Female and male strawberry bushes: the difference
Often, summer residents, who began to grow strawberries in their garden plot, encounter an unpleasant phenomenon: the bed looks completely healthy, the bushes are powerful and well leafy, but by the time it is time to ripen on the long-awaited harvest of berries, the bush begins to drop only numerous mustaches, while does not form ovaries at all.
The reason for this "oddity" can be offensively simple, and it is connected with the fact that strawberries (unlike, by the way, strawberries, more popular among summer residents) are dioecious plants, that is, remembering a school course in botany, flowers of a certain gender are formed not on one but on different plants. All the secrets that will accurately distinguish the male bush of strawberries from the female and correctly normalize strawberry beds will be discussed in this review.
Female Strawberry Outlets
The “identifying” signs of the female strawberry bush are as follows:
- small outlet;
- foliage is less pronounced;
- leaves are located on low petioles;
- during flowering, a large number of peduncles are formed;
- mustache is thin, in small quantities;
- the heart of the outlet has a flattened shape and is clearly visible.
However, during the vegetative propagation of strawberries, sexual differences on young rosettes are also noticeable to the experienced eye. Female bush is usually the first on a mustache (located closer to the mother plant), and has a clearly visible heart, visible among small leaves, which usually come in different sizes.
If the main function of female plants is to "procreate" - the formation of fruits, which, in turn, contain seeds, then for male specimens the main task is to capture the territory. Male outlets of strawberries in appearance completely justify the name "strong sex", and, guided by this criterion, the two bushes growing nearby are very easy to distinguish by gender.
Important! Despite the fact that the male bushes do not give a crop, it is impossible to completely remove them from the garden, otherwise pollination will be impossible and, accordingly, the berries on the female plants will not grow. The optimal ratio of “boys” and “girls” on a strawberry bed is 1:10.
The characteristic features of strawberries, the "boy" are:
- very tall and lush bush;
- a large number of leaves;
- beautiful and juicy emerald color of a sheet plate;
- a small number of peduncles (contrary to the error of some gardeners, male plants also bloom, but there are much fewer flowers on them than on female ones, and there is a pistil in their core, and stamens on the female ones);
- a lot of mustaches, thick and powerful - the parent bush, as it were, seeks to capture the maximum space around it and sometimes looks like a real octopus, throwing out "tentacles" in all directions;
- complete absence of ovaries during the fruiting period;
- the heart at the outlet has an elongated shape and small size (less than 4 mm).
Male sockets are often formed on the mustache in the second and subsequent orders (the farther away from the mother bush the young plant is located and the more other “children” are in front of it, the higher the likelihood that it is a “boy”. In terms of the appearance of a young outlet, the male gender determines the absence of a clearly visible heart and leaflets of the same size (usually, they immediately form a pair).
Did you know? It turns out that the floor of a strawberry outlet can be artificially changed: in order to turn male bushes into female ones, they need to be planted as densely as possible to each other and completely deprive of the "ladies' presence", and the numerous mustache that the "invaders" will throw away must be ruthlessly removed. From the absence of another way to multiply, the plant is forced to reprogram and next year begins to bear fruit.
Video: how to distinguish a female strawberry bush from a male
Among the huge selection of varietal material on sale today, such a characteristic as self-pollination is very common (it is more correct, however, to call such plants bisexual).
A beginner gardener needs to know that in the vast majority of cases, bisexual plants are not strawberries, but strawberries, but there are exceptions. For example, bisexual is a Milanese strawberry variety.
One of the most common reasons for the lack of harvest on a strawberry bed is the predominance of male bushes on it. However, so that the work invested in growing young plants does not disappear in vain, it is necessary to normalize the sockets by gender at the planting stage, and for this, in turn, it is very important to be able to distinguish between male and female bushes according to characteristic external signs. Those who are not ready to do this or doubt their knowledge, it is better to immediately purchase varieties with bisexual flowers, or give preference to strawberries, which, initially, belongs to this category of crops.