How to Take Blueberry Cuttings
The quickest and easiest way to propagate a blueberry bush is through planting cuttings from an existing plant. Gardeners can take cuttings from new growth in the spring (softwood cutting) or older growth in the late fall or early winter (hardwood cutting). In taking cuttings, be sure that the bush is healthy and you cut properly, so that the new bush has a chance of surviving.
Choose whether to take softwood cuttings in the spring or hardwood cuttings in the winter when the bush stops growing. Softwood cuttings root more easily, but take more care when transporting and rooting.
Find a vigorously growing bush from which to take the cuttings. Inspect the bush for symptoms of disease including spotted leaves or stems or bare branches. If anything looks out of the ordinary, do not take from this bush as it may transfer disease to the new bush.
Find branches from the upper part of the bush that are suitable for cutting. For softwood cuttings, look for new branches just hardening. These branches should have a gradation in the age of the leaves ranging from just emerging to fully mature. For hardwood cuttings, look for one- to two-year-old established branches.
Measure 4 to 6 inches from the tip of the chosen branches. Make a diagonal cut clean through each branch at this length.
Wrap the cut end of the cuttings in moist paper towels for transport. If you are not rooting the cuttings right away, keep them wrapped in the paper towels and place in the refrigerator.
Starting herbaceous plants such as dahlia (Dahlia), hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10, through cuttings uses the basic rooting procedure. Water the plant to ensure it is fully hydrated, and then take the cutting the next morning before it loses its moisture. Set in a bright location but not in direct sunlight. For softwood cuttings -- those taken near the beginning of the growing season while the new growth is still flexible -- dip the stems at least 2 inches deep in rooting hormone. Keep the cuttings between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent buds from opening while encouraging root growth. Let them soak for five minutes, then rinse them with clean water and set them out to air dry. This helps keep your entire batch of rooting hormone from becoming infected, should there be hidden infection, and it prevents cross-contamination when you're doing several cuttings at once.
If you choose to take softwood cuttings in spring, do so in the early morning to increase chances of rooting. Blueberry cuttings root easily and do not need rooting hormone to help them along.
- If you choose to take softwood cuttings in spring, do so in the early morning to increase chances of rooting.
- Blueberry cuttings root easily and do not need rooting hormone to help them along.
- Paper towels
- North Carolina State University: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings
- North Carolina State University: Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden
- Purdue University: New Plants from Cuttings
- North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings: Instructions for the Home Gardener
- University of Vermont Extension: Rooting Cuttings
- Old Farmer's Almanac: Dahlias
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Disinfecting Pruning Tools