How to Graft Blueberry Bushes

Overview

Grafting is the cultivation art of combining two plants to create a better, stronger variety. Until recently, blueberry bushes were not grafted; rather, they were propagated using seeds and shoots. Then cultivators began attempting to graft blueberry bushes with trees in the same genus of plants to produce a type of blueberry tree that can be harvested using modern pickers.

Step 1

Select some budsticks from the desired blueberry bush. The budsticks should be roughly the same size in diameter to the trunk of the rootstock and be healthy and disease free. Be sure to check with a local professional cultivator to verify that the varieties are compatible and will produce a healthy plant.

Step 2

Using a razor sharp grafting knife, cut off the top of the rootstock so that the tree is no farther than one foot from the ground. Make a clean, diagonal incision down the trunk roughly one inch long.

Step 3

Make a similar incision on the bottom of the budstick.

Step 4

Match the budstick and the rootstock together so that as much of the center matches as possible.

Step 5

Tightly wrap the entire graft with grafting tape. Allow the graft to heal with the grafting tape in place. New growth should form in roughly eight weeks at which time the tape can be removed.

Things You'll Need

  • Rabbit eye blueberry rootstock, roughly one year old
  • Desired blueberry budstick, new growth no older than two years
  • Grafting knife
  • Grafting tape

References

  • West Virginia University Extension Service: Whip Grafting
  • Texas A&M University: Texas Bark Inlay Grafting
Keywords: grafting, blueberry bushes, blueberry tree

About this Author

Ann White is a freelance journalist with prior experience as a Corporate and Business Attorney and Family Law Mediator. She has written for multiple university newspapers and has published over 300 articles for publishers such as EHow and Garden Guides. White earned her Juris Doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature.