From Seed To Fruit (7 Steps): Grow Strawberries from Seed

Strawberries are an incredibly popular fruit, loved by many people from different cultures.

Their bright red color, juicy sweetness, and small size make them quite different from other fruits on the market.

If you want to learn how to grow strawberries from seeds, you are in the right place to do so. While a lot of people love eating strawberries and using them in cuisines, very few consider growing strawberries themselves.

Today, we will discuss how to grow strawberries from seed. Fortunately, it is not that difficult or expensive to do this, so let’s dive right in.

How to Grow Strawberries from Seed

Typically, the strawberries we find in the market come from a strawberry patch that started its journey as a dormant root clump or a young strawberry plant.

But of course, you can start your own patch of deliciously sweet strawberries from the humble seed too.

Hybrid Plant vs. Seed

Just remember that strawberries from seed are typically smaller than strawberries from the market because those are hybrid varieties.

Plant breeders spend years cross-breeding plants so they can develop the desired berries.

They carefully select the parent plants based on factors such as ease of growth, quality, taste, fruit size, etc.

hybrid strawberry

  • The issue is that these hybrid strawberries do not reproduce or grow well from seed.
  • They require dormant root clumps or young plants because they grow reliably well from transplants.
  • You can purchase a hybrid strawberry plant to start growing such berries, but non-hybrid seeds cost a lot less, and it’s a lot more fun and rewarding to produce your own from scratch, watching the berries grow.

strawberry From seeds

When learning how to grow strawberries from seed, a lot of people envision making jam from their strawberry patch production, however, making jam requires more strawberries from seed than it does from hybrids.

This is simply because most strawberries that grow from seed are typically alpine strawberries or close relatives of the kind.

  • As mentioned, such strawberries from seed produce smaller berries (around an inch tall), during the spring and summer seasons.
  • Moreover, the berries per plant are fewer than hybrid variants.
  • A pack of seeds can produce enough strawberries for you to eat fresh and ripe, but it won’t be enough to produce strawberry jam.
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This is not to discourage anyone from trying to make delicious jam from seed-started plants, but you will likely need a lot more space for bigger patches of alpine strawberries.

Conditions Required to Grow Strawberries

Grow Strawberries From Seeds Conditions

The first thing to consider when learning how to grow strawberries from seed is the environment or conditions required to grow strawberries.

The great thing about growing strawberries is that this fruit plant is native to North America.

You can grow them pretty easily in most parts of the continent because they aren’t too finicky about where they grow.

In fact, strawberries are grown in every province and state of Canada and the US repectively.

Of course, you must meet basic conditions first. The important thing to remember is that just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it won’t take time.

When you grow strawberries from seed, it may take up to a year before the plants bear fruit, depending on factors like your location and the duration of the growing season.

That being said, if you care for your plants correctly, you will taste the fruit of your patience.

1. Ideal Growing Location

Start by selecting strawberry varieties that are hardy in your region.

Make sure to study their requirements and care, because not all varieties grow well when exposed to the same conditions.

Interplanting may require some careful selection.

To grow strawberries from seed, the best results come when the patch has plenty of direct sunlight, typically around 6–8 hours each day.

So make sure your growing location has plenty of direct sunlight. Apart from this, there aren’t too many conditions to consider.

Strawberries can be grown in raised beds, hanging pots, containers, in-ground gardens, and almost anywhere you prefer.

This is primarily because they don’t have roots that grow too deep, making them easy to plant in any location with all-day sunlight.

2. Best Time to Start

Being perennials, strawberry plants return each year, so putting in the time and effort to start your patch right will give lasting returns.

You can plant strawberries in the fall, before the first frost to overwinter, or any time after the last frost in spring.

However, growing strawberries from seed requires indoor planting during early spring, to support them through the last frost.

December is the ideal time to start growing strawberries from seed. However, you may want to stratify your seeds 3-4 weeks prior to planting.

Stratifying the Strawberry Seeds

The process of stratifying seeds helps them germinate easily, and it is fairly simple to do. Place your pack of strawberry seeds in the freezer for anywhere between 3-4 weeks.

