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How to Grow and Care for Your Strawberry Tree

Arbutus unedo

This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic watering Hummingbird PlantWhite flowering plantPink flowering plantA photograph of a Strawberry Tree is availableHow to Use the Plant Care Icons at The Garden Helper

November 1, 2010
The Strawberry Tree, Arbutus unedo is an easy to care for, evergreen shrub
that will typically grow from 10-15 ft. tall and wide,
but are capable of reaching up to 30 feet.
The gnarled and twisted trunks and branches are covered with reddish brown bark that contrasts nicely with the glossy green foliage.
The slightly fragrant, pinkish white, urn shaped flowers of the Strawberry Tree
begin to emerge in October and will sometimes continue into the new year.
The flowers develop into 1" rough, round fruits that gradually ripen to bright orange-red during the year, reaching their peak ripeness just as the new blossoms begin to reappear.
The fruit is edible but not very tasty...

Growing Requirements for Strawberry Trees

The Strawberry Tree is hardy in USDA zones 7 to 10.
Mort the Garden Gnome

Arbutus unedo tolerates a wide variety of soil conditions including acidic to alkaline soils,
as long as it drains well
Strawberry Trees grow best in full sun to partial shade except in desert regions where more shade should be provided.
They are very drought tolerant plants, once established.
Strawberry Trees have relatively few insect and disease problems.
They occasionally get aphids and are prone to fungal spotting on older leaves
if they are grown in poor soil.
Foliage and flowers may be damaged in extremely cold winters.
Protect from strong winter winds.

Propagation and Pruning

Strawberry Trees can be propagated by cuttings of half-ripe wood
taken in summer or autumn.
They can also be grown from seed sown ½" deep in a planter containing well draining soil and kept in a coldframe or unheated greenhouse in the fall.
Avoid disturbing the roots while transplanting young seedlings.
Prune minimally to enhance the shape of your Strawberry Tree, but don't try to make a defined hedge from this shrub.

Strawberry Tree
Arbutus unedo
Strawberry Tree Flowers and Fruit A Strawberry Tree in bloom, Arbutus unedo

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