From a botanical point of view, strawberries are not berries, but rather common nut fruits, which in turn belong to the false fruits. When ripening, a fleshy, red pseudo-berry is formed, what we know as a strawberry. The actual fruits of the strawberry are the small, yellowish kernels on the outer skin of the fruit, the so-called nuts. Strawberries can be propagated using the seeds and runners.

Propagation is the same for most varieties

Basically, a distinction is made between single, multiple and always bearing strawberries, which differ primarily in terms of the duration of the harvest. Varieties that bear once do not bear, as is often wrongly assumed, only once in their plant life, but with appropriate care for several years in a row, but only once a year, from the end of May to the end of June.

In contrast to this, strawberries that bear continuously or repeatedly, so-called remontaining strawberries, bear fruit twice a year, in June / July and again in August / September. Always bearing varieties, also known as monthly strawberries, bear tirelessly from the beginning of June through to autumn.

As a rule, the yield and fruit size decrease with every year and the plants should be completely renewed after 3-4 years at the latest. For new plantings, the strawberry delivers the seedlings practically free to the home in the form of runners. With the exception of monthly strawberries, which do not form runners and can only be propagated via seeds.

Tip:  To ensure that the strawberries bring a good harvest in the long term, you can cut them down radically with the lawnmower after the last harvest of the year, but without damaging the heart buds. This applies even more to plants that have been infected by fungal diseases or pests.

Propagate strawberries using runners

Propagation by cuttings is the simplest and most uncomplicated method. They grow above ground and are formed in the leaf axils during and after harvest. As long as the plants are bearing good, they should be cut early. The runners should only be allowed to grow in order to obtain new plants when the formation of flowers and fruits has subsided.
They take root and settle where they come into contact with the ground. However, not all runners are suitable for propagation, so those with the best properties and requirements are sorted out. Runners should not be taken from plants with leaf spots, this could be a fungal disease.

Extraction of foothills

  • Only take runners from high-yielding plants
  • It is best to mark strawberries that are particularly lush
  • later use runners from precisely these plants
  • Plants that do not bear well develop more runners
  • they are mostly unsuitable for reproduction
  • vigorous and high-yielding plants form only later and significantly fewer offshoots
  • choose only healthy and vigorous mother plants
  • Choose runners that are strong and closest to the mother plant
  • their leaves should be well developed
  • Cut off offshoots that are not required for propagation
  • they cost the strawberry plants a lot of strength that is lacking for flower and fruit formation
Tip:  If you want to get a particularly large number of runners from certain strawberries, cut off all of the flower stems from these plants, depending on how many new plants you want to get. The mother plant no longer concentrates on the formation of flowers and fruits, but rather on the formation of runners.

Plant runners

In late summer :
Once suitable runners have been found, they can be grown on the spot and left there all summer, connected to the mother plant. In late summer, when they are big and strong enough, they can be separated from the mother plant with a sharp knife, carefully dug up and planted in their destination the same day. This method has the advantage that the plants are stronger and usually more productive in spring. All young plants should be in the ground by September at the latest.

In spring :
Furthermore, as mentioned, there is the option of initially letting the runners grow on the spot and only separating them from the mother plant and transplanting them in the next spring. Even if these plants are well cared for over the winter, they can suffer a planting shock when they are transplanted in spring, from which they usually recover.

  • alternatively, let runners grow in small pots over the summer
  • dig up the already rooted offshoots in spring
  • then dig holes right next to the mother plant
  • they should be big enough to fit a small flower pot
  • Put pots in the earth, only unglazed clay pots
  • Fill with soil and insert cuttings
  • Offshoots are still associated with the mother plant

With this method, it is important to water the runners in the pot sufficiently and regularly, otherwise they can dry out very quickly. In spring, the young plants are cut from the mother plant, taken out of the pots and planted in their final location. Intensive care is required after planting.

Tip:  For strawberries that were planted in spring, it is advisable to break out the first flowers. This gives them the opportunity to form sufficient roots and establish themselves at the new location.

What to look for when planting

  • pay attention to a warm, sunny location
  • where there have been no strawberries in the last 5-6 years
  • Soil should be light and humus
  • Mixed culture with leek and garlic is recommended
  • Kohl is not a good neighbor
  • recommended planting distances of 50-60 cm
  • Row spacing of about 20-30 cm
  • Cover with mulch after planting, ideally straw
  • Straw keeps the soil moist, the fruit dry and snails away
  • Mulch reduces maintenance
  • Fruits threaten gray mold on damp soil
  • Fungal infection can lead to crop losses
  • Post-planting care includes watering, fertilizing, soil maintenance

Planting with black mulch film offers almost the same advantages. It also keeps the soil warm and moist and can make a significant contribution to increasing yields. You cover the planting area with this film and cover the edges with soil. Then small, cross-shaped slits are cut in the foil for each plant, in which the strawberry plants are then inserted.

Propagation via seeds

The propagation of strawberries via seeds is much more time-consuming than via cuttings. It is especially worthwhile if you need a large number of plants. Sowing is recommended primarily for monthly strawberries, because they do not form runners. The varieties ‘Rügen’ and ‘Bowlenzauber’ are particularly suitable for this form of propagation; both have a pleasant aroma of wild strawberries and the large-fruity variety ‘Fresca’.

Harvest seeds

You can buy seeds or harvest them yourself from existing plants or fruits. As already mentioned, the seeds sit on the outside of the fruit. Every single strawberry provides a multitude of small seeds as a so-called collective fruit. They should only be obtained from fully ripe strawberries. To detach them from the fruit, first cut it in half and lay it with the cut surface facing down on newspaper to dry. Or you put them on conventional wooden skewers, so they usually dry faster.
After drying, the strawberries have shrunk significantly and are firmly attached to the sticks. Some of the nuts will now fall off by themselves. The rest can be easily removed if you put the skewers in a small bowl and rub the small grains off the dried fruit with a cloth. Then they can be sown without any further pre-treatment.


The best time to sow strawberries is in early spring between February and March. In addition to seeds, you need growing containers and commercially available growing soil.

  • fill the cultivation vessel with substrate
  • Spread the seeds evenly on top and press lightly
  • do not cover with soil, light germs
  • Moisten the substrate with a spray bottle
  • Cover the seeds with translucent foil
  • Place in a bright and warm place, away from direct sunlight
  • Temperatures ideally slightly above 20 degrees
  • first seedlings after about two to six weeks
  • Separate seedlings with at least 4-5 leaves
  • Half fill small pots with slightly fertilized substrate
  • alternatively with special picking earth
  • press a small depression in the middle
  • place one plant in each hollow

It is best to use a Pickiersab to help transplant. You should proceed carefully so as not to damage the sensitive roots. After planting, the heart bud must always look out of the substrate or stand above the ground. Now the plants only have to be watered and put in a light place. The first flowers are formed after about 14-15 weeks and the first fruits after another four to five weeks.
The propagation of strawberry plants is uncomplicated and can even be carried out by beginners without any problems. When propagating offshoots, you should first of all pay attention to healthy and strong mother plants and only use the highest quality offshoots. The sowing, especially of always bearing varieties, is a little more complex, but it can produce a lot more young plants.

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