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Avoid deep freezers, as they are too cold to help with germination.

Once they have been chilled for weeks, pull them out of your freezer and let them come back to room temperature naturally.

Sowing the Seeds Indoors

When growing strawberries from seed indoors, it is best to use seed starter trays. You can also use any shallow container.

  • Press the seeds into the moist, fine, seed-starter mix, sowing them thinly around 8 weeks prior to the last frost.
  • Alpine strawberry seeds and similar variety seeds can also be planted directly in your yard or garden, where there is sunlight, after the last frost.

But indoor sowing earlier is recommended for timely germination and a greater duration of the growing season.

  • The seeds in your tray should be barely covered with soil since they need light to germinate.
  • Place the container around 6 inches under a strong light source, like a shop or grow light.
  • The air temperature around the tray should be moderate, at around 65 to 70 degrees.

There should also be ample air flow, so your efforts don’t dampen off. The soil must remain moist for germination, but not wet.

  • Mist it daily to avoid dryness, but not too much, otherwise, the seeds will sink further into the soil and be unable to germinate.

From there, it’s a game of patience. Strawberry seeds can take anywhere from 7 to 45 days to germinate.

This lengthy germination period is another reason to plant seeds indoors 8 weeks prior to the last frost.

When you start to see growth, move the tray or container up and close to the light source.

The new leaves should be around 2 inches away from the light source, to avoid developing thin plants.

Transitioning Plants Outdoors

  • Once the plants grow to be at least 3 inches tall with multiple sets of leaves, move them to larger containers.
  • Let the plants harden off, before placing the containers outdoors during the day, and indoors during the night.

Do this for a week, as it helps your strawberry plants gradually acclimate to outdoor conditions.

Once the last frost passes, you can plant them outdoors in a sunny patch of your yard or garden.

They need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day to flower and produce fruit. The more sunlight they get, the more strawberries they will produce.

Alternatively, you can plant them in almost any type of container as well, as long as it is large enough.

For example, alpine strawberries are planted 8 inches apart because they grow in clumps roughly 6 to 8 inches wide and around 6 inches tall.

So you’ll need a container that can accommodate their growth.

Caring for Your Strawberry Plants

Well-draining soil with organic fertilizer or compost results in the best growth from strawberry plants.

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Similarly, a layer of mulch surrounding the plants can prevent them from having to compete with weeds for resources.

  • Remove any weeds you find immediately, and prune brown or yellow leaves from the plants, so resources like nutrients and moisture can be diverted to healthier leaves for a better harvest.
  • For the best berry production, moisture must be maintained regularly. The plants require around an inch of water per week to retain enough moisture for robust strawberry production.
  • Water accordingly and account for rainfall as well. An easy way to avoid over-watering is to check the moisture of the soil. You don’t need to water your strawberry plants if the top inch of the soil is moist.
  • Well-draining soil does not keep as much water as clay soil, so check and water regularly, depending on the soil’s moisture levels. 

FAQs

Q: How much sunlight do strawberry plants need?

Most types of strawberry plants require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day, to flower and fruit.

The more sunlight, the more fruits strawberry plants bear.

However, things like dry soil and high temperatures may prevent healthy growth.

Q: How much water do strawberry plants need?

Strawberry plants need roughly an inch of water each week.

You must water them daily, unless the top inch of the soil is moist, in which case you can skip and check the next day.

Q: Can I grow strawberries from seed?

Yes, of course. Most strawberries in the markets are hybrid variants that do not grow reliably from seeds.

However, you can easily purchase a pack of strawberry seeds like alpine strawberry seeds to grow them from seed reliably.

Final Thoughts

We hope this article was informative enough to teach you how to grow strawberries from seed.

The best part about growing strawberries from seed is that you can opt for several different varieties and inter-plant them to grow together, so long as they are hardy in your region.

However, patience is key here, as your plants may not produce a good or adequate harvest for a year after plantation.

Regardless, use this guide to grow strawberries from seed, and soon you will experience the strong perfume of strawberries in your garden as they ripen into sweet, juicy fruits.