Bushel and Berry® Scarlet Belle StrawberryFragaria x ananassa ‘Ruby Ann’ PPAF
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The Scarlet Belle™ Strawberry is a unique strawberry plant, a great new addition to the Bushel & Berry® fruit-bush range, that is the most decorative strawberry plant we know. It has bright, scarlet-red flowers, not the usual white ones, and it produces exceptionally dark red berries as well. Flowering begins in May, with the first fruit ripe in June, and flowers and berries continue to develop right into September. It is perfect for cottage gardening, mixed with flowering plants, or for boxes, pots and hanging baskets.
This is a very hardy plant, surviving in the ground in zone 4. It should be planted in full sun, in rich, moist but well-drained soil. Use houseplant, tomato bush or outdoor potting soils in planters and baskets, and make sure they have drainage holes. Feed regularly with high-potassium liquid fertilizer, such as tomato food. Usually pest and disease free, if you should encounter any problems, use our Neem Oil Spray to quickly control them – it is all-natural and completely non-toxic.
We assume that when we grow strawberries that is what we will get – fragrant, sweet, delicious berries. The flowers are pretty, but not outstanding. All that has changed with the arrival of the Scarlet Belle™ Strawberry, a new release in the Bushel & Berry® fruit bush range. With its bright red flowers this plant adds a whole new decorative element to strawberry growing, so you can welcome them right into your flower beds as edging, or decorate terraced walls with it. Its natural cascading habit makes it perfect for pots, boxes and hanging baskets too. This variety doesn’t produce many of those annoying runners, so it won’t start racing all over your flower beds. It’s compact too, so it looks neat and bushy in boxes. The flower spikes are long and cascade down, even more as the berries develop, and develop they do, from June to September in a continuous harvest you will love. The dark red fruits are conical, well-sized, and of course sweet, aromatic and freshly-picked by you. No fruit crop is prettier, more fun, and easier for all the family to enjoy.
The Scarlet Belle™ Strawberry is a bushy perennial plant that quickly develops into a dense mound of leaves, sprouting from a base at ground-level. The leaves rise 8 to 12 inches into the air, on long stalks topped with three rounded leaflets. These are almost circular, with a short tip and serrated edges. They are 2 to 3 inches long, and a rich green that always looks healthy and attractive.
This is an ‘everbearing’ type of strawberry, so it begins to bloom in May and by June it has ripe fruit ready to pick. More and more flower stalks grow throughout the season, meaning ripe fruit nearly every day well into September. No more ‘fruit gluts’, that problem is replaced by a steady flow of berries that will always be wanted and available fresh. The flower stalks sprout from the base of the plant, dividing into two or three several times to make a bouquet of blooms. The unique flowers are bowl-shaped, with 5 broad petals that are brilliant scarlet-red – the most colorful strawberry around. The center of the flower is a bold golden cluster of stamens. As the petals fall you will see the fruits beginning to develop, and these grow very fast, first pale green and then soft pink, until finally they are very dark red, with no white shoulders. The fruits are conical, with a classic shape, of medium-size and delicately sweet, with a soft aroma.
This variety doesn’t produce large quantities of runners – those baby plants on long stems that strawberries make – so it stays neat and compact where you place it. It is worth saving the few plants that are produced, to replace your original plants as they age.
The Scarlet Belle Strawberry is the perfect choice for planting in flower beds, to re-create that old-fashioned ‘cottage garden’ feel, where fruit, flowers, herbs and vegetables all grow together. with its beautiful blooms it can hold its own with your flowering plants, bringing beauty and utility to your beds. It also looks great in hanging baskets with the flowers and fruit cascading over the edge, and in window boxes and pots. In the garden plant it along the levels of retaining walls, and even in a sunny rock-garden.
The Scarlet Belle Strawberry is the most cold-resistant of the ‘Belle’ strawberries, so it’s ideal for zone 4 growers. It is also hardy through all cooler zones right into zone 8, so it can be grown almost everywhere.
Plant the Scarlet Belle Strawberry in full sun for the best results, although it will probably be fine with an hour or two of shade each day, especially in hotter zones. The soil should be rich, well-drained and not too dry. A steady supply of water is needed to develop juicy fruits. Add organic material to the ground when planting, for nutrients and water retention. In planters and baskets use houseplant potting soil, tomato soil or soil for outdoor plants, and make sure you have drainage holes. Feed regularly with liquid fertilizers high in potassium, such as tomato food.
Because it grows strongly and vigorously, you are unlikely to meet any pest or disease problems when you grow the Scarlet Belle Strawberry. If you should, our Neem Oil Spray gives good control, and it’s all-natural and non-toxic. Remove flower stems once the last berries have been picked, and cut off all the leaves in late fall, once they begin to die. After three seasons replace old plants in spring or fall, after fruiting ends, with young plants that grew on runners in the summer.
It has been going on for 300 years since the first garden strawberries were developed from wild ones. They are a hybrid, called Fragaria × ananassa, that was developed in France in the 1750s from the American wild strawberry, Fragaria virginiana and Chilean beach strawberry, Fragaria chiloensis. The first strawberries only carried fruit in June, but later ‘everbearing’ types were developed, which fruit continuously during warmer weather. Most plants are grown from existing plants, but with skill and care it is possible to grow them from seeds, and that is how the variety called ‘Ruby Ann’ is grown. The seed is made by crossing together two other varieties – making an F1 hybrid – and this variety was developed by ABZ Strawberries of the Netherlands, a specialist strawberry breeding business. They received European Plant Breeders’ Rights in 2018 for it, and it is waiting for a US patent. It is released in America with the trademark name of Scarlet Belle™, by Star® Roses and Plants, as a top variety in their Bushel & Berry® fruit bush range, plants especially chosen for their garden value.
Carefully grown from seed for you, these plants are exactly the Scarlet Belle Strawberry – guaranteed. You will love the unique red flowers and the dark red fruit – it’s our most decorative strawberry plant. Order now and enjoy fruit within weeks of planting – but hurry because they will soon all be gone.