Strawberry Runners – How to Grow New Strawberry Plants

Strawberries, juicy, sweet, and simply delicious, offer an easy crop to grow with a wide range of varieties to choose from. After fruiting, the plants often produce runners, long stalks with tiny strawberry plants on the end. You can use these strawberry runners every year to grow new plants and replace older ones that aren’t as productive.

Producing these runners takes a lot of energy for the plant, so if you’re using this technique to grow new plants, use healthy, older plants.

Pegging Down the Runners

As the plant produces the runners, you will see tiny strawberry plants develop along the stalk. Carefully select healthy runners with well-formed roots and gently press them into 4-inch pots filled with nutrient-rich, peat-free compost. Ensure that the base of each new plant makes good contact with the soil to promote root growth and peg them down. You can create a peg using a U-shaped piece of wire around 6 inches long. Water the pots well and keep them moist until they are rooted.

When to Cut Strawberry Runners from the Mother Plant

Cut the runners from the mother plant when roots have formed and the new plant has started to grow new leaves. At this point, you can either plant them into your garden, or you can overwinter them in a greenhouse or cold frame to plant them out the following spring.

How to Keep Strawberry Plants Healthy

Feed your strawberry plants a good amount of high-potassium fertilizer in early spring. If you grow them in containers, feed them every two weeks throughout the growing season.

Strawberry plants become less productive as they age, so replenishing your stock every three to four years is a good idea. To avoid the buildup of disease, consider moving your strawberry bed every four to five years and enrich the bed with organic matter or homemade compost.