How Long Does It Take For Strawberries To Germinate
Why don’t we grow strawberries from seed? How Long Does It Take For Strawberries To Germinate Figure 1. Bareroot strawberry transplant straight from the box and ready to plant. (this and all subsequent photos by G.J. Holmes) Virtually all strawberry plants grown to produce fruit were planted as a transplant. Transplants take on many forms, but in California we use bareroot transplants (Fig.1).

Why not use seeds instead? Those little things on the outside of every strawberry fruit are seeds encased in a hard outer coating (Fig.2.). They are technically “achenes” but “seeds” will do for now. If you plant seeds from a strawberry fruit, some of them will germinate, but very slowly. Under optimum conditions it takes about three weeks for the seed to germinate.

The seedling that emerges is a tiny plant (Fig.3). It takes another week to see the first true leaves (Fig.4) and you’re still looking at a very tiny plant that is months away from producing a flower. How Long Does It Take For Strawberries To Germinate Figure 2.A. The “seeds” on the surface of strawberries are called “achenes” because the seed is enclosed in an outer shell. The thin, curved structure at the left side of each achene is the dried up pistil.B. Strawberry achene size (2-3 mm) compared to the tip of a ball point pen (upper right) and cross section (lower left) showing the seed encased in the outer coat or pericarp.C. How Long Does It Take For Strawberries To Germinate Figure 3. Recently germinated strawberry seed showing the seed coat still attached to the cotyledon, 20 days after planting. A 0.5 mm mechanical pencil is shown for size reference. Contrast that to the bareroot transplant, which will push out a new set of leaves immediately after planting (Fig.4) and produce flowers within days. How Long Does It Take For Strawberries To Germinate Figure 4. Newly emerged leaves one week after planting a bareroot transplant. When we grew our first crop of strawberries at Cal Poly, I wondered why we didn’t see volunteer strawberries in that field when we grew a subsequent crop. After all, thousands of fruit that didn’t get picked ended up rotting and the seeds ended up in the soil.

  • Wouldn’t these all germinate and give rise to a lawn of tiny strawberry plants once the field was irrigated again? That’s what happens if you let weeds or any other crop go to seed the previous season.
  • With strawberries, most of the seeds don’t end up in an environment where they can survive the journey from seed to mature plant, but if you look closely enough you will find volunteer strawberry plants, just not very many.

And lastly is the genetics piece. Bareroot transplants are actually daughter plants that are clones (genetically identical) of the mother plant. Seeds are produced by the exchange of genetic information from two parents. And since strawberries are a hybrid ( Fragaria x ananassa ) you’re going to get a lot of variation in the progeny or offspring.

  1. We don’t want that variation because a lot of it will turn out to be inferior in some way.
  2. The beauty of clonally propagated plants is that once you have the traits you desire most, the daughter plants will all have the same traits and this leads to higher and more uniform productivity.
  3. And that’s why we don’t farm strawberries by starting with seeds.

On the other hand, strawberry breeders work with seeds because they are deliberately crossing specific parents to produce progeny that have specific, desirable traits. In order to get new individuals with unique traits, you have to introduce new genes from new parents.

How do you keep strawberry germination alive?

Growing Strawberry Plants from Strawberry Seeds – Growing strawberry plants from seed is more difficult than simply buying strawberry plants. But, it can be much more rewarding as well. Once you have a strawberry plant growing, refer to our Growing Strawberries page for guidance on how to successfully produce a strawberry crop.

Growing strawberries from seed, of course, begins with selection of your preferred Strawberry Varieties, Once you have selected the strawberry cultivar that is right for your garden and purchase the strawberry seeds, you are ready to plant. Be aware, however, that strawberry seeds from most hybrid cultivars will not reproduce true to form.

Alpine varieties and heirloom seeds usually will (along with a few of the new F1 cultivars), so factor that in when planting strawberry seeds. Many strawberry seeds need to be cold treated to encourage germination. If your selected seeds require this, fear not.

