By Dena Kane

Known also as vegetative propagation or vegetative cloning, strawberries grow new plants without producing seeds or spores. What people think of as strawberry seeds that cover the berry are not in fact their primary means of propagation.

As the strawberry fruits are developing, the plant is stimulated to send out thin growths called runners or clones that resemble tendrils. The runners grow roots into the soil that in turn create new plants that grow and bear fruit and send out more runners.

Vegetative reproduction is not uncommon in the plant world and is usually associated with herbaceous and woody perennial plants like peonies and always includes some sort of physical changes to the stem or roots to make it possible.

Even though strawberries reproduce easily and consistently through runners, it is possible if not preferable to grow them by seed. One reason to grow from seed is if you want a non-hybridized or heirloom varietal of strawberry or if you are not in any hurry to produce a crop in the immediate season. The seeds can be collected and preserved from berries you have or seeds can be purchased from a few seed companies.