Skip to Left navigation Skip to Main content Skip to Footer

University of Minnesota Extension

Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Fruit > Strawberry > Completely black or brown flowers

Print Icon Email Icon Share Icon

Strawberries >Flower Bud/Flower > Completely black or brown flowers

1 of 3
  • Image: Botrytis 1
  • Image: Botrytis 2
  • Image: Yellow Nutsedge 2

Gray Mold
Botrytis cinerea

  • Fruit develops indistinct, soft, light brown spots that rapidly enlarge and have a mild rotten smell
  • Gray powdery spores form on infected fruit under moist conditions
  • Disease favored by wet conditions and temperatures between 41-86F
  • One or several flowers in a cluster may turn brown to black and dry out
  • Black discoloration may extend down into the flower stalk
  • More information on Gray Mold
2 of 3
  • Image: Anthracnose 2
  • Image: Anthracnose 3
  • Image: Anthracnose 1

Colletotrichum sp.

  • Fruit will develop distinct round sunken brown to black blotches with no smell
  • Wet pinkish orange sticky spores may form in the center of the fruit infection when wet
  • Fruit rot can occur on green or ripe fruit
  • Spots on leaves are small (<1/4"), round, sunken and gray-black, often resembling ink spots
  • Flower infection results in dried out and brown flowers and flower stalks
  • Occurs more frequently in very warm and humid weather (>80°F)
  • Plant only healthy, symptom-free plants
  • Avoid the use of overhead irrigation and use drip irrigation or a soaker hose
  • Remove infected berries from the planting during harvest to reduce spread of the disease to developing fruit
  • More information on Anthracnose
3 of 3
  • Image: Leather Rot 1
  • Image: Leather Rot 2

Leather Rot
Phytopthora cactorum

  • A section of the berry or the entire fruit may turn tan, purple or brown
  • Infected berries have a foul “chemical” odor and become tough, leathery
  • Berries with any amount of infection are very bitter tasting
  • Infects flowers, green fruit and ripe fruit
  • Commonly occurs in low areas or where free standing water is present
  • Use straw mulch to keep berries from contacting soil and puddled water
  • Water through drip irrigation or a soaker hose
  • Pick fruit frequently and remove over ripe and diseased berries from the field
  • More information on Leather Rot

Don't see what you're looking for?