Do strawberry plants need full sun? | Tips for sweet strawberries

Strawberries will grow more, larger and sweeter fruit when grown in full sun. Strawberries will grow in part shade but will not grow as many fruit as those growing in full sun. Strawberries grown in full sun will need regular water, mulch layers and good quality soil.

This article will explore all you need to know about growing strawberry plants in full sun. Following this guide you will get more strawberries that are larger and sweeter when grown in full sun.

Benefits of growing strawberries in full sun

Strawberry plants grown in full sun will develop sweeter fruit as the sunlight helps the natural sugars in the fruit to develop. The plant will grow larger and deeper green leaves as the chlorophyll develops in which has the green color making the leaves this color.

Strawberries grown in full sun will generally grow larger, faster and send out more baby plants. You can choose to let these plants grow into new plants or trim them off to let the mother plant grow bigger.

Strawberries grown in full sun will generally be more successful. Below is a guide to growing strawberry plants in full sun for more delicious strawberries.

Growing strawberries in full sun

Here is how to set up your strawberry plants to succeed when grown in full sun. You will get more strawberries that taste sweeter using this method.

Soil for strawberries

Strawberries love good quality, well-draining soil. Before planting new strawberry plants into garden beds mix through aged cow manure and compost to increase the drainage and organic matter.

Strawberries grown in full sun will benefit from this soil mix as it will still hold water while avoiding becoming too soggy and rotting the roots and crown.

I like to mix through pelleted chicken manure before planting as this gives the strawberry plants a nitrogen boost and will slowly release over time.  

If you are planting new strawberry plants in pots a good quality potting soil will help them grow well and hold water. Strawberries in pots placed in full sun will need good soil to hold water and not dry out too quickly. A soil mix made for vegetables is a great start for strawberry plants in pots.

Water for strawberries

Strawberries love regular water and this is particularly important for those grown in full sun. Watering strawberries every 2-3 days during summer will help the plant to grow big, juicy and delicious strawberries which will grow sweeter when in full sun.

Mulch for strawberries

Mulching is essential for strawberry plants grown in full sun. Commercial strawberry growers will grow their plants in black plastic which helps to warm the soil and protect the plants from weeds.

For strawberries grown at home natural mulches are a fantastic choice. I love to use sugar cane mulch as it is cut fine, it protects the plant from weeds and keeps the soil moist.

Newspaper can be laid on the soil first and then over the top a layer of 2-3 inches of straw or sugar cane mulch can be laid on top. I am actually using a fine bark mulch around my strawberry plants in pots as it lasts longer.

Mulching strawberries will keep the moisture in the soil for longer when they are planted in full sun. It will also protect and lift the strawberries off of the soil which will reduce the risk of the fruit being eaten by bugs.

Growing strawberries in part shade

Strawberries can be grown in part shade and is definitely a great choice if this is the only place you have. I have grown my strawberries in both full sun and part shade and both are growing well. Those that get the most sun have grown flowers and strawberries quicker than those in part shade.

Strawberries growing in part shade will generally stay smaller, will have less flowers and the fruit will not be as sweet. This however should not stop you from growing strawberries in part shade. As long as they are getting a few hours of direct sunlight and bright light you will get fruit and it will be worth it.

Growing strawberries in pots in full sun

Growing strawberries in pots is a perfect idea if you have limited space or moving sun and shade. With strawberries grown in pots you have the freedom to move them as the sun appears. Most people will notice that the sun will hit different parts of your yard in summer compared to winter.

In spring and summer, you can bring a potted strawberry out into a prominent place that gets as much as sun possible to grow more fruit and to sweeten them up. When winter arrives, the pot can be placed in a space out of the way while the plant remains relatively dormant.

What happens when strawberries do not get enough sun

When strawberries get less than full sun they will still grow and even grow fruit. The difference is the strawberry itself is likely to be lighter in color, you may have less flowers and less strawberries in the end.

Pollination is often lower in strawberries grown in part shade but can be increased by planting annual flowers nearby. My violas are thriving this spring and are bringing many bees to my yard to pollinate my strawberries and citrus fruit.

Do strawberry plants need full sun? | Summary

Strawberry plants will grow larger with more and sweeter fruit in full sun. While they can grow in part shade, it is best to pick the sunniest spot possible when planting and growing your strawberries. You will notice that they will quickly send out runners and you can have a large patch of strawberries quickly in a full sun position.

Happy gardening.