Who doesn’t love strawberries? I certainly love my strawberry plants and regularly sell the fruits at my local market.
When I was still a novice grower, I left my strawberry plants to produce lots and lots of runners, or daughter plants, without ever transplanting them to a new pot, planter box, or garden bed.
The result? A garden bed was overcrowded with strawberry plants, which led to a lack of airflow between the plants and an increased risk of fungal diseases.
My produce suffered, and since then, I’ve learned a lot and regularly transplant my strawberries to ensure the plants remain healthy (and so I can continue to sell my delicious strawberries at my local market).
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When to Transplant Strawberries?
If you live in a warm climate, transplant everbearing strawberries in spring to harvest them during summer. Transplant June-bearing ones in fall or late summer to harvest them in spring. In cold climates, transplant your strawberry runners in early spring once there’s no frost and the soil’s dry enough.
It’s Time to Transplant Your Strawberries
Strawberries grow well in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 10. When you transplant your strawberries depend on the variety as well as where you live.
There are two varieties of strawberries:
- Everbearing strawberries, such as Alexandria, Ogalla, Quinault, Tribune, and Tristar. These produce fruit over a season, and harvest time is early summer and sometimes during fall.
- June-bearing strawberries, such as Allstar, Chandler, Guardian, Jewel, Robinson, Sparkle, and Surecrop. The harvest time for these strawberries is from late spring to early summer.
Living in Cool Climates
I live in a cool climate where the winters are cold and I regularly see frost on the ground.
I plant both June-bearing and everbearing strawberries, and both of these should be transplanted once winter has gone and spring has arrived.
While I can look at my calendar and “know” spring is here, this isn’t the best indicator. Rather, I ensure that my area won’t receive any more frost and I check that the soil is dry enough.
Strawberries aren’t fond of soil that’s waterlogged and their roots may rot in soggy soil.
How do I know the soil is at the right dryness level to transplant my strawberries? I scoop up some of the soil in one hand and squeeze.
If the soil clumps together, I know it is not dry enough, but if the soil breaks apart, then I know I can transplant my strawberries.
Living in Warm Climates
If you live in a warm climate, your winters will be mild. If you have everbearing strawberries, then transplant these in spring since your harvest time is in summer.
If you have June-bearing strawberries, then you should transplant these in fall or even late in summer. You can harvest these berries when spring arrives.
You may think you can transplant June bearers in spring, and you can, but expect them to be harvest-ready the next year.
If you do happen to transplant June-bearing strawberries in spring, pick the flowers to promote healthy plant growth.
What to Consider When Transplanting Strawberries
When I transplant my strawberries, I ensure the soil is well-draining so it doesn’t become waterlogged and my strawberry roots start rotting.
I water my strawberries well once they are transplanted so the soil remains moist, and then I water them daily, ensuring the soil remains moist up to 2 inches deep.
I only fertilize my strawberry plants, whether they are existing ones in the soil or newly transplanted, in late summer or early fall.
Fertilizing these plants in spring causes them to grow densely and makes them more prone to mold and fungal diseases. Moreover, spring fertilization leads to bitter-tasting and mushy berries.
Why Transplant Strawberries
There are a few reasons to transplant strawberries. When I first started planting strawberries, I only had a few plants, but after a few years, there were many plants and berries.
During the course of their life, strawberries produce a lot of runners.
These runners are also called daughter plants and they are baby plants that can root anywhere in my strawberry pot or garden bed. I’ve seen that runners sometimes even root almost on top of each other.
The garden bed becomes overcrowded when this happens and the strawberry plants are left to their own devices to produce as many runners as they can.
When my strawberries were all crowded together, they didn’t grow as vigorously as before since there is less airflow between the plants.
This increases the humidity levels, creating a perfect environment for mold and fungi spores to take root, grow, and infect my strawberries.
This is what happened to my strawberries. They got infected, and I lost a whole crop of berries.
To avoid this, I now thin out my strawberry plants in the pot or garden bed. Alternatively, I transplant them into a new pot or garden bed to allow maximum airflow.
By doing this, I decrease the risk of fungal and mold infections, thus increasing my strawberry cultivation.
Frequently Asked Questions about When to Transplant Strawberries
Can you dig up strawberries and replant them?
You can dig up existing strawberry plants and replant them. Transplanting strawberries is quite easy, especially since the plants have shallow roots. Simply dig up the runners and transplant them to a new pot or garden bed when it is dormant or if the strawberry plants are too crowded.
Do strawberries need to be transplanted?
If you don’t want to thin out your strawberry plants, then you need to transplant them. Strawberries produce a lot of runners, and as a result, the pot or garden bed where your strawberries are planted can become crowded. To maximize your strawberry production, it is best to transplant the runners.
Can you transplant strawberries in winter?
It is best to transplant strawberries early in the spring, especially if you live in cold climate areas. Transplant your strawberry plants when the soil is dry and your area won’t receive any more frost for the best results. However, if you live in a warm climate where the ground doesn’t freeze during winter, you can transplant your strawberries during fall.
The Final Transplant
When to transplant strawberries depends on where you live, as well as whether the plants are June bearers or everbearing.
I live in a cold climate, so no matter what type of strawberry plant I have, I transplant them in spring to ensure my garden beds and pots aren’t overcrowded, since this can lead to fungal and mold infections—something I definitely want to avoid.
I want a healthy berry crop to sell during the summer at my local farmer’s market.
If you live in a warm climate where winters are mild, then transplant June bearers toward the end of summer or in fall. Transplant everbearers in spring.
Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.