Seed of the Week: Strawberries

Yes, the mystery seeds from last week were from the strawberry plant, genus Fragaria.

strawberries

We see the seeds (technically achenes) all the time, because the plant displays them proudly on the outside of the fruit. But how much have you thought about strawberry seeds?

For example, can you plant strawberry seeds and grow a new strawberry plant?

strawberry-plant

You have probably seen strawberry plants at the nursery. You might even have grown them yourself.

strawberry-plant-good

Although those starter plants are convenient and speed up the arrival of an edible crop, the answer is that you can grow strawberries from seeds.

Our garden strawberries are the result of a cross between two different species of strawberries. Varieties have been developed from those original crosses. Some varieties will grow true to their parents, and others will be a new mix. If you want to be sure to grow reliable strawberries, you can get packets of strawberry seeds from a nursery or online.

But what fun is that? 🙂 Being scientists to the core, we want to find out for ourselves. We have taken some fresh strawberries from the grocery store, blended them in the blender for a few seconds and then spread them on some moist potting mix. We covered the seeds lightly with soil, and will let you know our results.

One question you may have is whether the seeds need a cold period, like apples do. That is one variable we need to examine. One scientific paper I examined suggested that the seeds do not necessarily need a cold treatment.

Source:  An improved technique for the germination of strawberry seeds

Have you ever grown strawberries? (I know someone who left a comment on the mystery seed post grew them commercially). How about from seed? If you give it a try, be sure to let us know what happens.

7 thoughts on “Seed of the Week: Strawberries

  1. I don't grow them commercially, but sometimes it feels like I do! They grow like weeds up here in western Oregon. In fact, sometimes I find myself having to rip them out to make room for other plants. Having said that, they are delicious! We'll have to try growing some from seed just to see what happens.

  2. I started a few heirloom strawberry seeds that I got through the Seed Savers Exchange according to the instructions on this Strawberry Seeds page. The germination rate wasn't the best, but I had several teeny-weeny seedlings sprout from the seeds (I believe the variety was 'Temptation'). They were planted in 8-inch pots and produced a few strawberries in year two (they didn't have the best care or water).

  3. Hemal Ubeyratne

    Please feed me with more data on growing strawberry and complexes foliar fertilizer to induce flowering.

  4. Post author

    You probably should find a local gardener for advice. What we do in the hot desert here probably wouldn't work anywhere else.

  5. Patti

    I have been searching for 'Santiam' strawberries, which were one of the original field berries. They were big delicious, red fleshed and sweet. But I believe they went out when machinery changed around the 1908s and were replaced with hybrids. What a shame--they were the best berries ever and now that I live in California I would love to find a resource for them. Does anybody have a lead?

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