  1. It is easy.
  2. Simply wrap your seeds, put them in an airtight container, and place them in a freezer.
  3. This simulates winter conditions, and the warming period lets the seed know it is time to come to life.
  4. After keeping the strawberry seeds below freezing for two to four weeks, remove the seeds from the freezer.
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Leave them in the jar or container as they gradually warm up to room temperature. Once your strawberry seeds are at room temperature and are ready to plant, you need to create a hospitable place for your seeds to begin their journey to planthood. A seed tray works well.

  • Obtain a seed tray and prepare it.
  • A good mix for starting strawberry seeds is 3 parts peat to 1 part organic-rich soil.
  • Spread this out in your seed tray to a depth of about one half of an inch.
  • Moisten the mixture with water until it is uniformly damp.
  • Sprinkle your strawberry seeds over the damp mixture and then cover the seeds with a very thin dusting of peat moss.

Ensure that the strawberry seeds are not completely covered and are exposed to light. Keep them indoors in a well-lighted room and in direct sunlight, if possible. In two to three weeks, the strawberry seeds should germinate. Keep the soil moist well-lighted.

  1. Warmth can help the seeds germinate, so the top of a refrigerator or on a bottom heat pad can be suitable places for germination.
  2. If the strawberry plant seedlings aren’t in direct sunlight with supplemental light, consider providing additional artificial light.
  3. A fluorescent shop light or grow light will do the trick.

Position the light source 3 to 4 inches from the seedlings, and raise the light as the strawberry plants grow. If the strawberry seeds sprout too close to each other, thin them when they are between 1 and 2 inches tall, keeping the biggest and most vigorous seedlings.

  • Gently transfer the strawberry seedlings to larger containers or pots after they gain their 3rd leaves.
  • If weather allows, the strawberry seedlings can be planted directly outside, or the plants in the containers can be replanted outside.
  • If the strawberry seeds were started indoors, the young strawberry plants need to be hardened off prior to planting outside.

When the temperature rises into the 50s, begin taking the plants outside in the shade for several hours each day. Gradually increase the time the plants are outdoors, eventually leaving them outside overnight as the temperature allows. Begin moving them into the sun for increasing periods of time to finish the hardening off process prior to planting.

What does an unripe strawberry look like?

Description/Taste – Green strawberries are small to medium-sized fruits, averaging 2 to 5 centimeters in diameter, and have a cordate to oval shape with broad, curved shoulders tapering to a blunt or pointed, narrow tip. Each fruit will vary in appearance, size, aroma, and flavor, depending on the variety, and is capped with a tuft of small lanceolate green leaves growing in a circular formation.

  1. The skin is typically thin and easily punctured or damaged, covered in tiny green seeds, also known as the achenes of the fruit.
  2. One strawberry can have over 200 achenes on its surface, and each achene contains a single seed.
  3. Green strawberries vary in color, depending on when they are harvested.
  4. If the fruits are picked earlier, they will be greener in nature, while fruits picked closer to their ripening date will appear in shades of green-white, green with ivory to pale yellow undertones, to green-white with patches of pink or red blush.

Underneath the surface, the white flesh is firm, with a crisp and slightly succulent consistency reminiscent of the texture of a cucumber. The seeds on the outside also provide a subtle crunch. Green strawberries contain more starch and less sugar than red ripened fruits, giving them a distinct mouthfeel and taste.

Can frozen strawberries germinate?

How & When to Start Strawberry Seeds Indoors for Maximum Germination & First Year Berry Production

Download Article Download Article Strawberry seeds are located around the exterior of the flesh. You can harvest them in order to plant your own strawberries. There are several ways to harvest the seeds, including scraping, blending, and drying.

