Strawberry Plants

My srawberry plants 'Anais' are now 2yrs old, and I do not really want to buy in any more. Can I divide the stools like I do primroses as they seem much stronger than runners and can I do it now? Will they fruit as well or should I just leave them alone and add fresh stock?


  • No expertNo expert Posts: 415

    Biofreak I know a little about strawberries but never heard of anyone dividing plants before. Where did this idea come from?

    Potting up the runners in Autum, is the only way to get free plants that I know of.

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,122

    2 yr old strawberry plants have their best season to come, i.e. the third year.

    You cant divide strawberries, you renew by potting the runners each year.

    Done in rotation, this ensures you get a third year crop every year.

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,892

    Can you really not divide strawberries? I divided mine up last year in the autumn in order to get them in to pots to prepare for moving house and they seemed to come away into "chunks" and continue to grow just fine (they're entering their third year this year).

    Will this affect them producing fruit this year?

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,069

    I'm sure you can divide them Clarington, you did image It's just not what's usually done.

    I shouldn't think it will affect them adversely, other perennial plants are improved by it

  • biofreakbiofreak Posts: 540

    The temptation is very strong because they are in massive clumps. The runners were nothing to write home about. Asked a nursery man at the Market this morning and he said that he always divided his up until the fifth year then renewed stock as even runners weaker then. Also apparently you must create a new strawberry bed when you renew stock - Is this right. I always remember the Strawberry beds when I was little always in the same place. Any ideas on this one?

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,363

    The usual reason given for starting afresh after 4 or so years is that viruses build up in the plants which reduces their vigour.  If that were the case I can't see why the viruses wouldn't also affect runners but that's what I've always read.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • No expertNo expert Posts: 415

    I said at the start that I knew alittle about strawberries, well now I know some more. never entered my head to divide as i always hve so many runners.

    Also we move to fresh ground with new plants to get a fresh start for the plants. After 4 years or so the plot will be jaded and needs fresh supply of organic material and this is difficult to do with a bed of strawberry plants. We are not trying to be awkward biofreak but rotation is the healtiest option.

    Happy gardening to all in 2014.

  • You certainly can divide strawberries, it is sometimes done commercially for varieties that produce few runners - in particular perpetual and day-neutral varieties, as well as 'alpine' strawberries that do not produce any runners.

    Personally, I don't think now would be the best time - better to wait until early spring just before active growth starts again. Remove all the top growth before dividing very carefully and re-plant in fresh soil 15" apart. Make sure they are watered well during dry periods until established.

    However it must be stressed that taking runners  in the Summer is a better method of increase, the resultant plants will be more vigorous and the mother plants will of course still crop. 

  • Might have to look into this. Didnt get chance to  set any runners this year due to other commitments. Currently trying to resist the urge to clear the browned dead leaves off the plant, as its protecting the crowns from frost.

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 2,909

    Chris, Alpine strawberries don't produce runners as they reproduce by self seeding from the unpicked strawberries.

    Pineberries, a white strawberry which tastes like pineapple don't produce runners either. They also self seed if the berries aren't picked.   

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,892

    Thanks for that Zoomer. I brought a pineberry but have covered the ground around it in slate to try & confuse the slugs. No babies here! Do you think I could harvest the seeds myself to plant up?

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 2,909

    If you only have the one plant Clarington, wait till the weather warms up and repot into a largish pot, let it grow and fruit but don't pick and it will self seed in the pot for the following year, you can then plant the new plants where ever you like.

    I love strawberries they grow for Britian in my garden, I'm always amazed that although the leaves might get nibbled by pests the fruit is always left alone. Introduced some new varieties last year as my original strawberries are grown from stock given over 20 yrs ago and I wanted stuff which fruited at different times. 

    You can eat your own strawberries in May for wimbledon if forced in the GHimage    


  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,892

    I've some normal red ones I'm considering forcing for May - how are the flowers pollinated in the greenhouse? Sorry if that seems a silly question! )


    I'll definately re pot the pineberry when it gets warm and hopefully have a very fertile year!


    (My apologies Bio for distracting from your original question).

  • I get bees in the greenhouse no problem and always have half my strawberries in there for early fruiting. I put them out over late Autumn /winter and bring them in in Feb...earlier this year as they were getting bashed with the gales. Good luck.Ps I grow autumn planted sweet peas at the greenhouse door which flower early and attract the bees in.

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