Propagating Blueberries - Knowledgebase Question

Utterson, AL
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Question by jpeat
January 26, 1998
Is it within the talents of the average gardener to propagate blueberry cuttings? If so how would I do it?

Answer from NGA
January 26, 1998
Most plants can be propagated by root division, cuttings, or a technique called layering. Blueberries thrive in really acidic soil, so make sure your growing medium has a low pH. (4.5 - 5.0) For root division, dig the plant up and coax some new stem growth with attached roots from the parent plant. Immediately put the new plant in the ground, or in a container full of potting soil. It may wilt, but should soon recover. For stem cuttings, the process is a bit more complicated, but not impossible. Find a stem that's mature, but with new growth at the tip. (Indicates it's vigorous.) Cut the stem from the plant then remove the lower leaves. Dip the bottom of the stem in rooting hormone, shake off the excess, and place the stem in a container of soil.Layering is easiest of all. Find a pliable stem and bend it down so it makes contact with the earth. Nick the stem slightly and hold the wound open with a toothpick or tiny rock. Then anchor the wounded stem under an inch or so of soil. Because it's still attached to the parent plant it will continue to draw nutrients and water, but the wound will encourage roots to grow into the soil. It might take a year, but the plant will become self-sustaining and can be clipped from the parent plant after you notice lots of new growth from your newly cloned plant.

Good luck in your venture!

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