  1. 1 Blend the strawberries and strain out the seeds. One of the most common ways to remove strawberry seeds is to blend the berries and then extract the seeds from the pulp. To do this, you will need five or more mature, ripe, and healthy strawberries. You will destroy some of the seeds in the process, but strawberries have lots to spare.
    • Place the berries in a blender and blend the fruit on low speed for 10 to 20 seconds. Set the blender aside and allow the mixture to settle.
    • Skim off the top layer of floating seeds. You can discard these, because they are likely broken or not viable.
    • Pour the pulp through a fine-mesh strainer with a bowl underneath to catch the pulp. You can eat this, use it for baking, or make jam.
    • Move to a sink and run water through the strainer to help wash away excess pulp. When you’re done, the strainer should have a bunch of unbroken seeds left in the bottom. Spread these out on a piece of paper towel and allow them to air dry. Remove any large bits of pulp that are still mixed in with the seeds.
  2. 2 Scrape the seeds off. Another way to remove the seeds from a strawberry is to scrape them off with a knife. To start, place about five ripe and healthy strawberries in an airtight container and place them in the freezer overnight.
    • The next day, remove the strawberries from the freezer. With a razor, utility knife, or sharp kitchen knife, gently scrape the sides of the strawberry and pick out the individual seeds. Don’t cut too deeply into the berry. Be very careful not to cut yourself.
    • Place the harvested seeds on a sheet of clean paper towel and leave them to dry. Use the strawberries for eating or cooking.


  3. 3 Dry the strawberries and rub the seeds off. Another way to remove strawberry seeds is to cut off strips of flesh from the berry and allow them to dry. Once dry, you can easily rub the seeds off with your fingers. This method is safer than the scraping method. Use about four ripe strawberries.
    • Place the strawberries on a flat cutting board. With a sharp knife, carefully peel off vertical strips (from the stem to the tip) from the outer layer of the strawberries. Cut just deep enough to get the seeds and a little flesh.
    • Lay the strips seeds-up on a piece of clean paper towel. Gently press the strips down into the paper towel. Place the paper towel and the strips somewhere warm and dry, but out of direct sunlight. Leave them to fully dry out over the next few days.
    • When the strips are completely dry, lay the paper towel down on a flat surface. Gently rub your finger over every strip of dried strawberry flesh. As you run your finger over the strawberry, the seeds will come loose.
  4. 4 Buy the seeds. Instead of harvesting your own strawberry seeds, you can also purchase seeds from nurseries and online. Or, if you prefer, you can also purchase a seedling plant, which will be much easier to grow.
    • If you buy seeds, you’ll have to germinate them and transplant the seedlings once they sprout.
    • When you buy strawberry seeds or established seedlings, you’re more likely to get a recognized strawberry variety. On the other hand, if you harvest seeds from a store-bought strawberry, the resulting plant may not yield the same type of fruit as the parent, especially if the original strawberry was a hybrid.
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  1. 1 Freeze the seeds. Strawberry seeds will germinate much faster if you freeze them first, because this tricks the seeds into going through their regular winter cycle. When the seeds thaw and warm up, they get kicked into their spring cycle and begin to germinate right away.
    • Place the dry seeds in an airtight sealable bag or container. Leave them in the freezer for three to four weeks.
    • Strawberry seeds should be started inside in winter or early spring, about 10 weeks before the last frost. Make sure you give yourself time to freeze the seeds before this date.
  2. 2 Thaw the seeds. When you’re ready to plant, remove the seeds from the freezer and allow them to warm up to room temperature. Leave them in the air-tight container until they’ve warmed up.
    • It’s important to keep the seeds out of the air as they warm, because you want them to stay dry as they warm up, otherwise they could be damaged by the cold moisture.
  3. 3 Plant the seeds. Fill a seed tray with about an inch (2.5 cm) of starter mix. Strawberries like soil that’s fertile and slightly acidic. The ideal pH is around 6, so add a bit of sulphur powder to the mix if necessary.
    • Add enough water to make the soil damp, and sprinkle the strawberry seeds over the soil. Cover the top of the seeds with a thin layer of soil or peat moss so the seeds will still get sun. Cover the seed tray with a layer of plastic wrap.
  4. 4 Keep the seeds warm and moist until they germinate. Place the seed tray in direct sunlight. When the soil starts to dry out, add a bit more water to keep the soil damp until the seeds germinate. When you water the soil, fully unwrap the plastic to give the seeds some air.
    • Strawberry seed germination can take as little as one week or as many as six, so be patient with them.
    • Completely remove the plastic wrap once the seeds start to germinate.
    • The seedlings are ready to be transplanted once they’ve grown three or four leaves each.
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  1. 1 Choose a spot for the plants. Strawberries can be planted into pots or raised garden beds as long as three weeks have elapsed since the last frost. They like lots of sun, so choose a location that gets between 6 and 10 hours of sun per day.
    • To make a simple raised garden bed, lay down a piece of plastic on the site where you want the bed to be.
    • Use pieces of wood, logs, cinder blocks, bricks, or any other material to build up a square or rectangular barrier around the edge of the plastic that will keep the soil in place. Make sure the barrier is at least 10 inches high.
    • Fill the center with soil that’s at least 8 inches (20.3 cm) deep.
  2. 2 Choose and prepare the soil. Strawberries like soil that’s moist but not wet, so you need a well-draining soil. A good option is a sandy loam mixed with compost or manure.
    • Use about one-third compost or manure and two-thirds loam.
  3. 3 Plant the strawberries. For each plant, dig a 6-inch (15.2 cm) hole into the soil. Place the plant into the soil, and try to disturb the roots as little as possible. Leave 24 inches (60 cm) of space between each plant.
    • Fill the hole around the roots with soil and pack it down to remove air pockets.
  4. 4 Water the plants as they grow. After planting the strawberries, water them. Give them more water anytime the soil starts to dry out, especially when the weather becomes hot and dry.
    • Water strawberry plants in the early morning, and add the water directly to the soil. Do not get the fruit or leaves wet.
    • To help keep the soil moist, add a layer of clean straw to the surface of the soil.
    • You may have to wait until next year for the plants to bear fruit.
    • It’s recommended that you remove all the flowers during the first year of growth in order to allow the plant to mature before growing berries. This may be difficult, but it will give you a much better harvest the second year.
    • Alternatively, start your plants in the fall and harvest the following spring.
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Add New Question

  • Question Can you plant the seeds straight from the strawberry? Andrew Carberry is a Food Systems Expert and the Senior Program Associate at the Wallace Centere at Winrock International in Little Rock, Arkansas. He has worked in food systems since 2008 and has experience working on farm-to-school projects, food safety programs, and working with local and state coalitions in Arkansas. Food Systems Expert Expert Answer Support wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer. The seeds need to undergo a process called stratification, where they are chilled to winter temperatures. You could plant them outside straight out of the berry, but they may not come up until the following spring.
  • Question Can I plant strawberry seeds any time? You should try to plant strawberry seeds around spring time.
  • Question Can I grow strawberries in the Philippines through the process of freezing the seeds before planting? Terry Schwartz Community Answer Where you live is quite warm and moist, so planting them in the ground right away is best. Freezing is only for those who don’t have moist temperatures. If you want it done really really fast, then yes, freezing strawberries for that amount of time is best.

See more answers Ask a Question 200 characters left Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Submit Advertisement Article Summary X If you want to get strawberry seeds, put at least 5 strawberries in a blender and blend them on a low speed for 10-20 seconds.

  1. Then, strain the pulp through a sieve and wash out the remainder with water so you’re left with a bunch of seeds in the strainer.
  2. To germinate the seeds, freeze them in an airtight container for 3-4 weeks as this will trick them into thinking it’s winter.
  3. When you’re ready to plant, allow the seeds to reach room temperature, then plant them in 1 inch of soil.

For tips on how to transplant strawberry seedlings, including how long it will take plants to bear fruit, read on! Did this summary help you? Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 301,330 times.

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