Strawberry Runners – Propagating Strawberries the Easy Way

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Wouldn’t it be amazing to have endless strawberries to pick in your garden? Take advantage of strawberry runners to multiply your plants quickly and easily!

During the first year, strawberry plants tend to produce “daughters” as a means of propagation. These plants produce berries the following year, literally multiplying your yield!

Strawberry Runners for Propagating over a wooden deck
Strawberry Daughters for Propagating over a wooden deck, 2021

What are strawberry runners?

Strawberry plant runners are the cloned offspring of strawberry plants. Also known as stolons or daughters, runners connect to the mother plant by lengths of stem that run horizontally above the soil. When making contact with soil, the child plants form their own roots and work to establish themselves in the ground.

Strawberry runner trailing off of a mother plant in a raised garden bed
Purchased strawberry plant came with a new offshoot (daughter)

How do strawberry plants reproduce?

Strawberry plants reproduce asexually by forming runners. The stolons, or runners form nodes that intend to become independent clones of the mother strawberry plant. When reproducing, the nodes grow outward from the mother plant and may produce several individual clones on each runner.

How to Propagate Strawberry Runners

Propagating strawberry shoots into their own plants is easy! To maximize your strawberry crop, you can simply encourage the young strawberry plants to take root.

Here’s the simplest method to propagate strawberries from runners – in soil!

  1. Identify runners in your garden, raised bed, or containers.
  2. Take extra care to find any strawberry daughters that are not already established and rooted in soil.
  3. Prepare a small nursery pot with potting soil and bring it over to the roaming strawberry runner.
  4. Place the flower pot under the runner so that the base of the node is touching the soil. If no roots currently exist, they should develop soon.

    Strawberry daughter resting in a small nursery pot during propagation
  5. If necessary, use a garden staple, plant marker, stone, or other item to help hold the runner down to the soil to maintain contact.
  6. Check regularly to discover when the strawberry clone successfully roots in the soil. At this time, you may snip the runner stem from the mother plant.  

These steps should only take a few minutes but the results will be well worth your time.

Runners from Strawberries Still Connected to the Mother Plant on Wooden Steps
Runners from Strawberries Still Connected to the Mother Plant on Wooden Steps

When to Cut Strawberry Runners from Mother Plant

The best time to cut strawberry shoots away from the mother plant is when they have already formed roots that clutch the soil.

The chances of a successful strawberry cloning are higher when the roots are well established.

How to Transplant Strawberry Daughters

If you’re wondering how to replant strawberry runners, be assured it’s very easy!

Here are my simple steps on transplanting strawberry daughters:

  1. Check runners from strawberry plants for roots. If they do not have roots yet, see the steps above on propagating strawberries from runners.
  2. If rooted strawberry runners already planted themselves in soil, use a garden spade to gently lift them out of the soil.

    Digging and Replanting Strawberry Runners in the Garden
  3. Use clean pruning shears or scissors to gently snip the horizontal runner stems about an inch away from the mini strawberry plant.
  4. Replant strawberry runners in a raised bed, strawberry planter, or other container or garden location.
  5. Water after planting and monitor the young strawberry plants as they become established.

Now all you have to do is wait!

By this time next year, you should get to enjoy lots more juicy berries from your garden.

What to Do with Strawberry Runners

If your strawberry plants produce daughters, you are on your way to a bigger and more successful garden!

Once you notice the daughters, it’s so easy to encourage the clones to root in a small pot with some soil mix while still connected to the mother plant.

You can also encourage rooting right in the garden bed if it’s easier for you!

Daughter helping transplant strawberry runners / daughters in the garden in 2021
Daughter helping transplant strawberry daughters in the garden (2021)

Did you know you can propagate pineberry runners as well?!

Your backyard fruit garden is about to be bursting with amazing goodies year after year!

Since strawberry plants don’t individually live forever, reproducing from runners is an amazing way to ensure sustainability in the garden.

I highly recommend taking the time to care for strawberry daughters when you notice them growing.

This worthwhile gardening task takes only minutes and can make a big impact on the future of your family’s strawberry patch!

Do you have any questions or tips about propagating and planting runners from strawberries? Be sure to comment below – we love hearing from you!

Happy Gardening!

05.15.23 – Updated to resize photos to full size. Improved spacing and bolded headings. Added photos.

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