Layering strawberry plants

Layering is a propagation technique used to reproduce plants by encouraging the development of roots on a stem while it is still attached to the parent plant. Strawberries are a great example of how to layer. Many strawberry plants weaken after a few years so you an replace these through this layering technique;

After fruiting, strawberries will have a growth surge and will produce long stems. Identify these stems on a healthy and vigorous strawberry plant – it needs to be flexible and long enough to reach the ground easily.

Select a suitable spot near the parent plant where you want to create the new strawberry plant. Prepare the area by clearing away any weeds and loosening the soil.

Gently bend the chosen stem down towards the ground, making sure it doesn’t break. You can use a small garden staple or a U-shaped wire to anchor the stem to the ground temporarily.

Create a shallow trench or groove in the soil where the bent stem will be placed. Ensure that the groove is wide enough to accommodate the stem comfortably. Alternatively, you can push them into pots. We’d suggest using 12cm pots with peat free compost.

Make a small incision on the lower side of the stem that will come in contact with the soil. This will help encourage the formation of roots.

Place this section of the stem into the prepared groove, ensuring that it makes good contact with the soil. You can use small stones or wire to hold the stem in place if needed.

Cover the stem with soil, leaving the tip of the plant exposed above the ground. Press the soil gently around the stem to secure it in place.

Water the layered stem thoroughly to ensure the soil is evenly moist. Be mindful not to overwater, as excessive moisture can lead to rotting.

Monitor the layered stem regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged. Over time, new roots should develop from the wounded area of the stem.

Once the layered stem has established a strong root system, typically within a few weeks to a few months, it can be severed from the parent plant. Ensure the new plant has developed enough roots to support itself before separating.

Carefully dig up the newly rooted strawberry plant, ensuring you take as many roots as possible, and transplant it to its permanent location. Water it well after transplanting to help it settle into its new environment.

By following these steps, you should be able to successfully layer strawberry plants and propagate new ones from an existing healthy plant.