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Everbearing, pink flowering ornamental Strawberry

rosablühende Erdbeere DoublePleasureWhat happens when the Lubera® fruit specialists start cultivating new ornamental strawberries?
   
 
Everbearing Ornamental Strawberry Double Pleasure® Hanging Pink Wonder®

Opulent, dark pink flowering climbing and hanging strawberry

From £4.00 *

Everbearing Ornamental Strawberry Double Pleasure® Standing Pink Wonder®

Neon pink flowering gourmet strawberry for balcony boxes and bed plantings

From £4.00 *

Frutilizer® Seasonal Fertiliser Plus

The slow release fertiliser with trace elements for permanent crops & potted plants

From £12.90 *

   
 

More useful information about Everbearing, pink flowering ornamental Strawberry

Double Pleasures hanging Pink Wonder LuberaWe do not think that fruit quality and ornamental value – meaning the good fruits on the one side and the always emerging, new, beautiful, pink flowers on the other side – should remain separate and so we have brought these two main characteristics (and even more) together in the Double Pleasures® strawberries: the best possible quality of the fruits, the robustness of the plant with continuous flowering throughout the growing season and, of course, the beauty of the pink to red flowers on the opulent flower stalks. Of course, all Double Pleasures® varieties are day-neutral, which means that they continue to form new flowers throughout the entire growing season independent of the day length, thus allowing this fruiting plant to also be regarded as a bedding and balcony plant that is attractive and fruit-bearing from May throughout the entire summer.

Table of Contents

The first varieties of Lubera's Double Pleasures® strawberries

In the new world of pink to red flowering ornamental strawberries with gourmet fruits we are starting with a pair of varieties: Double Pleasures® hanging Pink Wonder is the most beautiful imaginable hanging basket variety with very large, often semi-double, intense dark pink flowers. The sister variety Double Pleasures® standing Pink Wonder has a less opulent, but rather delicate growth; the inflorescences are also located above the leaves, but they are not quite as powerful as those of the sister variety. The flowers are slightly smaller and finer, but have an almost fluorescent appearing pink colour. The strawberry fruits of both varieties are roundish to conical, medium-sized, rather soft, but very sweet with a fine strawberry flavour. Standing Pink Wonder is particularly ideal for smaller single pots, for bed plantings, compact borders and for planting balcony boxes. Double Pleasures® hanging Pink Wonder is especially suitable for hanging baskets, large containers and for using as a climbing strawberry.

The history of pink and red flowering ornamental strawberries

The pink flowering ornamental strawberries have come a long way. They originated about 40 years ago from an experimental cross between a pink flowering Potentilla variety and a strawberry; with Pink Panda, the first breakthrough came as a perennial (the berries had not really been noticed yet) and for the past 25 years, the Dutch company ABZ Breeding has done a fantastic job developing pink and red flowering ornamental strawberries. The big challenge in breeding pink and red blossoming gourmet strawberries is this: How do we bring the quality to the fruits? You just have to tell the truth: the quality was influenced from the first day by the Potentilla; the berries tasted like nothing, and in many varieties up until the recent present the fertility has also left much to be desired due to the fact that only a few flowers developed normally to fruits...Right here, at the fertility and the quality of the fruits, is exactly where Lubera® breeding steps in.

The goals when breeding ornamental strawberries at Lubera®

What are we trying to achieve at Lubera® when breeding Double Pleasures® ornamental strawberries? Even more fun, even more pleasure in breeding, which regularly degenerates into strawberry eating orgies? Yes, all of that! Essentially, however, the breeding of ornamental strawberries with gourmet fruits is aimed at the following goals:

1. More flavour. It is our goal to breed Double Pleasures® that are in no way inferior to our best home garden varieties such as Parfum® Eternal Love (Ewigi Liebi) or Parfum® Schweizerherz. Here we are on the right track, but the goal will not be reached for a while yet. While we are currently bringing the first varieties with good fruits to the market (well, ok, for the first time you have the feeling of harvesting berries from ornamental strawberries and eating them), we will already be tasting the fruits of the next two breeding generations and have found out that the progress will lead to an exceptionally good fruit quality. Lubera® also has the advantage that for more than 10 years we have been orienting our strawberry breeding to an exceptionally good fruit quality and to robustness in the home garden. In addition, old varieties and the European wild strawberries were bred in, which now simplifies and accelerates the improvement of quality in the Double Pleasures® ornamental strawberries.

