By Sally Raspin
While it is not impossible to grow strawberries from seeds, the most common methods of propagating strawberries are by runners and plant division. Runners and plant division produce the most successful plants in terms of fruit production.
A strawberry plant may have 200 or more seeds on its fruit, and this can produce a great number of plants, Modern cultivars however, are the result of cross breeding and so the seeds are not always viable or produce good fruit when grown.
When strawberry plants have finished fruiting, the plants begin to put out runners which are new plants, identical to the mother plant, on the end of a long horizontal stem. As long as the runner has access to soil, it will develop roots and begin a new plant. Once the new plant has set down roots, the stem joining it to the parent plant can be severed. The fruit grown on this plant will be identical to those on the parent.
Plant division is another successful means of strawberry plant propagation. If you wish to expand your strawberry bed and do not have enough runners, wait until fruiting has finished, then trim the old leaves off the plant and lift the whole root ball with a spade. Carefully divide the root system into two, three or four new plants, depending on the number of crowns and replant.