How to Grow a Strawberry Tree | Arbutus unedo Care

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Strawberry Tree – don’t confuse it with the one that you usually grow in the pots! This one’s different!

Strawberry Tree

The Strawberry Tree, also known as Arbutus unedo, is a small shrub native to the Mediterranean region. You can grow it for both the tasty fruits and ornamental value!

Learn how to grow Hydrangea Tree here

So, What’s a Strawberry Tree?

Well, it may share its name with the popular fruit we are all familiar with, but this one is a proper shrub, growing to a height of up to 8-20 feet.

The tree grows small red-orange fruits with a sweet-tart flesh that you can either eat raw or use to make jams, jellies, and liqueurs. The best part? It is quite hardy and can grow in most climatic and soil conditions.

Botanical Name: Arbutus unedo

USDA Zones: 8-11

Best Strawberry Growing Hacks

Propagating Strawberry Tree

Growing this tree from a seed can be a l-o-n-g process, so it would be a good idea to go for a cutting propagation. Simply snip a 6 inches long stem from a healthy specimen, remove the lower leaves, dip the cut end in a rooting hormone and plant it in the ground or pot.

In a few weeks, you will start to see new growth. If you want fruits soon, getting a well grown specimen from a garden centre is always a good choice!

Check out Strawberry Companion Plants

Requirements for Growing a Strawberry Tree

Strawberry Tree 2


Strawberry Trees grow and fruit best in full sunlight – the more, the better! So, keeping them in shade is a big NO! Pick the sunniest spot in the garden and that’s where this specimen is going to be happy!


These trees prefer well-draining, slightly acidic soil however, they do pretty well in any soil type. So, even if you plant them in the garden and forget to take care of the growing medium – they’ll do just fine.


Arbutus unedo are drought-tolerant, but you got to take care of them till they are about 3-4 feet tall. Water well whenever the topsoil feels a little dry to the touch. Just ensure to not moisten the soil on a daily basis as they hate overwatering.

Temperature Range

Strawberry Trees are hardy and can survive in temperatures as low as -10°C (14°F) and as high as 35°C (95°F).

Strawberry Tree Care



These trees will fruit even if you don’t fertlizer them at all! However, every plant loves a little boost and these are no different. Go for any balanced liquid blend and use it once in 8-10 weeks when the plant is actively growing.

Feed the plant till it attains a height of 4-6 feet. After that, it will take care of its own.

Pests and Diseases

Strawberry Trees are generally resistant to pests, but look for spider mites, scale insects, and mealybugs, especially when the plant is young as it is not that resistant in that stage of growth.

In diseases, Phytophthora root rot can be a problem – it attacks the roots of the tree. Just make sure it is not overwatered and gets proper air circulation.

Harvesting Strawberry Trees

Strawberry Tree 4

The best time to harvest a strawberry tree is late autumn or early winter – at this time, you will see the fruits taking a deep shade of red-orange, an indication they are ready to pick. You can pick one or two off and taste them to confirm.

They taste the best when fresh but you can also store them in a refrigerator for 5-7 days.

Learn Everything About Growing Strawberries

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