prevent yellowing leaves.\n\n\n\nStrawberries Dying from Frost Damage \n\n\n\nFrosts damage can cause strawberry leaves to curl up, turn brown and even black depending on the severity of the frost.\n\n\n\nStrawberry plants are most often killed by late frosts in Spring as they have not had time to acclimatize to the outdoors, especially if they have been grown in a greenhouse at a nursery before being sold and planted in your garden.\n\n\n\nIf there is only light frost damage to your strawberry plant with only a few affected leaves then it is possible that the plant can revive if you cut back the affected growth and protect it from any more forsts.\n\n\n\nHowever preventing damage in the first place should be prioritized as a sharp late frosts can wipe out an entire garden of strawberry plants. \n\n\n\nWhen growing strawberries it is a good idea to buy horticultural fleece before hand so you can protect them when a frost is forecast or grow strawberries in a green house or poly tunnel to protect them from frost.\n\n\n\nFungal Diseases\n\n\n\nStrawberry plants are susceptible to fungal disease grey mold and powdery mildew on their leaves.\n\n\n\nGrey mold appears on the decaying parts of the plant in humid conditions such as older leaves or flowers with a grey, fuzzy appearance causing the plant to rot and die back.\n\n\n\nPowdery Mildew appears as white fungus that stunts the strawberry plants growth and causes the leaves to shrivel and curl.\n\n\n\nFor more information on grey mold and powdery mildew read these articles by the RHS.\n\n\n\nStrawberry Plants only Live for 6 Years\n\n\n\nIndividual strawberry plants have a relatively short lifespan of around 6 years or so with the best fruit in first and second years, even in optimal conditions. \n\n\n\nAfter the second year strawberry plants decline in productivity and can die back eventually usually because of fungus in the soil which turns the leaves brown.\n\n\n\nSo do not be alarmed if your plants are dying after several years as this is the normal life cycle of a strawberry plant.\n\n\n\n Key Takeaways:\n\n\n\nDying Strawberry plants is usually because of under watering. If the soil is not consistently moist whilst the strawberry plant's roots are establishing the leaves lose too much moisture, which causes wilting and brown leaves resulting in a dying strawberry plant.Strawberry leaves turn yellow as a result of root rot and nutrient deficiencies in the soil.Frost damage in the spring can turn foliage brown or black and cause the strawberry plant to die back.Strawberry plants only live for 6 years and can die back due to the fugal disease grey mold and powdery mildew.