The Q&A Archives: Runners On Alpine Strawberries

Question: This spring I ordered a dozen alpine strawberries (Rudger improved) and about half of them have runners. I thought they didn't have runners. Did I get the wrong variety? And is it better to cut them off if I am trying to fill up an entire area under a apricot tree with them? Or just let them go?

Answer: Rugen strawberries aren't supposed to develop runners, but sometimes they do. Cut the runners off and the plants should grow into mounds. If you leave the runners on, you'll have many small plants instead of a dozen mounding plants. Since your plants are young, you'll want the crowns to develop so the plants can produce berries. If you allow the runners to remain, energy for their development will come from the parent plants, at the expense (or delay) of maturity of the parent crowns. If the plants were in my garden, I'd cut the runners off.

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