Strawberry Plant Propagation

strawberry propagationThere are three main ways to propagate strawberry plants.  The plants can be divided and transplanted once multiple crowns have been grown (or division of rhizomes), new plants can be grown from strawberry seeds, or the runners that strawberry plants put out can be controlled, guided, and caused to root where clone plants can be utilized most efficiently.

There are positives and negatives about propagating strawberries with each method, all of which will be briefly discussed.  However, to offer the bottom line up front, most gardeners will find that the easiest way is to propagate strawberry plants by runner.

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How a New Variety of Strawberry Plants is Developed

How a New Variety of Strawberry Plants is DevelopedHave you ever wondered how a new variety of strawberry plants is developed?  The big, luscious strawberries that we all know and love haven’t always existed.  In fact, they are a relatively new phenomenon.  The original wild-type strawberry species produced (and still produce) tasty strawberries.  But, those strawberry plants cranked out tiny (relatively speaking) fruits.  When the first Garden Strawberry was successfully bred (see the Strawberry Plant page for more of the development history of today’s strawberry plants), the path was paved for the creation of the strawberry cultivars we grow today.

While the most successful breeding programs are funded by the state, individuals or non-governmental groups can endeavor to breed better strawberry plants as well.  This post describes some of the thoughts and targets that should guide any strawberry plant breeding program.

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What Are Strawberry Runners? (Stolons)

Most of the commonly cultivated varieties of strawberry plants (Fragaria x ananassa) will produce “runners” as a means of propagating themselves.  Anyone who grows strawberries is probably familiar with the term and, at some point, probably experienced at least a twinge of curiosity regarding them.  You may have even asked yourself, “Exactly what are strawberry runners ?”  Be curious no longer, for you are about to find out!

strawberry plant runners

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Hop on the Strawberry Bandwagon

hop on the strawberry bandwagon with strawberry plantsIf you haven't decided to traipse on down to your local nursery and purchase strawberry plants to plant in your garden, now is a great time to give it some more thought!  Strawberries are packed with vitamins and beneficial nutrients your body needs (most notably Vitamin C and flavonoids).  Eating them may even help stave off some the negative effects of aging!

Of course, eating strawberries won't keep you alive until you are 200 years old, but they may just keep you young-at-heart.  A recent national survey conducted by the USDA (in conjunction with other researchers and funded by the California Strawberry Commission) polled 1,751 kids between the ages of 5 and 18 about their fruit preferences.  The results magnified a trend and cemented the little red fruit from the strawberry plant as the king of the fruit mountain.

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