NC State Extension Publications


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Water damage


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Light colored, soft water soaked areas on the underside of fruit.

Ripe fruit with soft wet flesh on tip

Strawberry fruit with water damage on tip.

Rocco D Schiavone

Soft discolored area on side of fruit.

Water damaged fruit.

Rocco D Schiavone

Strawberry fruit with discolored area on side

Water damage fruit.

Rocco D Schiavone

Similar Problems

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Fruit rotting fungi will have pathogen/spores present and fruit darker.

Additional Information

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Prolonged rainy peroids with very ripe fruit present lead up to water damage fruit.

Diagnostic Tips

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Fruit on sides of bed will not have water damage while fruit lying on plastic do.

Corrective Measures

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Removing affected and overripe fruit will reduce losses from additional fruit rot. Fungicide spray for control of boytrytis fruit rot may reduce future losses.


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During field preparation be sure that bed is well formed and no uneven or low areas are present on top of bed. A slight slope to the edge on the bed will prevent standing water and allow water to drain off bed. Good insect control will prevent damage by insects that may increase water damage.

small puddle of water on plastic bed.

Low area on plastic bed where water collected.

Rocco D Schiavone

Funding Sources

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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


Department Extension Leader, Small Fruits Specialist & Associate Professor
Horticultural Science
Research Specialist
Horticultural Science

Find more information at the following NC State Extension websites:

Publication date: June 27, 2014
Revised: March 21, 2024

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