Runners: Nature’s Way of Propagation

Runners: Nature’s Way of Propagation

Are you a runner looking to explore the benefits of nature’s way of propagation? In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of runners and how they play a crucial role in the propagation of plants. Join us as we uncover the secrets behind this natural phenomenon and discover how runners can benefit not only plants but also our environment.

The Importance of Runners in Plant Propagation

Definition of Runners

Runners are specialized stems that grow horizontally above or below the ground surface. They have the ability to develop roots and shoots at their nodes, allowing them to propagate new plants.

Types of Runners

  1. Stolon: These runners grow above the ground surface and can produce new plants at each node.
  2. Rhizome: These runners grow below the ground surface and can spread horizontally, producing new shoots and roots.

Benefits of Runners in Plant Propagation

  1. Rapid Spread: Runners enable plants to spread quickly and colonize new areas, helping them compete for resources.
  2. Genetic Diversity: Runners allow plants to reproduce asexually, ensuring genetic diversity within a population.
  3. Adaptation: Plants that produce runners can adapt to changing environmental conditions by spreading to more favorable locations.

    Plants that Propagate via Runners

Some plants have the ability to reproduce through runners, which are specialized stems that grow horizontally above or below the ground. These runners can produce new plants at various nodes along their length, allowing for rapid propagation and expansion of the plant population.

Examples of Plants that Produce Runners

  • Strawberries: One of the most well-known examples of plants that produce runners, strawberries send out horizontal stems called stolons that develop new plantlets at their nodes.

  • Creeping Jenny: This ground cover plant produces long, creeping stems that root at nodes along the stem, creating new plants as they spread.

  • Spider Plant: Spider plants produce long, arching stems with small plantlets that can be rooted in soil to grow new plants.

Characteristics of Runner-Producing Plants

Plants that produce runners typically have flexible stems with nodes that are capable of producing roots and shoots. These plants often have a rapid growth rate and can quickly form dense mats or colonies in their growing environment. They are well-adapted to spreading and colonizing new areas through vegetative propagation.

How to Encourage Runner Production

To encourage plants to produce runners, provide them with the right growing conditions such as ample sunlight, well-draining soil, and regular watering. Pruning the main plant can also stimulate the production of runners, as can the use of rooting hormone on the nodes of the stems. Additionally, dividing and transplanting existing runners can help to establish new plants and expand the population. By providing the appropriate care and conditions, you can promote runner production in your plants and enjoy the benefits of their rapid propagation.

Propagation Methods Using Runners

Runners are a natural method of propagation that many plants use to spread and multiply. By understanding how to utilize runners, you can easily propagate your favorite plants and create new ones for your garden. Here are some common methods for propagating plants using runners:

Division of Runners

One way to propagate plants using runners is by dividing them. This involves separating the new plantlets that have formed along the runner from the parent plant. Carefully dig up the runner and gently separate the plantlets, making sure each one has some roots attached. Replant the new plantlets in a suitable location and watch them grow into new plants.

Cutting and Transplanting Runners

Another method of propagation using runners is by cutting and transplanting them. This involves cutting the runner where it meets the soil and then transplanting it to a new location. Make sure to water the transplanted runner well and provide it with the necessary care to help it establish itself and grow into a new plant.

Tips for Successful Propagation with Runners

  • Keep the soil moist to encourage the development of new roots on the plantlets.
  • Provide adequate sunlight for the new plants to help them grow strong and healthy.
  • Regularly check on the propagated plants to ensure they are thriving and make any necessary adjustments to their care.
  • Experiment with different plants and propagation methods using runners to see what works best for your garden.

By utilizing these propagation methods with runners, you can easily create new plants and expand your garden with minimal effort. Enjoy the beauty and satisfaction of watching your plants multiply and thrive through the natural process of propagation.


In conclusion, runners play a crucial role in the propagation of plants in nature. They serve as a means of reproduction, allowing plants to establish new colonies and expand their reach. By understanding the significance of runners and their impact on plant growth, we can better appreciate the beauty and complexity of the natural world. So next time you see a runner creeping along the ground, remember that it is nature’s way of ensuring the survival and diversity of plant species.