How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Pineberries

Have you tried pineberries? They’re the white strawberries that taste like pineapple and are as pretty as they are tasty. Grow them in your garden with your favorite scarlet strawberries to spice up the collection. Explore how to plant, grow, and care for the lovely pineberry with garden expert Katherine Rowe.

A close-up revealing pineberries, small white berries with red seeds, showcasing their unique appearance. These strawberries exhibit an intriguing combination of pale hues and vibrant red seeds, creating a visually distinctive fruit. Atop the berries, delicate green leaves add a touch of freshness to the composition.


There’s nothing like a strawberry picked fresh from the garden. The petite herbaceous perennials pack all their might into flowering and fruiting. Popular in the home garden, the genus Fragaria holds about 12 species of strawberries and numerous cultivars bearing fruits from scarlet to white to purple.

Pineberries are unique strawberries with the same growing requirements as the red berries we love. Their pretty white berries host a hint of tropical flavor. With white berries and dotted red seeds, pineberries are about as cute as they come.

This rare strawberry cultivar pairs perfectly with traditional garden-grown strawberries. The compact plants produce fruit from spring through frost. They’re a delicacy to enjoy (and simply adorable!). Here’s how to cultivate them in your garden!

Pineberry Overview

Pineberries, freshly harvested, arranged on a brown plate resting on a matching surface. The berries, with their ivory skin and contrasting red seeds, present a delectable sight. Crowned by verdant green leaves, the composition exudes a sense of natural elegance and freshness.
Plant Type Fruit
Family Rosaceae
Genus Fragaria
Species chiloensis x virginiana
Native Area Americas
Exposure Full sun
Height 6-12”
Watering Requirements Medium
Pests and Diseases Tarnished plant bugs, leaf scorch, anthracnose, root rot, gray mold
Maintenance High
Soil Type Average
Hardiness Zone 4-9

What are Pineberries?

Pineberries (Fragaria chiloensis x virginiana) are hybrid strawberries with white, fleshy fruit and red achenes (seeds). A cross between true red strawberries and white strawberries, pineberries feature the same plant characteristics but with unique fruits. Pineberries are highly aromatic, with subtle notes of pineapple and even apricot accompanying the strawberry taste. The pineberry name highlights the pineapple (“pine”) and strawberry (“berry”) features.

Strawberry and pineberry fruits differ in size. Pineberries are smaller at about one inch in diameter or a little larger than a dime. They are also softer and more tender than traditional strawberries, making them challenging for bulk production and shipping. Their uniqueness and need for tender care make them pricier than other varieties.

Strawberries produce different berries at varying times depending on the cultivar. June-bearing strawberries feature a large yield with large berries early in the season. Everbearing varieties produce smaller berries throughout the growing season. Novelty strawberries range in color (from purple to gold to white) and flavor. Pineberries fall into the everbearing category as a novelty type.


A close-up of pineberries which are small white fruits with red seeds resembling pine cones. The berries showcase a delicate texture. Surrounding them are vibrant green leaves, providing a lush backdrop.
The berries are mostly white and acquire a pink blush in full sun.

Pineberries are everbearing strawberries that flower and produce fruit from May through September. While mostly white, berries get a pink blush in full sun. 

Small plants reach about one foot high and one and a half feet wide, producing runners that sprawl along the ground. The plants make pretty border plantings and container specimens for easy picking.

Five-petaled flowers are bright white with yellow centers, sweet and showy on the plant. Dark green leaves of three (tri-foliate) dot the stems. Plants spread through runners, which take root as they grow.

As an everbearing strawberry hybrid, pineberries produce a first crop in spring and then at about six-week intervals throughout summer and fall. Fruits are ripe when seeds turn from green to red. Enjoy them fresh from the vine, or prepare them in jams, pies, smoothies, and anywhere you’d use a red strawberry.

Native Area

In a strawberry garden, plants stand adorned with vibrant green leaves and pristine white flowers, promising the arrival of future fruits. The absence of berries highlights the anticipation in this scene, while the plants thrive in rich brown soil, ready for fruitful growth.
Pineberries came from Chilean or Japanese white-fruited strawberries crossing with Fragaria virginiana.

Strawberries grow best in cool, mild climates. Over 90% of commercial strawberries in the United States grow in Florida and California. In Florida, production is best from November to April, and in California, from February through November.

Pineberries became commercially available in the U.S. in 2012. They are descendants of the white-fruited Chilean strawberry, Fragaria chiloensis. Native peoples cultivated the white strawberry in South America more than a thousand years ago, and it was introduced in France much later — in the early 1700s. The scarlet strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) naturally pollinated the white-fruited Chilean strawberry, and pineberry cultivation began.

