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With many varieties and available almost everywhere, the strawberry is the crop par excellence. However, not every hobby gardener is aware that these plants can easily be kept for several years with the right pruning and can also be easily grown. Here we explain how that happens.

cut strawberries

The strawberry belongs to the perennial family. This means that although it is perennial, it withdraws completely into the root ball over the winter period. All above-ground parts of the plant die off in the event of frost and will sprout again in the coming spring. The first question for the layman is whether and why strawberry plants should be cut back at all. These reasons speak in favor of cutting:

1. Management of growth

Like most plants, the strawberry has the urge to spread. However, the strawberry plants are particularly vigorous and form numerous offshoots. By cutting back these side shoots, the uncontrolled spread of the strawberry plants can be prevented.

2. Lazy

The strawberry is quite susceptible to rot if it is too wet. Even if affected shoots die off in winter anyway, rot can easily spread from the leaves into the root ball and permanently damage the plant beyond repair.

3. Lignification

Strawberry plant foliage tends to lignify over time. However, these areas are no longer helpful for a lush harvest, so they are undesirable for the hobby gardener and can easily be removed.

pruning variants

All in all, the strawberry can be cut back quite easily rejuvenate. The leaf mass is removed and sprout again, while the root ball survives in the soil and is available as the basis for the new, vigorous plant. Two types of pruning have now become established among hobby gardeners:

1. Cut back the outer leaf crowns, the inner area remains


  • leaves left protect root balls from excessive frost


  • left shoots can develop and transmit rot to the root
  • Lignification of perennial shoots

2. Complete pruning of all plant parts above ground


  • Plant consists exclusively of new shoots in the coming year
  • high rejuvenation effect
  • no lignification
  • Risk of rot and fungal diseases almost eliminated


  • less protection against frost

The right time to cut

The strawberry can be cut back immediately after the end of the fruit-bearing phase. So as soon as there are no more edible fruits on the plants, the cutting can begin partially or completely. Only the shaping, i.e. the removal of the side shoots, should be done permanently throughout the year. Otherwise, new seedlings can be found in unwanted places, which initially draw additional strength from the mother plant, which then does not end up in the fruit as desired. Side shoots should therefore always be removed if they are found during regular plant inspections.

multiply strawberries

Propagating strawberries makes sense not only to increase your own strawberry harvest, but also to pass on popular varieties and to replace dead plants despite caring for them.

Propagation by seeds

First of all, there is the possibility of propagating strawberries by growing them from seeds. However, not all varieties available on the market produce fruit with germinable seeds, so that you should already pay attention to the offspring when making your selection. The way from the seedling to the fully grown plant with fruit - as with all plants - is also quite complex. Therefore, propagation by cuttings offers a sensible, much faster and easier way of propagation, for which strawberries are almost predestined.

From spur to offshoot

Strawberries have a very high drive which is reflected in the large number of side shoots that are encountered again and again. This property makes the propagation of strawberry plants particularly easy for the hobby gardener. Because as soon as a side shoot, a so-called offshoot, has developed accordingly, it is ultimately an independent plant with its own root system, which is still connected to the main plant, but no longer needs this connection for its own development. The creation of new plants by offshoots is therefore particularly easy:

  • Locate and release side shoots, remove surrounding leaves if necessary
  • Put runners in the plant pot before they become firmly established in the ground and let them grow there
  • After successful growth, disconnect from the mother plant and plant new plants elsewhere
  • Maintain and care for new plants in the same way as you are used to from existing strawberries

tip: You can also separate your runner directly from the mother plant and grow it in a pot. However, this requires greater care, since the supply from the mother plant is no longer available.

As soon as a side shoot is used as an offshoot for the new plant, you should pay attention to the following things:

  • loose soil facilitates root growth
  • good draining ability of the soil helps to avoid mold growth
  • high water storage capacity of the soil ensures the supply of the strawberries
  • Due to a fully developed side shoot, moderate fertilizer application makes sense from the time of planting
  • a well-sunned location leads to luxuriant growth without excessive shoot formation

The shoots that result from pruning can be used very well to propagate the existing strawberry plants or to grow replacement plants for older plants. The purchase of new plants is no longer necessary.

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