Propagating plants = create or grow more! More is good in the world of gardening, no?
I bought two small strawberry plants this year. I quickly realized I wanted more. However, I didn't want to keep buying the plants. I researched and discovered I could easily get more plants for free (essentially). I would have to propagate the runners!
What are the runners? The runners are long tendrils that will shoot out and away from the mother plant. They are searching for soil to plop themselves down into and establish new roots. After awhile, this plant will have well established roots and can be snipped away from the mother. (until it is snipped, it is getting its energy and nutrients from the mother plant which it is attached to)
I have my strawberries in hanging baskets, so for me, it wasn't as simple as letting the runners grow long enough to find the soil. They'd NEVER find the soil from the height at which they were hanging. I remedied this by attaching little biodegradable pots to the sides of the hanging baskets. I then guided the runners to these pots and pinned them in place over the soil with little pieces of floral wire, which has been bent into a U shape. After a few weeks, the little runners will begin creating sets of leaves and nice, deep roots. At about 4-5 weeks you should be able to snip the runner away from the mother plant and repot somewhere else.
These are my strawberry runners that have been pinned into the biodegradable pots. You can even see that they are putting out their own runners! I did end up snipping those extra runners away so the baby plants could focus their energy on their own needs (roots especially!). They didn't need to be mommy plants just yet :-)
|These are 3 out of 6 baby strawberry plants that are going to be going into this new hanging basket|
After a couple of good, heavy rain showers I started to notice the breakdown of the biodegradable pots. I know this would be a "DUH!" for most people. This is my first time, though, and it just didn't cross my mind. I thought, "Oh, this will be great! I will only need to plop them into their new pot and not worry about removing them from here and disturbing the young roots!" What I ended up doing is carefully removing the biodegradable pot and gently placing them into these red plastic cup and then reattaching these new cups to the mother plants hanging basket. Make sure if you use a plastic cup that you also drill some small holes for drainage.
|I checked the roots as I removed each plant. As you can see, they are very nice and well established! This will make for an easier transition to its new container.|