There are many white strawberries (and pineberries are white strawberries), but they differ from pineberries in cultivar and fruit. Similar to the Chilean pineberry crosses, Japanese white-fruited strawberries have also crossed with Fragaria virginiana to produce the ‘Florida Pearl’ pineberry, which is widely cultivated from extensive strawberry research at the University of Florida. 


A woman's hand, adorned in vibrant green gloves, gently places a small strawberry plant into the nutrient-rich, dark soil. The delicate plant features tender, green leaves. The woman skillfully employs a petite gardening shovel for the planting process.
These berries can flourish both in the ground and in containers.

Pineberries prefer cool, mild climates and are well-adapted to grow in most areas. In northern zones, it’s best to plant pineberries in the spring when temperatures are mild and moisture is regular. In southern zones, plant them in the fall for a spring harvest.

Pineberries grow well in the ground or in containers. Like other strawberries, they thrive in vertical planting arrangements, towers, and strawberry pots. In frigid climates, overwinter potted plants indoors.

Since pineberries are hybrids, they don’t grow true to type from seed. Source them as bare roots, crown plants, or plugs from a grower, or divide runners to make new plants.


A close-up of small seedlings of strawberries thriving in pots filled with rich, dark soil. Transplanting tools, such as a small shovel and rake, are meticulously utilized by the gardener, ensuring the seedlings' smooth transition to their new home.
Grow them quickly with ready-to-plant bare roots or crowns.

Planting strawberries is easy with a few standard practices. In the ground, strawberries perform best in mounds or hills. Some gardeners use the hill system for everbearing strawberries, where roots are planted in a mound of soil about eight inches high by two feet long. The rows can be as long as needed to house multiple strawberry plants. 

Bare Root vs. Crowns and Plugs

Purchase these berries as bare roots, crowns, or plugs. Bare-root plants arrive without soil or foliage. Woody stems and roots are ready to be planted and flush out quickly as temperatures warm. Before planting, gently separate the roots and soak them in water for up to 12 hours

Potted crown plants and plugs are what we’re used to from the grower or nursery. Easily unpot the plants, gently loosen the roots and soil, and plant them in their new garden spot.

Plant pineberry crowns a little high. Ensure they aren’t below the soil surface or at risk of becoming submerged during watering. Strawberries are susceptible to rot, so keeping leaves and stems above the soil surface improves circulation.


Everbearing varieties like pineberries tend to be more compact, producing fewer runners than other strawberries. Runners are long stems branching from the main plant. Trim off the runners to direct energy to the crown of the parent plant and boost flowering and fruiting. Consolidating the plant’s energy makes for a hardier rootstock and crown. 

Lastly, let a few runners remain if you plan to propagate your pineberries. Rooted runners are a simple way to add to your pineberry crop (more on that below).

How to Grow

Strawberries grow in a wide range of climates during cool seasons. They grow easily in sunny spots with the right moisture conditions and well-drained soils.

For vigorous pineberries, plant one everbearing scarlet strawberry per five pineberries. This cross-pollination increases fruiting for both species. It’s also a tasty and pretty combination!


A close-up of a meticulously organized strawberry field showcases rows covered with long, black plastic sheets. These protective coverings resemble orderly lanes, sheltering small strawberry seedlings, with brown soil separating them, creating a visually appealing pattern.
Shield white berries from direct sun under plastic tunnels.

Pineberries thrive in full sun. They need six to eight hours of daily sunlight and will turn a pretty blush pink with direct rays. To maintain their true white, grow them under a plastic cover or in a greenhouse for protection from direct sun.


A close-up of a vibrant strawberry seedling, each carefully planted in small pots. The leaves glisten with moisture, reflecting their health and vitality. Positioned in rich brown soil, these potted seedlings promise a flourishing future strawberry harvest.
Prevent slugs by watering deeply yet less often.

Water pineberries regularly throughout the growing season, especially through July, as plants establish roots and then flower and fruit. They need average, medium moisture. Containers dry out more quickly than in-ground plantings, so check the soil regularly.

In the ground, pineberries benefit from surface watering like drip irrigation or soaker hoses. Avoiding overhead saturation helps prevent foliar diseases. Watering deeply, but less frequently, staves off slugs and other pests.


A close-up of sandy loam soil reveals a textured blend of sand, silt, and clay. Its porous composition allows for optimal drainage, promoting healthy root growth. The earthy hues signify a balanced mix, creating an ideal environment for various plants.
Enhance strawberry growth by incorporating rich compost in poor soils.

Strawberries prefer organically rich, well-drained soil, mainly sandy loams. Slightly acidic soils with a pH between 5.5 and 7.0 are prime.

In poor soils (overly sandy or clay), incorporate two to four inches of compost derived from completely broken-down plant material. Compost will help with aeration, moisture retention, drainage, and nutrition. Strawberries struggle in clay soils, so the additional compost will help overall vigor.

