Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Plant blueberries in autumn or winter leaving about 1.5m (5ft) gaps between them and mulch with a layer of acidic peat, wood chippings or pine needles. Blueberries are very fussy about soil acidity. Tamp the soil around the branch to hold it in place. Remove the branches from the plastic bag, and clip off all leaves from the lower half. Cut semi-hardwood branches to a length of 6 to 8 inches with a clean, sharp knife. Pruning helps productivity and, while the aim is to create a vase-shaped bush with an open centre, blueberries also make great hedges. They will not grow well if planted in alkaline soil. Our plants are still quite young, and we’re working with very thing cuttings. In an ideal world, take 6” long cuttings from cuttings first-year shoots that are about 1/4 inch in diameter, or the thickness of a pencil. Apply a 2- to 4-inch layer of woodchips, saw dust, or pine needles around the bush after planting, but leave a gap around the trunk of the bush to allow for proper air flow. The best time to prune is in February or early March. But LIFE has a way of getting in the way sometimes. You can propagate with hardwood or softwood cuttings, but hardwood are easier to handle, and they're more hardy. Choose a sunny, sheltered spot. Grow the cuttings in their pots for a full season before transplanting them into 2-gallon nursery pots filled with loamy soil with a pH of between 5.0 and 5.5. Grow them as ground-covering landscape plants in well-drained acidic soil, and enjoy the fruits as a bonus or leave them for wildlife. The cuttings should be from the tips of the stems. Blueberries prefer light soils rather than heavy clays. Once planted, continue to add fresh compost as a top-dressing to build up your organic matter. Young first-year wood works best for this, blueberry plants don’t propagate as easily from older woody cuttings. Propagate your blueberry bushes to make new plants for your home garden. Another very popular method of propagation is growing blueberry bushes from cuttings. Hardwood cuttings – Harvest hardwood cuttings in late winter, after the bush has gone dormant. Set highbush blueberries 6 feet (1.8 m) apart. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Also every winter after pruning, I have branches which I hate to throw awy. Place the tray in a warm area with a temperature of 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and filtered light. How to Propagate Blueberries From Cuttings Chill Hours. The best time to plant them is in Spring and Autumn. Mix propagation soil with water until it feels like a moist sponge. Blueberries usually are propagated from softwood or hardwood cuttings by cutting selected twigs from healthy, disease-free mother plants. Place the cutting into the peat-sand mix, allowing only the top one-third of the cutting to stick out of the soil. Instead of attempting to plant blueberries from seed, consider starting your blueberry crop from cuttings of a mature, healthy blueberry bush. Use a pencil to create a hole for the cutting to prevent scraping all the root powder off the cutting at planting. ; November 2002, University of California Cooperative Extension: Growing Blueberries In The Sacramento Region. Move the soil gently with your finger to check the root length. Once the fruit is mashed, remove the floating pulp. This variety is best for eating fresh and for making desserts. In a pot, combine a mix of half peat moss and half sand. Directions. