How to Grow Strawberry from Stolon or Runner

Learn How to Grow Strawberries from Stolons

There are several ways to propagate strawberries. You can grow strawberries from seeds, stolons, or seedlings. But the fastest and most effective method to grow strawberries is to grow them from stolons, also called runners. The strawberry stolon is also known as a strawberry runner. Learn how to harvest in the first season all summer long and keep the plants for many years. Learn How to Grow Strawberries from Stolon or Runner and harvest them in the first season!

Strawberry Stolon or Runners

The fastest and most effective method to grow strawberries is to grow them from runners, also called stolons.

To grow strawberries from runners it is necessary to have a fast and effective new strawberry plant.

The strawberry stolon is a type of asexual vegetative reproduction, which allows the strawberry plant to spread out and move away from the central plant, looking for nutrients. The strawberry stolon can develop another nucleus of roots, at the level of the stolon, obtaining the necessary nutrients to propagate without the need for flowers or seeds.

What is a stolon or runner? Stolons are slightly weak stems that grow horizontally to the ground.

Strawberry stolons, like the stolons of other plants, always originate from the main stem of the plant. Like other stolons, the strawberry stolon always grows very close to the ground (horizontal runners in strawberry).

There are different types of stolons, subterranean stolons that grow below the soil surface, and creeping stolons that grow above the soil surface.

Strawberry stolons are epigeal stolons, also commonly called creeping stolons or runners.

The great advantage of propagating strawberries by stolons, as opposed to other propagation methods, is that the strawberry stolon contains embryonic cells that allow them to root easily (adventitious roots) when in contact or close proximity to the soil surface and grow new strawberry plants.

Once the root system of the strawberry stolon is well developed (adventitious roots), the stolon can be cut and separated from the main plant that gave rise to it, obtaining two independent strawberry plants where one of them was grown from the stolon.

Both strawberry plants will continue to form runners and more strawberry plants can be grown from the strawberry stolons.

Advantages to Grow Strawberry from Stolon (Runners)

Different varieties of strawberries will allow you to cultivate and crop strawberries easily.

Growing strawberries from their seeds is a complicated, not recommended task since it takes time to germinate and the success is low.

However, it’s simple from previously purchased seedlings or reproducing the plants by stolons (runners). Here are the tips for growing strawberries from stolons.

care stawberries crop strawberry stolon
Strawberry stolons are epigeal stolons, also commonly called creeping stolons or runners.

How to Grow Strawberry from Stolon or Runner

Sow from Strawberry seeds can be complicated. For this reason, growing strawberries it’s usually made from previously purchased seedlings, or by reproducing the plants by stolons (runners).

Not all varieties of fruit develop stolons. Likewise, when the variety produces stolons, their formation depends on the hours of light and the temperature.

However, when there are stolons, strawberry reproduction using these is another possibility of reproduction much more effective and less laborious than reproduction by seeds, when there is a previous crop.

strawberry propagation by stolon or runners horizontal runners in strawberry.
The strawberry stolon is also known as a strawberry runner. Horizontal runners in strawberry (epigeal stolons) are also commonly called creeping stolons or runners. The lateral shoots that come out from the base of the stem are called stolons or runners and along the stolon will develop adventitious roots.

The lateral shoots that come out from the base of the stem are called stolons or runners because of their horizontal growth pattern to the ground line.

Adventitious roots are produced along the stolon that, once rooted and separated from the mother plant, can give rise to a new plant.

The key to making stolon reproduction work is to get it rooted. Use small pieces of metal or wood in a U-shape to prevent the stolon from moving and digging up.

Do not damage the adventitious roots of the stolon, they are still weak but good and prolonged contact with the substrate will strengthen them.

Look for the stolon not to be moved by the wind. Apply regular watering to prevent the substrate from drying out.

As the stolon develops it will take out new leaves. Only then can it be separated from the mother and a new seedling will have been generated.

How to Prepare the Soil for Strawberry Stolons

Let’s start with this step-by-step for growing strawberries from stolons.

As explained in the previous paragraphs, growing strawberries from stolons require that the strawberry stolon develops adventitious roots.

Therefore, our first step in growing strawberries from stolons is to prepare the soil for the strawberry stolons to promote root formation at the stolon level.

bed strawberries
Growing strawberries from stolons require that the strawberry stolon develops adventitious roots. The soil selection is a critical step when growing strawberries from runners. The soil to promote the growth at strawberry stolons level must be acidic (pH 5.8 -6.5) and rich in organic matter. The most recommended are the soils with worm humus on the composition.

