strawberry image

Strawberry Diagnostic Key

Integrated Pest Management

Fruit Condition
Fruit Texture
Fruit Color
Field Distribution
Uniform, Random, Localized
Prior Environmental
High temperature
Cropping System
Annual plasticulture, Perennial matted row


Sunburned fruit


Brown leathery areas on the upper side of sun exposed fruit.

Red strawberry fruit with brown area o upper surface.

Exposed strawberry fruit on black plastic with sunburn.

Rocco D Schiavone

Ripe fruit with brown area on upper surface.

Sunburned fruit.

Rocco D Schiavone

Similar Problems

Water damage fruit will be soft and light on the under side of the fruit.

Additional Information

Plants with good canopy and adequately watered will suffer less sunburn than small plants with exposed fruit. Plants exposed directly on black plastic are the most susceptible.

Diagnostic Tips

Sunburn will be on the upper side of exposed fruit.

Corrective Measures

Irrigate prior to hot sunny weather to provide sufficient water.


Avoid varieties that have little foliage and exposed fruit. Provide optimal growing conditions such as correct planting date, fertility and pest management resulting in good canopy during fruit development and harvest.

Funding Sources

Funding was provided in part by the National Sustainable Agriculture Program: Sustainable Strawberry Initiative and the following sources.

University of Arkansas Division of Ag logo

Walmart logo


Research Specialist
Horticultural Science
 This NC State FactSheet can be viewed and printed at
NC State Extension