2. More robust plants: While intensive crop protection is used when growing commercial strawberries, this is neither desirable nor possible in the garden. Home garden varieties simply have to be so robust that they can bring their maximum output and quality only with good cultivation measures and without having to spray the plants. We've been improving the strawberry's robustness in our strawberry breeding for 15 years, and have laid a solid foundation on which we make the ornamental strawberries robust and undemanding garden plants.

3. More intensive and longer lasting flowering with a full yield at the same time. Many existing ornamental varieties only produce a few fully developed fruits in comparison to the fullness of the flowers, which we would like to improve. The flowering should be even more intense, even more persistent, but the yield should also get bigger.

4. The strawberry blossoms still have great potential; they can still get more beautiful. We goal is to produce semi-double flowers, attractively twisted single petals that are similar a pinwheel and we would like to have plants with flowers that are darker in the centre...

5. In midsummer, many of the existing ornamental varieties tend to give up and then recover only in autumn; the everbearing character can thus be improved. Either way, we breed only day-neutral, continuous flowering and everbearing gourmet strawberries for the Double Pleasures® series. One does not want the double pleasures only once, but preferably again and again.

Everbearing ornamental strawberries with gourmet fruits: which breeding methods do we use?

All Lubera® varieties come from classic combination breeding, meaning that they are vegetatively propagated and are not F1 hybrids. For the end consumer, above all, this has the not to be overestimated advantage that the breeding takes place exclusively under field conditions (and without crop protection) and thus a selection for resistance and plant health is constantly provided for, something which often comes short when breeding F1 hybrids in the greenhouse. The result of Lubera's Double Pleasures® ornamental and gourmet strawberries is this: extremely robust varieties that continue to blossom with healthy leaves throughout the summer and also produce sweet fruits. Because that is of course also the claim: to be able to finally offer good fruit in addition to the beautiful and extremely intense pink flowers!

Most pink and red flowering ornamental strawberry varieties on the market to date are F1 hybrids, meaning they are propagated by seed and, in breeding, they have been produced in a very laborious process that initially establishes inbred lines that are then crossed with each other in order to obtain uniform seed. We have decided not to use this breeding method which by the way is also used in many tomato varieties. Instead, we try to achieve as diverse a seedling population as possible by crossing flower varieties with extremely good fruit varieties from our existing strawberry breeding programme, from which we then select the best individual plants, propagate them vegetatively, test them and then finally introduce them to the market.

In our opinion, this breeding method allows for more diversity and allows the entire breeding, selection and testing processes to be carried out in the field (without any crop protection), which supports the selection of healthy and extremely robust plants. On the other hand, hybrid breeding of seed-propagated F1 varieties is largely dependent on working in the greenhouse and under controlled conditions, which is not beneficial to plant health in the longer term. In our method, our variety candidates have been in the field since the young plant stage for 6-8 years; there the plants that are insufficiently robust and not healthy enough are reliably identified and will not be selected.

Planting and using the Double Pleasures® strawberries in the garden

From what has been said, it is clear that we breed our varieties also and especially for the garden; not only are they beautiful in hanging baskets when they come out of the nursery greenhouse, but they are (after a decade of breeding) accustomed to the open sky and the different weather conditions under field conditions.

The first two varieties are quite similar regarding their habit and use, as is the case with the upright and hanging types of pelargonium:

Double Pleasures® hanging Pink Wonder® is the perfect variety for hanging baskets, even for larger planters, where waterfall-like growth over a wall or similar structure is desired. The runners (stolons) that form start to bloom immediately. And even before the runners develop to their full length, the very long and vigorous flower stalks are already created, which then bend under the weight of the ripening fruits, opulently over the pot’s edge. Of course, the standing Pink Wonder variant can also be used as a ground cover or as a climbing strawberry. The latter, of course, only if the runners are regularly tied to a framework.

Double Pleasure® standing Pink Wonder is the finer version of the opulent hanging Pink Wonder; it is upright, but also grows more subtle and is suitable for the planting of smaller pots, for balcony boxes, for bed plantings and for small fruit hedges around a bed, etc.

