Growing Strawberry Daughters from Runners
Starting Your Runners
Have you ever grown strawberries but didn't know what to do with those little feelers/suckers that grew off of them? Do you grow your strawberries in pots and you would like to expand the amount of plants you have but have no access to seeds?
This hub is on how to start a strawberry plant from a runner (those feeler-like things that grow from the mother strawberry plant). Eventually the runners will grow a daughter plant with roots and that's when the weaning begins!
- strawberry daughter/runner (still attached to mother plant)
- 1 or more seedling pots (depending on your needs. Your pots may be as big or small as you wish. I prefer the small ones so the runner doesn't have to stretch so far and add stress to growing daughter plant.)
- potting soil
- bobby pin (yes, a hair pin)
Terms to know:
- daughter - the small plant that grows at the end of a runner.
- runner - the long stem that grows out from the mother plant.
- crown - where the roots meet the stem of a strawberry plant.
- Fill your seedling pot with medium or potting soil. I live in an area with red clay so I like to mix that into the potting soil to keep the moisture in the medium longer.
- Take the bobby pin and stretch it out a little bit so it can fit over the feeler or the crown of the plant you're working with.
- Place daughter plant in prepared seedling pot, roots facing the dirt and pin plant into dirt with bobby pin. Use discretion on whether to pin down the feeler or crown. I have pinned it both ways depending on how the feeler and daughter plant is twisted from mother and which level of force is needed to keep the plant down. Push pin down until you feel resistance. Sometimes the bobby pin will go down all the way, sometimes it won't, depending on thickness of feeler or crown.
- Leave daughter alone for one week and water the daughter plant as needed. After one week, carefully pull out the bobby pin only and test the daughter plant's roots by tugging gently on the daughter plant. If you find the roots have dug deep into the potting medium, the plant will not budge and you may clip the feeler from the mother plant and the daughter plant or leave longer if you wish. If daughter plant lifts out of soil, re-pin her down and leave for another week before testing again.
My strawberry mother plants are in a small strawberry Topsy Turvy and I couldn't figure out how to reap the daughter plants from their mothers as it hung. Then one day my grandma suggested I take the Topsy Turvy from its hanger and place it on our seedling table, which I did and was then able to follow these instructions. Since starting this new procedure, I have had 100% success daughter growth and independence and in clipping the daughter plants from their mothers with very little stress.
Now I am in the process of testing how a feeler will survive from the daughter plant that grew while daughter was still attached to mother. It is looking good so far. Most times one would want to trim the feeler off to keep all nourishment focused on the newly independent daughter plant.
During the first season I have read that one should clip the flowers and feelers to keep all nourishment within the mother, making her stronger and building her up for the second season and fruiting. Right now I am using the mothers to create daughters and the daughters will be the ones I keep trimmed for the first year/season.
In an article I read about feelers and daughter strawberry plants, the author instructed to clip feelers from daughters so the daughters could grow strong and keep nutrients to themselves. I have a few of those clippings in a plastic soda bottle filled 1/3 of the way with water. The feelers grew granddaughter plants which I have just pinned in their own seedling pots. If it is successful, I may write about that as well.