Strawberries can be propagated in different ways. In addition to the rapid propagation through cuttings, you can also sow the small nuts.
Strawberries are particularly easy to propagate using runners [Photo: ULD media / Shutterstock.com]
The tiny yellow-green seeds on the outside of the strawberry ( Fragaria ) are actually called nuts. This is why, from a botanical point of view, the strawberry is actually not a berry, but a common nut fruit. Especially in monthly strawberries, which rarely develop runners, these nuts are used for propagation. But all other strawberry plants can theoretically be reproduced via their nuts. However, propagating via runners is far easier and has another significant advantage: The runners (stolons) are, so to speak, clones of the mother plant and thus guarantee the authenticity of the variety. In the following, we will show you how to properly propagate strawberries using both nuts and runners.
Propagating strawberries: sow nuts
To obtain the nuts, the skin of the fruit is peeled off thinly and dried. If you instead grind all of the fruit, there is a risk that it will start to rot. When the seeds are dry in June or July, they can then be sown directly. It is advisable to put a few seeds in a pot. This is ideally filled with a 1: 1 mixture of sand and a high-quality organic herb and seed soil. The seeds are only thinly covered with the soil mixture.
The optimal germination temperature is between 15 and 18 degrees Celsius in a warm and humid climate. In midsummer in particular, germination is more likely when the pot is not in full sun and is thus better protected from drying out. Germination takes two to four weeks. When the seedlings have developed about three leaves, they can be isolated and planted in more nutrient-rich soil. No more seeds should be sown later than the end of July, because the young plants need a certain size to survive the winter. Sowing in spring is also possible. Monthly strawberries that are sown in spring can even produce fruit as early as July.
Those who dry the nuts of the ripe strawberries can sow them later and make new strawberry plants [Photo: Lisaveta / Shutterstock.com]
Summary: Propagating strawberries with nuts:
- Strawberries that do not form runners, such as some monthly strawberries, can only be propagated in this way
- The skin of the ripe strawberries is separated and dried
- Seeds can still be sown again until mid-July, otherwise not until next spring
- During germination, temperatures between 15 – 18 ° C should prevail (shade if necessary)
Propagate strawberries using runners
The best time to propagate via runners is between the end of July and the beginning of August. All runners that are already rooted can be separated from the tendril to the mother plant, gently dug up and immediately replanted. Kindels that have not yet formed any roots or have hardly developed any roots should be planted in small pots, but still remain connected to the mother plant until the pots are fully rooted.
Tip : Strawberries have an increased need for potassium and should therefore be planted in a nutrient-rich soil such as our Plantura organic tomato & vegetable soil.
Most strawberry plants have more than one runners. The children growing closest to the mother plant are usually the strongest and largest. These have a higher chance of blooming right next year. The marking of good-tasting, healthy and high-yielding plants with sticks or labels at the time of the strawberry harvest has proven to be advantageous, especially with early-ripening strawberry varieties.
Propagation by runners is a quick and easy method for strawberries [Photo: Catherine Eckert / Shutterstock.com]
Common mistake: Often plants that bear only a few fruits form the most children. After all, you have energy left over to create this. If you have not marked the well-bearing plants, there is a tendency to multiply the poorly bearing plants with their many children.
If you want to get a particularly large number of offshoots from a plant, you can break off all of the flowering shoots of this plant. In this way the plant does not have to divide its forces between fruit and runners and can form more children. This procedure is practically only possible if a very good harvest was identified and marked on the corresponding plant the year before. Since the yield decreases sharply from the third year in the same bed, this approach is recommended in the third or fourth year in order to plant another bed with the best cuttings. When choosing the new bed, you should make sure that there were no vegetables that could be attacked by Verticillium wilt (potatoes, cucumbers, cabbage plants, etc.). All runners should be in the new bed by mid-August at the latest. Later on, the plants grow poorly.
What to look for when propagating strawberries through runners:
- Mark plants with good harvests and tasty fruits with sticks or labels at harvest time
- Select only children from healthy plants
- Plant already rooted Kindel directly (between the end of July and mid-August)
- Plant unrooted runners in a small pot (5 – 10 cm in diameter) and leave to stand for a while with the mother plant; Separate from the mother plant by mid-August at the latest and plant in the bed or overwinter in a pot in the cellar (don't forget to water!)
Here you will find all information on how to overwinter your freshly propagated strawberries and successfully bring them through the cold season.