When Your Strawberries Start To Spread

In my small garden, I have 2 strawberry plants in pots, and 2 strawberry plants in baskets.

In recent weeks, they have been sending out what are formally called stolons, commonly called runners and casually called “suckers.” They are horizontal stems that shoot out from the main plant with small leaves at the head, looking for a place to set roots.

Each runner has the potential to produce a clone plant, and grow into a fully fledged strawberry plant. But, sending out the suckers quite literally sucks the energy out of the mother plant.

Some gardeners recommend removing the runners in order to force the main plant to focus on producing fruit.

However, before I started snipping off the runners all willy nilly… I did a quick search online to see what the best plan was.

And that’s when I saw that you can encourage each sucker to drop roots before you remove them from the main plant, which helps you turn one strawberry plant into several strawberry plants!

The process is surprisingly easy… I’m talking do-on-your-lunch-break-easy… I say that from experience because I literally accomplished it in the 20 minutes I have at home on my own lunch break.

5 Simple Steps To Propagating Strawberry Plants: 

  1. Grab a few small pots (3-5 inches in diameter), and a handful of paper clips.
  2. Fill the pots with soil, and situate one pot under each runner.

3. Unfold the paper clips and use them to secure each runner into the dirt.

4. Water thoroughly, and leave runners attached to the main plant.

5. After a few weeks (4-6), your runners will have set roots into the dirt, and you can disconnect the runner from the mother plant.

**Don’t pull your plants up out of the soil to check for roots. I happened to trip and knock this seedling’s pot over. So, I used it as a photo opportunity to show you what’s happening underneath. But, I do not recommend yanking them out of the soil like I did!

That’s it! You can turn your strawberry plant into a strawberry patch, and reap the rewards (read: eat LOTS of extra strawberries). 

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