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How to Root a Blueberry Bush

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How to Root a Blueberry Bush

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Overview

Blueberries are sweet, juicy little gems that add flavor to pancakes, muffins or yogurt, and they make a healthy snack that is even more delicious when the berries are picked straight from the bush. However you choose to eat them, blueberries are loaded with vitamin C and E and antioxidants. If you have space in your yard, and access to a healthy adult blueberry bush, you can root your own blueberry bushes from cuttings.

Step 1

Locate several young stems from a healthy blueberry plant. To determine whether the stems are at the right maturity to be used as cuttings, take a stem and bend it. If the stem breaks with a snap, it's ready. It the stem bends but doesn't break, it's too young. If it's too thick to bend, it's too mature. Plan on taking blueberry cuttings in late spring.

Step 2

Cut each stem directly below a leaf node, which is the little bump on the stem where new leaves grow. Each stem should be approximately 4 to 6 inches long and should have at least three or four sets of leaves. Remove the bottom set of leaves so you have at least an inch of bare stem.

Step 3

Fill 2-inch pots with good-quality commercial potting soil. Dip the cut end of each blueberry stem in rooting hormone and stick it in the pot. The nodes should be in the soil, and the section of stem with leaves should be above the soil. You can plant two or three blueberry cuttings in each pot.

Step 4

Set the pots in a saucer or pie plate full of water and leave them until the top of the soil is damp. Put each pot in a large plastic zip bag and seal the bag. The bags will act as small greenhouses and will keep the cuttings warm and moist. Put the pots on a windowsill away from drafts.

Step 5

Check the cuttings often. The plastic will keep them moist, but if the soil appears to be drying out, take the pots out of the plastic bags, mist the soil lightly and put the pots back in the bags.

Step 6

Remove the pots from the plastic bags as soon as the cuttings take root, which should take two to three weeks. To determine whether the cuttings have rooted, pull on the stems gently. If you feel a slight resistance, the cuttings have rooted. You may also be able to see the small, white roots beginning to grow from the drainage hole in the bottom of the pots.

Step 7

Prepare a planting area in a sunny spot about two weeks before you move the plants outside. Loosen the soil, remove all weeds with a hoe and add some compost or well-aged manure into the top 2 or 3 inches of the soil. Plant the blueberries, leaving 4 to 6 feet between each bush.

Step 8

Water the area lightly, and continue to keep it evenly moist throughout the planting season. Spread 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the plants to conserve moisture, but don't put it directly over the plants because on warm days, the mulch can burn the plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • 2-inch plastic pots
  • Potting soil
  • Rooting hormone
  • Large plastic zip bags
  • 1 qt. plastic pots
  • Hoe
  • Compost or manure
  • Mulch

References

  • Propagating Blueberries
  • Propagate Your Shrubs from Softwood Cuttings
  • Taking a Softwood Cutting
Keywords: blueberry bush, antioxidants, rooting hormone

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a longtime writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the "East-Oregonian Newspaper" and "See Jane Run" magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.

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