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Who doesn't love them in summer? Red, juicy, sweet strawberries, preferably from the local garden. Everything is wonderful and a reason for joy, as long as there are no spots on the leaves, because they indicate a disease.

Brown leaves on strawberry plants

Brown leaves are an indication that a mushroom species has come. It is either white spot disease or red spot disease. Both pathogens often occur together and differ in their spread. However, the treatment is the same for both pathogens and the strawberries can usually be saved.

red spot disease

Red spot disease is often the reason when brown leaves form. This disease usually spreads during the harvest season. Appearance are purple to brownish spots on the leaves, which can be about four millimeters in size. The diseased areas of the strawberry plant are usually yellow.

  • Development of purple spots
  • Spot size around 4 mm
  • Discolouration of the leaves to brownish-yellow


As the name suggests, white spot disease can be recognized and distinguished from red spot disease because the spot color is lighter. These are circular, bright spots with a reddish border. The leaf tissue that is in the middle of the spot dies off partially or completely and the foliage first turns yellow, then brown and finally falls off.

  • Development of white spots with a red border
  • Spot size becomes progressively larger
  • Leaf tissue dies

combination of the disease

If the strawberry is heavily infested, the spots of both diseases merge. This reduces the assimilation area of the leaf and weakens the plant. Sometimes not only the foliage but also the fruit is affected, even the sepals can show symptoms of the disease.

Even the cold winter does not change the infestation, because the fungal spores can overwinter. They remain on the affected plants and are then spread to other specimens by raindrops, wind movement or direct contact.

Prevention of brown spots

Red and white spot pathogens need a warm, humid environment so that they are able to germinate. Prevention number one is therefore dry foliage. When it rains, it is important that the plants can dry off quickly. The planting distance is crucial here. There should be a minimum distance of 30 cm between two strawberry plants. 60 cm is mandatory between individual rows.
With an edition straw you can ensure that no rain splashes up and contaminates the plants. When watering yourself, you should make sure that you only water in the morning and that the leaves remain dry.

  • Always water strawberry plants in the morning
  • keep the leaves dry
  • Observe planting distance

Effectively treat brown leaf spot

Once the foliage has changed color, proper treatment is important. You can join us in advance horsetail broth ensure that your strawberries are more resilient. You can also opt for varieties that are less susceptible to diseases.

If you discover an affected plant, it is important that you carefully remove all affected leaves. Take them away to the compost and never leave them in the bed. A copper-based fungicide can also be used as a treatment. These are permitted in organic cultivation and do not impair the edibility.

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