How To Use Strawberry Runners To Propagate New Plants
The first thing I thought when I started to grow my own strawberries was: what are these branches springing from the root of my plants? What is their function and what am I supposed to do with them? Should I cut them off? Should I leave them? Is it something good or bad?
If you are a gardening newbie like me, some of these questions may look familiar to you. Wonder no longer, this article will answer to all your questions!
What are strawberry runners?
The little branches springing from the roots of your strawberry plants are called “runners”, or “stolons”.
Their main function is reproductive. If you look closely, each runner ends in a sort of tiny plant. This can be rooted in the soil again and produce new strawberry plants.
Isn’t nature surprising? 🙂
What to do with strawberry runners?
There are two options.
- If you don’t wish to propagate your strawberries:
My suggestion is to cut the runners, especially if your plant is relatively “young”.
In fact, plants use a lot of energy to produce and develop runners. Therefore, cutting them means that your plant can concentrate its efforts on fruit production.
- If you wish to propagate your strawberries:
All you have to do is to “plant” one of the runners in the soil!
How to propagate strawberries from runners?
Nothing easier as to duplicate your strawberry plants!
If you look closely at the plantlet at the end of a runner, you may be able to see tiny roots already beginning to form. All you need to do is pegging down the plantlet into the ground and make sure its roots are in firm contact with the soil.
To fix your runner into the soil, I recommend to use a U-shaped clip or to crack a toothpick until obtaining a U-shape, as I show in the picture below.
After about a month to six weeks, the plantlet will have started to grow new leaves and will be ready to become an independent plant: it is time to cut the runner which links it to its mother-plant!
Once the new plant is big and strong enough, you can transplant it into your strawberry patch or give away to neighbours and friends 😉
Would you like to start your own vegetable garden? Read the 4 main benefits I got from growing my own vegetables!