Most people love strawberries, and what a treat to have a delicacy that is part of your five a day. Plants can be propagated from seed, but this usually leads to inferior plants. Propagating from runners is more certain to produce plants that are identical to the mother plant.
Most strawberry plants, apart from perpetual strawberries, produce a number of stolons, better known as runners, which are simply creeping, horizontal plant stems. People often choose to remove these to increase the size of fruit on their plants. However, the runners can be used to propagate new strawberry plants. Propagation should be carried out from late summer to early autumn.
- Runners should be pegged down against the surrounding soil or a 9cm (3.5in) pot full of compost buried in the surrounding soil, using a U-shaped piece of wire or a hairpin. If the mother plant is in a pot, the small pots of compost can be placed on the ground around the larger pot. Using the pot of compost makes it easier to transplant once rooted. Do not sever the runner from the plant at this stage.
- Water the plants well during the rooting period.
- After around a month to six weeks, the plants will root into the ground or the pot and new growth will appear on the young plant. Runners can then be severed from the mother plant and the new plant can later be planted elsewhere.
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