How to Take a Cutting From Blueberry Bushes


Blueberries are delicious, healthy fruits native to North America. Not only do they make tasty pies and jams, but they are full of antioxidants. While man has harvested blueberries for thousands of years, growing them in the garden or on a farm only started early in the 20th century, according to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service. Propagating your own bushes is a fairly simple process.

Step 1

Cut off a 4- to 5-inch piece of stem from an established bush's new growth in the late spring. Use pruning shears or a knife that has been disinfected. The University of Mississippi Extension Service (UMES) suggests using a solution of 1 part household bleach to 5 parts water. When choosing your stem, look for one that is still flexible and with end leaves that are almost mature. If the stem is too flexible and the leaves too soft, the cutting will wilt.

Step 2

Remove the cutting's lower leaves, leaving two or three leaves at the tip. Do not let the cuttings harden; place them immediately into your propagation medium.

Step 3

Place your cutting into the medium in a small pot. The UMES recommends a mixture of coarse sand, ground pine bark, perlite, sawdust, and peat moss. The cutting should be buried 1/2 to 2/3 of its length. If you have more than one cutting, space them 2 inches apart. Firmly tamp the medium around your cutting to get rid of air pockets. Water gently or mist.

Step 4

Water the cutting when the top of the soil is just barely dry. Continue to use a sprinkler or mister that won't pour onto the medium and disturb the new roots.

Step 5

Fertilize your cutting after it is rooted. You can tell if it's rooted by giving a gentle tug two or three weeks after planting. Use a diluted liquid fertilizer.

Step 6

Transplant the cutting into a pot or garden bed in mid-summer, and use a slow-release fertilizer two weeks later. Keep it in a shaded spot for the first year, then transplant to a sunny site.

Things You'll Need

  • Shears or knife
  • Bleach
  • Propagation medium (coarse sand, ground pine bark, perlite, sawdust, and peat moss)
  • Pot
  • Sprinkler or mister
  • Fertilizer


  • Mississippi State University Extension: Blueberries
  • University of Maine Extension: Highland Blueberries
Keywords: blueberry, blueberry propagation, blueberry cuttings

About this Author

Aileen Clarkson has been an award-winning editor and reporter for more than 20 years. Clarkson graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She has worked for several newspapers, including "The Washington Post" and "The Charlotte Observer."