Tips for planting and caring for an exotic ornamental plant

Despite being so small, the pretend strawberry really shines in the garden in summer thanks to the many bright yellow flowers. The bright red fruits also look appetizing to bite. But beware: appearances are deceptive!

False acacia, false poppy, false quince – there are many plants in the plant kingdom that play with identity. But what about the fake strawberry? Speaking from above: appearances can also be deceptive here. And in two respects. Duchesnea indica, as the Southeast Asian plant is botanically called, is not a real strawberry at all. What about the taste of blueberries? After all, the temptation to eat small bright red fruit immediately is great. The disappointment is all the greater: Mock strawberries either don’t taste good at all or are just bitter.

Are pretend strawberries poisonous?

It is known that tastes vary. If you like bitter fruit, you will like one or the other mock strawberry. But be careful: if eaten in excess, the fruit quickly hits the stomach and has a laxative effect. In addition, the mock strawberry is considered non-toxic. On the contrary, fruits contain many important nutrients as well as vitamin C.

Strawberry imitation for a bed or balcony

The exotic perennial can also be grown in our latitudes as an ornamental or ground cover plant. It thrives especially well in mild places. Bright yellow flowers, red fruit and lush green leaves make the cloudberry a real eye-catcher in the garden or on the balcony. And for butterflies, bumblebees and bees, flower nectar is an important food source.

The plant is only ten to 20 centimeters tall. In the garden, a planting distance of 25 centimeters should be maintained to make the ground cover look like a carpet. There are about 15 plants per square meter.

Danger: The plant is extremely vigorous and spreads quickly throughout the garden. Root barrier can limit unwanted growth. In the United States, the plant is considered invasive in some areas.

Interesting: Invasive ambrosia plants are spreading! Experts speak of “special health risk”

Right location

Dummy strawberries can be planted in full sun, but then they are purely ornamental. In turn, there is much more fruit in the penumbra. The sham strawberry is quite undemanding and copes well with dry soil. However, it thrives especially well in loose, humus-rich and well-drained soil.

Rooted plants in pots can be planted all year round. On the other hand, young seedlings with bare roots should be placed in the flower bed only in spring or autumn. Dummy strawberries are also perfect as decorative plants in pots or balcony boxes. A drainage layer and good quality commercially available potting soil help to prevent water retention and root rot. Golden nettle, grass grass or stone seeds are suitable as neighboring plants.

Optimal care for dummy strawberries

Mock strawberries are usually sparing and easy to care for. However, the following should be considered when growing:


The plant requires a small amount of water. As a rule, however, it is enough to water abundantly once and then over a longer distance. This stimulates the roots to penetrate deeper layers of the earth and search for water. Thanks to this, the plant can also cope with prolonged droughts. As with many other plants, water retention should be avoided when watering.


Fertilizer is hardly needed. If you wish, you can spoil a vigorous plant with compost in the spring. In a bucket or balcony box, you strengthen the strawberry dummy with a regular dose of liquid fertilizer.


Pruning is not necessary. However, runners should be removed as soon as they unfold in an undesirable direction in the garden.


Strawberries can be sown from seeds. In this article, an expert reveals how seeding is generally successful.


A frost-resistant and deciduous plant. In the cold season, little is seen about her. Only in the spring will it sprout from the root ball again.

Also worth reading: The trick to keep strawberries fresh longer

It’s time to harvest

The plant blooms profusely from May to September. The first fruits appear in June. Strawberries can be harvested until October. A few small, sour fruits give a slender salad a little more pizza. In moderation, strawberry threads can also be eaten raw from the bush.

diseases and pests

The apparent strawberry is resistant to pests and plant diseases.

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