Soil for Strawberry Stolons – The soil to promote the growth at strawberry stolons level must be acidic (pH 5.8 -6.5). The cultivation will thrive best with organic soil. I will suggest measuring the pH and adjusting the pH if needed, as this step is critical to promoting stolons’ growth.

It is advisable to use good quality or even sterile soil, and it is recommended not to use homemade compost soil because of its high content of fungi and bacteria at this stage.

Once the strawberry runners have developed and matured their root system and are fully forming a new plant, homemade compost can be used.

Fertilization for Strawberry Stolons – Fertilizer needed 4-3-6 NPK (meaning 4% of Nitrogen, 3% of Phosphorous, and 6 % of Potassium). Learn more about different types of fertilizers.

Sale
Garden Tutor Soil pH Test Kit (3.5-9 Range) | 100 Soil pH Test Strips
  • Calibrated specifically for soil pH testing with fast and accurate soil test results in 60 seconds at home
  • 2nd Generation simplified 3 pad design for improved accuracy to easily optimize soil pH.
  • Enough soil test strips for 100 soil pH tests - Since soil pH can vary in different areas it is important to take multiple soil pH tests around your property. Essential for lawn soil pH testing and adjustments.
Down to Earth All Natural Acid Mix Fertilizer 4-3-6, 1 lb
  • This fertilizer is blended especially for acid lovers such as rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas, evergreens, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, potatoes and other plants that need a low pH
  • To encourage lush flowers and fruit, apply Acid Mix in early spring for vegetative growth and again when blooms appear.
  • Fall Applications can help promote root growth and boost resistance to extreme winter temperatures

Strawberry plants can be cultivated in different types of soils, from heavy to light (sandy soils) but slightly acidic.

Strawberries need a substrate with good drainage to avoid disease caused for excess humidity. The soil should be rich in organic matter. The most recommended are the soils with worm humus on the composition.

When and How to Transfer Strawberry Seedling from Stolon

Strawberry Seedlings obtained from seeds or obtained in the nurseries or from the stolons (runners) of your previous plant should be ready to be transferred or transplanted to their final location outdoors or in a pot, during spring and fall.

The best time to transfer strawberry seedlings is when there are no extreme temperatures, especially when it is not too cold.

Depending on whether you have transferred your strawberry seedlings to pots (growing strawberries in a pot) or keep your strawberries growing in beds or on the ground (strawberry care outdoors), we recommend reading about the strawberry care you should take in the next stages until harvest.

harvest strawberry stolon how to grow strawberry stolons
Strawberry seedlings obtained from the stolons (runners) of your previous plant should be ready to be transferred to their final location outdoors or in a pot, during spring and fall, when there are no extreme temperatures, especially when it is not too cold.

How to Improve Strawberry Crops

Let’s review a few scientific articles recently published with ideas to improve strawberry crops using bio-stimulators and pursuing bio-promotion of growth.

Improve Strawberry Crops with Bio-Stimulation or Bio-Promotion of Growth

Improve Strawberry Crops with Bio-Stimulation or Bio-Promotion of Growth. This practice is widely used in large-scale agriculture. Bio-stimulation can be understood as the induction to promote or delay a physiological process.

The process implies the application of products for this purpose, integrated with soil or foliage management practices that facilitate the adequate growth and development of the plant. This is compatible with sustainable agroecological systems since they allow for maintaining a dynamic intra-farm balance.

Bio-stimulants or Bio-Promoters are organic substances that are used to enhance the growth and development of plants and provide greater resistance to biotic and abiotic stress conditions. For examples, extreme temperatures, water stress due to deficit or excess humidity, salinity, toxicity, and the incidence of pests, and/or diseases.

Its composition can include auxins, gibberellins (as plant hormone), cytokinins, abscisic acid, jasmonic acid, or other phytohormones.

The products leave no residue and are safe for the people who apply them. Its composition is diverse, in commercial mixtures of mineral nutrients, organic compounds, or active ingredients.

Other Bio-Stimulant Practices for Improving Strawberry Crops

Other Bio-Stimulant Practices for Strawberries. Application of growth-promoting for Strawberries rhizobacteria, such as Bacillus, Rhizobium, Trichoderma, Nitrobacter, Nitrosomonas, Pseudomonas, Aspergillus, Azotobacter, among others.

These natural bio-stimulants favor the synthesis of phytohormones and the absorption of nutrients. They have a resistance function against negative soil microorganisms.

We hope that this article on how to grow strawberries from stolon will be useful and that you will have a good learning experience.

potted strawberries in pot
About Julia Morgan

We are the Morgan family, Henry, and Julia, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for TheGardenStyle.com as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website. We hope that all our advice will be useful to you and that you will become an expert gardener.