Temperature and Humidity

A close-up of strawberry seedlings, vibrant green leaves unfurl gracefully. Nestled in small pots, the delicate foliage showcases the plant's early stages of growth. Each leaf exudes vitality, hinting at the promise of future luscious berries.
Ideal conditions involve cool, mild temperatures.

Cool, mild temperatures are best for flowering and fruiting pineberries. On average, 50-60℉ night-time temperatures and 70-80℉ (21-27°C) daytime are ideal. Strawberries dislike high heat and humidity and strong, drying winds.

Pineberries slow down in the intense heat of summer and resume growth as temperatures level off. As perennials, they experience winter dormancy and reemerge in spring.

Mulching with weed-free straw helps regulate temperatures in spring and summer by keeping roots cool. In areas with cold winters, add more straw or grass clippings for overwintering protection.


A gardener's hand shows nutrient-rich black soil, teeming with organic matter. The dark, earthy texture speaks of fertility, promising a thriving environment for plants.
Boost established plants with a slow-release organic fertilizer in spring.

Pineberries use a lot of energy in their active growing and fruiting seasons. They benefit from an all-purpose organic fertilizer at planting and from weekly feedings of fish or kelp emulsion during fruiting.

A slow-release, all-purpose organic fertilizer in the spring helps boost established plants. Compost-amended soils help add nutrients all season long.


Skilled hands carefully trim vibrant strawberry runners, ensuring healthy propagation. The runners, adorned with miniature roots, symbolize the plant's resilience and its relentless pursuit of growth and reproduction. Pruning with precision fosters optimal plant development.
Enhance vitality through strategic tasks for growth and resilience.

A few simple garden tasks help pineberries grow healthily and vigorously. Maintain straw coverage to retain moisture, regulate temperature, and suppress weeds. Since pineberries are low growers, they don’t compete well with weeds or taller growers.

Remove stem runners every week or so, but retain a few for propagating to add to your collection.

Scout for pests and diseases. Like all strawberries, these plants are susceptible to fungal infections and insect damage.


Pineberries propagate easily through the division of plant crowns and runners. Since they do not come true from seed, these methods are the only way to ensure pineberry reproduction.


A gardener's hand carefully holds a small strawberry seedling with vibrant green leaves and delicate brown roots. The tiny plant, seemingly a daughter to its parent, is now being gently separated. In the background, large leaves of a mature strawberry plant sprawl.
Establish autonomous plants by clipping runners’ roots and transplanting.

In the growing season, allow a few plant runners to develop for dividing. The long stems will develop roots as they sprawl along the soil surface. When roots appear, clip them from the mother plant. This detachment allows the runners to establish an autonomous root system.

Once roots develop, dig the rooted sections of the stem and transplant to your desired garden spots. Water regularly until new plants are established.

Crown division is another propagation method for everbearing strawberries. At planting time (usually February or March), dig the main plant and divide it into two parts manually or with a sharp blade. The goal is to leave roots attached to both sections. Any subdivided plant parts need to have roots intact.

Plant the sections at least one foot apart, and water well until established. It’s important not to let divided plants or runners dry out.

Pineberries are a delicacy with about half a dozen cultivars commercially available. Here are several with moderate disease resistance and delicious, tropical-flavored berries:

Fragaria ‘Florida Pearl™’

The hands of a woman proudly display freshly harvested pineberries, a unique fruit with a pale, almost translucent appearance. Small green leaves crown the berries, adding a touch of freshness. In the background, cascading branches of strawberries and lush green leaves create a picturesque scene.
This variety is the inaugural pineberry trademarked and distributed in U.S. supermarkets.

Fragaria ‘Florida Pearl™,’ a University of Florida introduction, is the first pineberry trademarked and widely circulated to U.S. grocery stores. It bears high flavor and fruit yields, as well as disease resistance. 

Fragaria ‘Wonderful Pineberry’

A close-up reveals vibrant pineberries, small white fruits resembling strawberries. Delicate green leaves crown the berries, adding a touch of freshness. The berries are neatly arranged in a small, transparent container, inviting a closer look at their distinct features.
Slightly firmer berries make this variety a standout in garden aesthetics.

Fragaria ‘Wonderful Pineberry’ is a pretty garden performer with slightly firmer berries. They are smaller and rounder than ‘Florida Pearl’.

Fragaria ‘White Carolina’

A close-up of pineberries captivate with their ivory hue and red spots. Atop each berry, small green leaves enhance their visual appeal, creating a delightful contrast. The exquisite arrangement showcases the berries' beauty, making them visually irresistible.
In direct sunlight, this variety transforms into a blush pink hue.

Fragaria ‘White Carolina’ turns more blush pink in direct sunlight. The size is much more akin to the true species, and much rounder than hybrids.

