Is it legal to propagate strawberry runner?


Trying to figure this out. Is it legal to propagate patented strawberry varieties runner? Home growers often plant strawberries in container, can we use small container to propagate the runners from the original plants?


For your stated reason – yes.

The prohibited activity is propagation for commercial purposes.

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Thanks Richard.

So it sounds like we should always plant them in ground and let runners grow so we can have bigger harvest?

I also grow my strawberries in containers. When the runners start (typically in the late summer) going over the edge of the pot, I put new pots with fresh soil underneath the runners so they can root there. By the the following spring they are well-rooted, flowering, and I disconnect them from the “mother” plant.

If you do this for yourself and do not become a source of plants for other people, then you are within the spirit of the plant patent law.


That is incorrect as far as I know. See here:

I’ve seen no language in the patent law that exempts non-commercial asexual reproduction. Now in practice, the burden of enforcing the patent falls on the patent holder and it’s unlikely that they would go after a backyard grower (assuming they could even determine you were actually propagating).

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Check the Case law on the statute.

I would think that with Strawberries this would just especially be OK, since they work kind of like brambles with last years fruiting plants fading away the following spring after the runners mature. Letting runners root is the only way I know to just maintain your investment. One thing is for sure. No nursery is going to want to anger their costumer base by suing or prosecuting costumers over something like this. God bless.



You are not propagating strawberries; you are letting strawberries do what strawberries do. I do not propagate ox eye daisies (a noxious weed here) but nevertheless there are plenty of them.

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It would not stop me from letting runners go.