How To Propagate Strawberries

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How To Propagate Strawberries

When it comes to growing fruit, strawberries can be some of the easiest and most rewarding plants to grow – offering much in the way of color, attractiveness, and harvestable fruit. 

However, without the proper methods and know-how, you can soon turn this easy dream of a plant into a nightmare.

One such method to ensure they continue to grow healthily is proper propagation. But what exactly is propagation, and how can you ensure you do it properly? 

What Is Propagation? 

Plant propagation is the process by which plants are grown from various sources – as opposed to simple seeds bought from a store. 

This could include using seeds, cuttings from other plants, and other plant parts to create more plants from existing ones – either via pruning or by extracting parts of the plant for repotting. 

This is a common process for many gardeners, and depending on whether the plants in question are sexual or asexual, there can be many things to remember. 

Sexual Vs Asexual Plants: The Difference

When we talk about sexual and asexual plants, there are distinct differences between the two – especially when it comes to planting and ensuring healthy growth

The main difference between the two forms of plants is that sexual plants produce seeds as a necessity for their continued production, while asexual plants can grow without the need for seeds

Asexual Reproduction 

Asexual plants do not require seeds and can be grown via both natural and artificial means. 

The natural method requires natural propagation of the plant – that is, fostering the growth of new buds, roots, or leaves and then using those to create new plants once they have grown. 

This means taking the existing buds or roots and repotting them once growth has started

Artificial methods include cutting, grafting in plants from other sources, and properly layering the plants in the soil. 

How To Propagate Strawberries

Strawberries are asexual plants and do not rely on seeds to grow. This means that when it comes to propagating your strawberries, there are several things you need to do to ensure good growth, continued harvests, and the potential for new plants taken from the parent plant. 

When it comes to propagating strawberry plants, you can use three main methods – each with distinct steps that need to be followed to the letter. 

How To Propagate Strawberries

Method One

The first method of propagation is plant division.

When strawberry plants grow, healthy plants usually form new runners at the base of the plant, which, if strong enough and nutrient-rich enough, can be divided into new healthy plants. 

Ensuring you have well-fertilized and optimal soil is also crucial for your strawberry’s health.

*For our detailed and tested organic fertilizer recommendations, please see the article Best Organic Fertilizers for Strawberries: Boost Your Crop Yield Naturally.

Strawberry plants have a ‘lateral crown’ – a small growing root that shows just above the soil and can be separated into new plants that will continue to grow.

These can be carefully separated, repotted, and then encouraged to grow, potentially producing several new strawberry plants from the parent plant. 

To do this, dig down around the plant’s stem until about 2-3 cm are exposed, and then use the trowel to lift the root ball from the soil, thus removing the plant.

Once you have done this, you can untangle the roots, allowing them to be more easily separated, and then cut down through the root ball to create two evenly sized-plants. 

Once you have done this, you can repeat the process again, separating each half into two additional halves, ensuring each part has between 6 and 12 roots sprouting out to ensure proper growth.

Then, repot the new plants, giving them a light covering of soil and ensuring they are watered well throughout their first season to ensure good root growth. 

Method Two

The next method is propagation by growing seeds, which is the most common method for those starting out with a new plant. 

This can allow you to grow numerous strawberry plants from scratch and be a great place to start.

However, due to the amount of cross-breeding within commercial strawberry industries, growing from seeds can not produce true plants – that is, the plant grown from store-bought seeds will not be as rich and strong as the plant that produced the seeds to begin with. 

This means that fruit can be grown but generally smaller than store-bought variations. 

Method Three

The third and final method is propagation by nurturing strawberry plant runners. Runners are stem-like growths that protrude from the mother plant and allow new plants to grow. 

Strawberries are well suited to this method, and each new runner that comes into contact with nutritious soil has the potential to grow new plants. 

You can use these runners to bend and position them so that they come into contact with the soil and start new growth, and as such, it can be an easy way for people to start growing strawberries. 

Once these new runners have been nurtured and have formed growths of their own, they can then be cut from the mother plant and allowed to grow on their own. 

However, you need to show care and attention; after all, these plants are not as strong as the mother plant and can die from the stress of separation – so be sure to choose the strongest, more developed runners.  

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, everything you need to know about strawberries and the best ways to propagating strawberries once planted. 

It’s true that strawberries are a common and relatively easy plant to grow in your own garden at home – offering much in the way of color, flavor, and attractiveness.

However, without the proper techniques and understanding, you can soon turn this great plant into a walking disaster. 

So if you want to propagate your strawberries, then be sure to follow these techniques!

Further Recommendations:

Video: Planting Strawberry Runners

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