Strawberries require at least eight hours of sun but what if you have a shadier landscape? Can strawberries grow in shade? Strawberry lovers with shaded yards rejoice because, yes, you can grow strawberries in shade, provided you select shady strawberry varieties.
Interested in growing strawberries in shade? Read on to learn about shade tolerant strawberry varieties.
Can Strawberries Grow in Shade?
It is true that strawberries need at least eight hours of sunlight to produce, so what a shaded yard needs aren’t the cultivated strawberry we’ve become accustomed to. Instead, you are looking for a shade tolerant strawberry which will be a variety of wild strawberry.
Cultivated strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa) are hybrid species of the genus Fragaria created by the fusion of Chilean Fragaria chiloensis and the North American Fragaria virginiana. Wild strawberries are the type of strawberries for shade.
Growing Wild Strawberries in Shade
When we are talking wild strawberry for shade, we are speaking of alpine strawberries. Alpine strawberries grow wild along the perimeters of forests in Europe, North and South America, northern Asia, and Africa.
Alpine strawberries (Fragaria vesca) for shade do not send out runners. They fruit continuously throughout the growing season, which is a good thing since alpine berries tend to be smaller and less prolific than hybrid varieties.
Alpine strawberries are less fussy than the hybrids as well. Provided they get at least four hours of sun per day and their soil is aerated, rich in organic matter, and moisture retentive these little beauties will thrive.
Shade tolerant strawberries are suited to USDA zones 3 through 10 and require minimal maintenance. There are several alpine strawberry varieties, each with its own special characteristic but the one that is most recommended for an area primarily of shade is ‘Alexandria.’
‘Yellow Wonder,’ a yellow alpine strawberry, is also said to do fairly well in shade. In either case, just be aware that alpine strawberries do not fruit as prolifically as the larger hybrid varieties. When they do fruit, however, they are absolutely sublime and the perfect type of strawberries to grow in shade.