Fragaria ‘White Pine’

A vibrant pineberry, a unique fruit resembling a strawberry but with a pale, pineapple-like hue. Delicate branches adorned with small green leaves sprawl gracefully beside the plant, which is nestled against a rustic brown wooden structure.
Abundant runners distinguish this variety among strawberry varieties.

Fragaria ‘White Pine’ grows vigorously and sets forth more runners than other varieties. It’s also much more self-fruitful, and produces plenty of berries without a pollination partner.

Common Problems

While pineberries grow easily, they are prone to the woes of strawberry pests and diseases. Foliage diseases, root rots, fruit rots, and gray mold are occasional problems, as are insects like tarnished plant bugs and aphids.

Cultivate diversity in the garden with companion plants for strawberries; they attract beneficial insects and help deter others.

Planting in full sun with plenty of air circulation and average moisture helps stave off infections. Pull back the straw from crowns if it gets mildew or mold, or becomes a cozy home for slugs.


Infestation of red spider mites, tiny arachnids with a crimson hue, intricately weaving webs on the leaves of a strawberry plant. The tiny pests, barely visible to the naked eye, create a fine network of silk, causing damage to the foliage.
Keep a weed-free strawberry patch to prevent bugs from feeding and nesting.


Aphids are common garden insects usually treated with non-chemical means. Often, they cause no plant damage, but severe infestations and signs of plant stress include curled leaves and stunted growth.

Tarnished Plant Bugs

Tarnished plant bugs are a significant pest for strawberries, resulting in malformed fruits. Nymphs and adult bugs feed on the plants. They also feed and nest in weedy patches, so keeping a weed-free strawberry patch is a preventative measure.


Slugs may also be unwelcomed pineberry visitors; they love the ripe berries as much as we do. Peel back straw, set beer traps (dishes of beer that draw the slugs in), or spread diatomaceous earth around plant bases.

If you detect insect infestation, spray the plant with a strong stream of water to deter and knock insects off the stems. A simple horticultural soap can rid the plant of insects, but be sure to follow label directions, as these also affect beneficial insects. 


A red ripe strawberry reveals the devastating impact of Anthracnose disease, displaying a conspicuous, ragged hole on its surface. Nearby, a small, unripe green berry remains unscathed. Positioned against the brown bark of a tree, the contrast is stark.
Pineberry cultivars are moderately resistant to diseases.

As with pests, the best disease control is prevention through cultural conditions. Fortunately, pineberry cultivars are moderately disease-resistant. In general, problem plants should be removed from the garden to minimize chemical treatments and promote the health of surrounding plants.


Botrytis root rot is a fungal disease, especially prevalent in high-humidity conditions with limited air circulation. Brown spots and “fluffy mold” are indicators of botrytis. Take care not to overwater or overfertilize pineberries, which weakens the plant.

Powdery Mildew

This mildew is a common fungal disease indicated by a gray-white powdery substance on leaves, stems, and buds. Leaves may distort and drop.


Phytophthora is a fungal root rot (red stele in strawberries) that causes a slow decline of the plant, impacting feeder roots so they can’t uptake water and nutrients. The best control is proper cultural management, especially in not overwatering the roots of pineberries.

Leaf Spot and Leaf Scorch

Leaf spot and leaf scorch fungi cause black spots on leaves and stems, occurring when leaves remain overly wet (from overhead watering or prolonged periods of moisture). If spraying leaves with water to deter pests, do so in the morning or midday when leaves will have time to dry in the sun.


Anthracnose affects all parts of the strawberry plant. It’s evident in multiple spots on fruits and brown regions on leaves. Petals may blacken.

If your pineberries show signs of disease, remove and destroy affected plant parts and any dropped leaves. Horticultural oils like neem can treat some fungal diseases early on (but again, these impact beneficial insects, so be sure to follow application requirements). It’s best to remove the plant with anthracnose and other severe infestations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are pineberries strawberries?

Yes, pineberries are strawberries. More specifically, they’re a hybrid between two strawberry species. Fragaria chiloensis (Chilean white strawberry) crossed with F. virginiana (a scarlet species native to North America) produces white to blush pink berries with red seeds. The flavor carries a hint of pineapple.

Are pineberries genetically modified?

Pineberries are not genetically modified. They’re cross-pollinated naturally and propagated through division.

Can pineberries grow from seed?

Because they’re hybrids, pineberries won’t produce true to type from seed. Purchase them as bare roots, crown plants, or plugs from established growers. Easily propagate new plants from runners in the garden.

Final Thoughts

Pineberries are a joy in the garden. They make pretty (and tasty!) groundcovers, border plantings, container arrangements, and edible landscape options. Plant them with your traditional strawberries for a burst of color and flavor contrasts.

These soft berries are best enjoyed right off the vine, so save yourself a trip to the market by growing your own. Their novel white and blush fruits with pineapple notes are a unique touch to any strawberry recipe.

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