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How to Propagate Blueberry Bushes

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How to Propagate Blueberry Bushes

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Overview

Nothing tastes quite as sweet as big juicy blueberries, but supermarket blueberries can be expensive and usually aren't as good as fresh, locally grown berries. If you have a friend or neighbor with a blueberry bush, ask if you can take a cutting. Blueberry bushes are easy to start from hardwood cuttings in fall or winter, and in a few seasons, you can pick your own fresh blueberries.

Step 1

Choose a straight branch from a healthy blueberry bush. Cut a long branch with a pair of clean, sharp pruning shears. Make the cut just above a leaf node, which is a little bump where a new leaf is about to emerge.

Step 2

Cut the branch into shorter pieces, each with three or four leaf nodes, making each cut at a 45-degree angle. Make each cut just below a node. You can take several cuttings from each stem, as long as they each have at least three leaf nodes.

Step 3

Fill a 1-gallon container with a mixture of ½ sand and ½ peat moss or vermiculite. Be sure the container has a drainage hole in the bottom.

Step 4

Dip the cut end of each cutting into rooting hormone, up to about an inch, and plant the cuttings in the container. Plant each cutting deep enough that one or two leaf nodes are beneath the soil. You can put several cuttings in one container.

Step 5

Put the container in a large, plastic bag, and if necessary, put some stakes in the bag to keep the plastic from touching the blueberry cuttings. Place the container where it will receive bright, but indirect, sunlight. If the soil appears to be dry, open the bag, mist the soil, and close the bag. It's very important that the cuttings remain moist.

Step 6

Look at the drainage hole every three to four weeks to see if the cuttings have taken root. Once the roots have formed, loosen the top of the plastic bag, and then open the bag a little more each day. When the container is removed from the bag, watch it a few days to make sure the cuttings are still growing and then plant them outside.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Sand
  • 1-gallon container
  • Peat moss or vermiculite
  • Rooting hormone
  • Plastic bag
  • Stakes
  • Spray bottle

References

  • Hardwood Cuttings and Live Stakes
  • Blueberries
  • New Plants from Cuttings
Keywords: blueberry bush, hardwood cutting, peat moss

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time 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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