NC State Extension Publications


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

Publication date: June 27, 2014

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