How to Germinate Strawberry Seeds

Germinating Strawberry Seeds: Summary

This document was created and published by the leading producer of gourmet strawberry seeds, Mike Wellik of The Strawberry Seed Store in Delaware. It is a culmination of his many years of experience germinating strawberry seeds and raising the plants. It is a valuable resource for both the beginning and experienced strawberry grower or any enthusiast who wishes to grow strawberries from seed. The following is covered in the publication:

Introduction to Germinating Strawberries

1. A brief introduction is provided that discusses why the document was produced. Additionally, a discussion of the nature of strawberry seeds is provided for background. Preconditioning as a means to break the dormancy of the achenes and initiate germination is discussed.

2. Also discussed is the effect of proper storage conditions for different varieties on their germination rates and viability. In addition to preconditioning, other factors that aid germination are discussed: using vermicompost, specific wavelengths of light, and even isolated compounds from wood smoke can aid germination.

Preparation and Media for Sprouting Seeds

3. Considerations for appropriate preparation of sprouting media is discussed and reviewed. Video of strawberry sprouting mix is linked. Caution is urged when using compost, and use of peat pellets is not encouraged. Also displayed are simple and inexpensive tools that can be used to sow the seeds quickly and effectively.

How to Germinate Strawberry Seeds: Conclusion

This publication is an important addition to the Strawberry Plants Library and should be referenced by anyone having difficulty getting their strawberry seeds to germinate. Mike Wellik also offers a tremendous variety of gourmet strawberry seeds (some of which are difficult to find anywhere else). This resource is a good one to download and keep on hand for future reference as well. The linked videos are particularly helpful in demonstrating the specifics when learning how to germinate strawberry seeds. Everything from pre-germination to post-germination is covered.

File Type: .pdf

Length: 6 pages


17 thoughts on “How to Germinate Strawberry Seeds”

  1. You know; I’ve noticed among my strawberries, are itty-bitty plants that I think have leaves that look like tiny strawberry plants. I’ve left them alone, but after reading the first couple comments, I’m sure there’s absolutely no reason to let them live because “they aren’t ‘true'”, because “virtually all strawberry plants are now hybrid.” Got my answer immediately, thanks! Gonna go out and purchase ‘true’ plants.

    • Christo,
      Yes, you can, but the seeds won’t grow true. Since virtually all commercially available strawberries are harvested from hybrid plants, the resulting seeds are unreliable when it comes to producing plants that have the same characteristics at the plant from which the berry was taken. Sorry!

  2. Hi, thanks so much for the tips! I was just wondering, when germinating the seeds, can they be in a tightly enclosed container? And do they have to be outside, or can they simply stay indoors?

    • Tina,
      You can have them enclosed, but you do want to allow for air circulation. They can grow inside also, but the plants will not usually produce as well indoors. Good luck!

    • Norika,
      You can try the wet towel method, but if you’ve tried everything else and gotten no results, it might be your seeds. If you collected them from a strawberry you purchased at the store, they are likely infertile to begin with. If you saved them from a hybrid variety you grew yourself, you may run into the same problem there as well. If you purchased a packet of seeds, I’d check the lot number and date. If they are older than a year, you will have some that die and won’t germinate at all. Also, even if the packet is recent, exposure to heat or premature moisture can damage the seeds and make them no longer viable. Good luck!

  3. Hi, there! I bought some seeds of the alpine type that have red flowers. Do they need to be in my freezer for two weeks before I plant them?

    Also, if you ever come across Fairfax strawberries, they are the best on earth! Thank you!!

    • Melissa E. Keyes,
      The strawberry varieties that have red flowers are crosses/hybrids. I’d recommend this for help with germination. And, if you want Fairfax strawberries, see here. Good luck!

  4. I had put hydrogen peroxide with water into the plants. That helped seeds to sprout in 10 days…that also keeps the soil free of pests and worms. ..

  5. Looking for an old strawberry known as “Shasta ” in 1980’s, Med large firm strawberries. Fabulous taste. Only place I know that has them is UC Davis in California, but its not for sale anymore. Any clues as to where I might find them somewhere else

    • elizabeth nunan,
      You sprinkle them (or place them) on top of a moist growing medium, them dust them with dry peat or another equally fine substrate. The seeds sometimes germinate better with a bit of light, so don’t actually bury them if you would like them to have the highest germination rate. Good luck!

  6. I have tried wet paper towel method for strawberry seeds germination. I have seen growth in about 3 weeks. I am looking for references to continue growing strawberries at the backyard.


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