Propagation of Blueberries

Propagation of blueberries will yield better results for larger, more mature plants than the usual transplanting method. Blueberries grow in many regions of the eastern half of the US. Propagation of blueberries is a popular way to increase the number of quality plants at little or no cost.

Propagation of Blueberries Explained

Plants have a natural drive to heal and multiply. This drive can be exploited to use parts of plant to create new plants. There are several ways to propagate blueberry plants. Here are the most popular:

  • In thin air. Air propagation is tricky, but can yield good results from a mature plant. First, select a healthy, upright branch and shave off an inch-long section of bark about a foot from the end of the branch. Next, wrap the wounded area with sphagnum moss and tape plastic over the moss to hold in moisture. Let the branch sit undisturbed for several weeks and then remove the plastic. If rooting has taken place, cut the branch below the root area and replant it.
  • On the ground. Simple layering is appropriate for low grow blueberry bushes, since it takes place on the ground. First, take a low growing branch and carefully bend it down to the ground. Next, wound the middle of the branch and cover it with soil. Stake the covered branch to the ground. After several weeks, the wounded area will form roots. Cut the branch behind the roots and replant the new plant.
  • A soft cut. Propagation of blueberries from softwood cuttings in the most popular method. Cuttings should be taken in the spring from new growth that is flexible and has leaves that are almost mature. Take cuttings that are 4 to 6 inches long from the top half of the mother plant. Remove leaves from the lower half of the cuttings and dip them in a rooting hormone solution (available at most garden centers). Plant the cuttings in small pots filled with damp, sterile potting mix. Keep the soil moist, but don't over water. After 8 to 10 weeks, the new plants should be strong enough to move to larger pots, which should be placed in partial shade and well watered. Propagated plants can be planted in the ground in the winter after they've gone dormant.
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