When can Double Pleasures® be planted?

We offer our new ornamental strawberries with gourmet fruits as super strong plants in 12 cm pots. As such, they can actually be planted out all year round. In particular, the entire spring is ideal as a planting time; the initial advantage with the large pot helps the plant to grow and also to develop the first impressive flowers and fruits at the same time. We recommend being cautious when planting in the hottest period of summer in June; however from August to late autumn, the prospects for freshly planted Double Pleasures® are again excellent.

Fertilising Double Pleasures®

If you look at the overall performance of these everbearing ornamental strawberries with gourmet fruits, the performance requires some respect: always blooming, parallel fruiting, but also producing fresh flowers again – all of that requires a lot of energy. So it makes sense to fertilise these strawberries a bit better than conventional strawberry varieties. Whether planted in a pot or container you can work perfectly with slow-release fertiliser, whereby about 30 grams of long-term fertiliser (Frutilizer® Seasonal Fertiliser Plus) should be applied per 5 L of soil volume. Especially for the second half of the season, it may make sense to water the plant just like a balcony plant during the flowering period every two weeks with Frutilizer® Instant Bloom, a mineral salt fertiliser that is dissolved in water, simply to help the plant out with its strenuous job.

When planting in garden beds, we recommend using Frutilizer Compound Fertiliser Plus with an organic soil improver: in March, slightly mix in 100 g per m²; repeat in June/July with approx. 75 g.

Remove the first flowers from climbing and hanging strawberries

If you plant Double Pleasures® as a climbing or hanging strawberry, these plants immediately develop gigantic, very impressive flower stalks when they are planted in the spring. But due to the plant’s concentration on the flowers and fruits, the formation of runners starts late. So, if you want to get as close as possible to a hanging or climbing strawberry with runners that are as long as possible, it is helpful to remove the first set of flowers before they bloom, forcing the plant to form runners even faster.

How long can Double Pleasures® be used in the garden?

Basically, Double Pleasures® are also normal strawberries; as such they have a perennial character and can theoretically be grown in the garden for years. But you also have to visualise the high-performance character of the Double Pleasures® ornamental strawberries, which simply produce even more intense flowers and fruits than well-known everbearing varieties. As a result, the crown, the heart of the plant gets wider, its strength is distributed more and more to the flowers, fruits, leaves and runners, and of course the quality of the flowers and fruits then eventually decreases.

When grown in pots or containers, we recommend that you enjoy the plants for two seasons, that is, the planting season after the strawberries have been planted in the spring and then for another year. In the late winter of the first year, remove all of the runners and all of the old leaves, fertilise the plant (30 grams of slow-release fertiliser per 5 L of soil volume) and let nature's miracle start again. In the second year, you can easily root some runners and thus gain more young plants, with which you can cross the crop for another two years. Then we recommend starting with new, virus-free plants from the nursery simply because they are much more vital and they allow you to be more successful during the growing season.

Long-term ground cover plants with everbearing Double Pleasures® strawberries

In the case of area plantings, of course, the aim is to enable longer-term growth. We recommend using a well laid out fertiliser a bit above the normal level, and to apply the fertiliser twice a year, i.e. in early spring and again in June/July. When using Frutilizer Compound Fertiliser Plus with the organic soil improver, we recommend applying 100 g per m² in the spring and another 75 g in June. If the strawberry plants weaken in the hottest period in June, they can also be systematically cut back, mulched and then fertilised. Healthy, fresh growth with many flowers will very quickly be the result. Also in the spring, all of the old runners (if they are not already rooted) and all of the old leaves should be removed. It is important that you ensure that the planting is rejuvenated by fresh, rooted runners, so that ultimately every two to three years, new plants are available. Well-positioned runners can simply be pushed a bit into the ground, and lo and behold, already two to four weeks later, a firmly rooted and self-nourishing plant has formed.

After five to eight years, the crop is very dense and the plants often start to weaken a bit. If you would like to continue to let them grow, we recommend that you systematically dig out and dispose of the oldest and widest plants in order to additionally renew the planting. In the resulting gap and planting holes fill a mixture of potting soil and garden soil from other garden areas where no strawberries have grown yet. This way, a strawberry bed can be kept vital for more than 10 years.

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