Best Varieties Of Strawberries

Best Varieties Of Strawberries

Last Updated On: January 14, 2023

There’s nothing quite like biting into a freshly grown strawberry picked straight from the vine. Strawberries are a popular plant for indoor gardeners, but one thing many people overlook is the wide variety of them available. In this article, we’ll examine some of the most popular varieties of strawberries, and look at which ones are best for indoor and outdoor growing.

A Quick Introduction to Strawberry Types

While there are hundreds of different strawberry varieties they are largely grouped into three distinct types. When choosing a variety it is helpful to understand which type it’s classified as because this will dictate its growth patterns and when you are able to harvest.

June-Bearing Strawberries

These are the most common types found in the United States because they produce the largest strawberry sizes. In general, June-bearing varieties will produce a single, large harvest each year and produce the largest-sized fruits.

June-bearing strawberries are further classified into early season, mid-season, and late season. To enjoy different types of June-bearing strawberries over an extended period of time, you can plant several of each season type.

Ever-Bearing Strawberries

The name can mislead most people into thinking that these strawberry types fruit year-round. Generally, ever-bearing strawberries produce two sets of harvest per year: once in the spring and the second during late summer or fall.

Under optimal growing conditions, ever-bearing varieties can produce three harvests. These plants tend to be more compact since their energy is focused on producing fruits instead of sending out strawberry runners.

Day-Neutral Strawberries

These types of strawberries can start producing harvestable fruits in their first year. They also are not as sensitive to changes in light compared to other varieties, which means they can bear fruit year-round. You’ll typically get many smaller harvests when growing this type of fruit.

Day-neutral strawberries tend to be the smallest and most compact type. They also tend to not put out runners which further decreases their space needs. It’s for these reasons that day-neutral strawberries are often recommended for indoor growing.

Best Strawberry Varieties to Discover

While it can be tempting to just plant one variety, it is more exciting to grow more than one to compare their growth habits and resulting fruits. It’s also a good way to get more harvestable fruits on a consistent basis. Growing varieties with different flowering habits means you’ll get to harvest each plant at different times. Savvy gardeners will grow multiple varieties to have a constant supply of plants ready to harvest.

Here are some of the most popular strawberries for you to cultivate.

Honeoye

Type: June-bearing, mid-season

This variety is cold-hardy and known to be extremely productive. Grow the Honeoye in USDA zones 3 to 8. It thrives remarkably well in the midwestern parts due to the moderate climate conditions that enhance the signature flavor of the berries.

Honeoye usually starts to produce its large and tasty fruits only in the second season after being planted. Once it starts to fruit, this variety will consistently put out berries for the next four to five years.

Ozark Beauty

Type: Ever-bearing

This variety is a vigorous berry producer, especially when grown in USDA zones 4 to 8. However, it can also be grown in USDA zones 3 and 9, although the Ozark Beauty will require a bit more care than usual in these regions.

Yielding large irregularly shaped berries initially, the Ozark Beauty starts to produce more uniform fruits in the succeeding harvests. The berries are very sweet, with many considering this variety to be the best in the ever-bearing strawberry family.

AC Wendy

Type: June-bearing, early season

Yielding high numbers of strawberries of excellent quality, AC Wendy grows best in USDA zones 3 to 8. As with most June-bearing berries, this variety only starts to produce fruits in the second year.

During its early flowering period, you may need to protect AC Wendy from unexpected frost. Thankfully, it is mildly resistant to powdery mildew, although it still needs care and should be checked consistently.

Alpine Alexandria

Type: Ever-bearing

Boasting large yields of small but sweet wild strawberries, Alpine Alexandria craves large areas in which to grow. The more you allow it to cover ground, the more fruits it produces, especially in the summer. This makes it a popular outdoor choice, but not so great for those looking to grow indoors.

The berries tend to be less than half an inch long, although each fruit is jam-packed with sweetness and flavor. The Alpine Alexandria grows best in USDA zones 5 to 9.

Sweet Charlie

Type: June-bearing, early season

The large firm-fleshed fruit is as sweet as its name, with two harvests occurring at times under ideal growing conditions. To make sure it performs really well, grow Sweet Charlie in USDA zones 3 to 8.

This variety was developed in the warm farms of Florida, where it eventually spread throughout the country due to the fruit’s impressive size and sweetness.

Earliglow

Type: June-bearing, early season

The size of the Earligrow berries ranges from medium to large. However, be prepared to see a decrease in fruit size as it nears the end of its season.

Despite this, you can expect to harvest juicy, vibrant red strawberries from this easy-to-grow variety. Earligrow is also resistant to many diseases that plague strawberries, such as red stele and verticillium wilt.

Albion

Type: Day-neutral

The Albion variety is a relatively new hybrid berry that produces sweet strawberries. It’s easy to grow indoors, and does well outdoors in zones 4 to 8.

This variety is quite compact and doesn’t put out many runners. This makes it a popular choice for container gardens or those with limited space.

Sweet Kiss

Type: Ever-bearing

This variety doesn’t mind growing in containers or directly in the ground, as long as it’s cultivated in USDA zones 4 to 8. To ensure a high yield, it’s best to pinch off the first set of flowers.

Once the fruits start appearing, regularly harvest the super sweet strawberries, which are wedge-shaped, dark red, and firm. To ensure an even sweeter harvest, place the plants in mildly acidic soil.

Evie-2

Type: Day-neutral

Large, firm, sweet strawberries are expected from this variety. They grow and produce the best fruits when cultivated in USDA zones 4 to 8.

Evie-2 is less sensitive to warm summer temperatures that usually affect most day-neutral varieties. On top of that, these plants start fruiting in the first year while being resistant to most leaf diseases.

Flavorfest

Type: June-bearing, mid-season

The flavor of the berries is comparable to the sweet Earligrow, except that Flavorfest strawberries are four times the size. The fruits are incredibly attractive, with their bright red glossy skin and plump appearance.

Grow this variety in USDA zones 4 to 7, as it is ideal for areas in the Northeastern and mid-Atlantic parts of the United States. On top of that, Flavorfest is resistant to most diseases, including Botrytis.

Seascape

Type: Day-neutral

Grow this variety in USDA zones 4 to 9 where temperatures range from 35 F to 85 F. Once established, Seascape varieties produce plenty of large conical fruits that can weigh up to two ounces each.

The berries are bright red, fruity, and extremely delicious. Aside from this, Seascape varieties are resistant to heat and diseases.

Which Variety Is Best For Indoor Growing?

As an indoor gardening-focused site we would be remiss not to recommend our favorite variety for indoor growing. Our top pick for indoor growers is the Albion variety.

As noted above, this is an easy-to-grow and compact variety of strawberry. It can also produce multiple harvests per year, making it great for those looking for a consistent supply of ripe berries.

A Short Guide to Growing Strawberries

While it can seem a bit intimidating for some, growing strawberries is actually quite easy. Let’s go over some quick facts about cultivating strawberries.

  • Always refer to the ideal growing USDA zones for your chosen strawberry variety.
  • Most strawberries can be cultivated in the ground, in raised beds, or in containers.
  • Allow about 18 inches of room for strawberry varieties that send out runners.
  • Place them in slightly acidic soil that ranges from 5.5 to 6.8 on the pH scale.
  • Give your strawberry plants at least eight hours of sun, unless the specific variety prefers partial shade.
  • Add aged compost and other rich organic matter to your soil, which will boost the nutrient content.
  • Provide your strawberry plants with 1 inch to 1.5 inches of water per week.
  • When watering, avoid wetting the leaves, and water the soil instead.
  • Feed your strawberry plants with a time-release continuous fertilizer.
  • Mulch the soil to encourage moisture retention while preventing weed growth.
  • Harvest the fruits regularly to encourage more production.
  • Pick the fruits early in the morning when the temperature is still cool.
  • Once harvested, store the strawberries in the refrigerator immediately.
  • Before consuming the fruits, ensure that they are clean by rinsing them thoroughly.

We also have a full guide on growing strawberries indoors, check it out for more detailed explanations of the above.

Best Varieties Of Strawberries

With all the choices at your fingertips, it can be a bit overwhelming to choose just one. Simply remember to pick the ones that are most suitable for your area. If possible, select the ones that have different harvest seasons so you can enjoy strawberries most of the year!

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