Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Garden How To: How To Get More Strawberry Plants for Free (By Propagation)

One thing that definitely brings me joy, is gardening. And not just the act of gardening, or reaping the benefits come fruiting time. There's a method of getting more plants from the ones you already have. It's called propagation. Propagation allows you to get more plants without having to buy them. Yeah,  you heard me right. Mother Nature has created a way to keep getting plants from one original plant, which means if you know how to do this, you only have to buy plants once! (CHA-CHING!)

Don't feel cheap, either, because you're not. The great thing about investing in strawberry plants is that you only have to invest once. You can stock your whole garden from one plant and in just a few seasons, you could have tons of them! Again, this is called propagating. I know, I was skeptical too, until I watched the below video, and am attempting it myself. 

So, how does it work? Well, strawberries produce runners. Also known to those illiterate in the plant world as "long stems shooting out of your plant that may or may not have a small cluster of leaves on the end". These are the strawberry plant's way of keeping itself alive forever. It looks like this.

Strawberry plant with runners

Each of these runners will produce a leafy section that will grow roots into the dirt it is able to find. When you are growing your strawberries in pots, often the berry plant can't find more dirt and it just leafs out and looks like a little hanging vine. These actually slow down the berry production of the plant so it's best to either clip them off, or help them find dirt quickly so they can root quickly, and then you can clip them off the mother plant. 

This is the best tutorial I found on the internet for what to do with these runners if you want more plants than just the ones you have. It shows you that it's extremely easy to get more plants from these runners. (It also shows you that strawberries multiply quickly, so if you don't want a lot, don't let the runners root in the dirt!) Watch the video below, you'll become a believer. It's so easy!

I noticed that my plants were putting out TONS of runners a month ago. One of them had seven! That is a lot of runners for one plant at one time. It's also pretty common. I decided to give it a try and get these to root. Below in the pictures, they're just in the beginning stages, from what I've read, you leave them for about a month to 6 weeks (so we're getting close to clipping time), and they should be well rooted by then. Water them regularly, and eventually when the stem attaching it to the mother plant dries up and browns, it is completely thriving on it's own. I'll keep you posted on their growth and how they do! 

Making stick bridges to hold plants into the dirt.
Putting stick bridge in dirt to hold strawberry runner in place.
Strawberry runner plants in their new pots.Strawberry runner taking root in new pot.
Strawberry baby plants taking root in new pots.
Strawberry baby plants taking root in new pots.

++ Have you tried this? How successful was it? Any other tips on how to propagate strawberries?

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