Hydroponic Strawberry




Here, in Arizona, we have observed practically no plant diseases in strawberry cultured hydroponically. We are introducing clean plants into clean substrate that has some disease suppression characteristics and so soil borne diseases are restricted. The aridity of Arizona helps to prevent foliar diseases from occurring. For example, we have heard of powdery mildew running rampant in greenhouse strawberry crops in more humid regions, but have not observed that here. What we do observe is Botrytis fruit rot, Botrytis cinerea.


Botrytis fruit rot can apparently infect the flower, and then go quiescent.

It will reactivate in the ripening fruit, causing the fruit to soften and then become completely encased in grey mold and spores. Sanitation is the first line of defense to control this. Keeping the crop free of old leaves, old fruit, and other debris that can support Botrytis is of primary importance. Use of fungicides may be important if Botrytis is too prevalent in your crop. Use of an acidified hydrogen peroxide, like Oxidate, can help suppress Botryis on your crop, and has no residual. Other fungicides are listed in the UC Davis site.

Unless otherwise indicated, all of the images in this section are from the UC Davis IPM site and are used with permission from the University of California Statewide IPM Program, Jack Kelly Clark, photographer.

Written by Mark Kroggel (updated on 4/19/2014)