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How to Propagate a Blueberry Bush

By Lea Barton ; Updated September 21, 2017

Propagating blueberry bushes is a sensible way to expand your blueberry crop. Whether your goal is to replace poor-producing bushes, grow more crop for personal use, propagate a plant from a friend's garden or provide a clipping for a friend to use to create a new bush, understanding proper propagation techniques is crucial for success. The best season for propagating blueberry bushes from stems is summer, from mid-July to late August, while root propagation is best achieved in the spring. Learning how to grow new blueberry bushes from stems and roots is a strong skill for any fruit gardener.

Propagate Using a Shoot

Cut a 6-inch section of a newer shoot from an existing blueberry bush using a sharp knife.

Remove the lower leaves on the shoot using pruning shears, leaving only leaves at the top.

Dip the cut end of the shoot in root fertilizer.

Plant the shoot in a small pot filled with very wet peat moss and sand. Insert the cut end approximately 1 to 2 inches into the soil.

Cover the plant with clear plastic sheeting and secure the plastic to the bottom of the pot with tape. Place in front of a window or under grow lights for two to three weeks.

Check after two to three weeks to determine whether the plant has formed roots. If yes, move on to Step 7.

Remove the plastic and transplant the new blueberry bush to its permanent location.

Propagate Using a Root

Cut one stem at the base of the blueberry bush you wish to propagate, as close to the ground as possible. A new shoot should form where the cutting took place within two weeks.

Cover the new shoot with a mixture of peat moss and sand, leaving only 1 inch exposed. Continue to cover the new shoot with dirt as it grows, leaving only 1 inch until the entire mound is 6 to 8 inches high.

Remove the dirt mixture. Roots should have formed where the dirt covered the new shoot.

Cut the new shoot, including the portion with the new roots. Transplant it using root fertilizer.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Pruning shears
  • Root fertilizer
  • Small pot
  • Peat moss
  • Sand
  • Spade
  • Clear plastic greenhouse or nursery sheeting

Tips

  • Consider using both the stem and root methods to add redundancy in your attempt to propagate blueberry bushes and to make certain you have a successful new plant.
  • Make sure the cutting or new root soil has a pH of 4.5 to 5.5. The peat moss and sand mixture should accomplish this.
  • Plant new bushes in a location with sun exposure of six hours or more per day for maximum crop yield.

Warning

  • Don't take cuttings or roots from blueberry bushes infected with viruses or fungus.

About the Author

 

Lea Barton has been writing since 1989, with over 2,000 articles in print and online for such publications as "Today's Parent," "Boston Globe Magazine", and Associated Content. She attended Harvard University's Extension School, completing courses in creative writing and German.