In order to improve the understanding of plant water relations under drought stress, the water use behavior of two Fragaria x ananassa Duch. cultivars, contrasting in their drought stress phenotype, is identified. Under drought, stomatal closure is gradual in Figaro. Based on this, we associate Figaro with conservative water use behavior. Contrarily, drought stress causes a sudden and steep decrease in stomatal conductance in Flair, leading to the identification of Flair as a prodigal water use behavior cultivar. Responses to progressive drought on the one hand and an osmotic shock on the other hand are compared between these two cultivars. Tonoplast intrinsic protein mRNA levels are shown to be upregulated under progressive drought in the roots of Figaro only. Otherwise, aquaporin expression upon drought or osmotic stress is similar between both cultivars, i.e. plasma membrane intrinsic proteins are downregulated under progressive drought in leaves and under short term osmotic shock in roots. In response to osmotic shock, root hydraulic conductivity did not change significantly and stomatal closure is equal in both cultivars. De novo abscisic acid biosynthesis is upregulated in the roots of both cultivars under progressive drought.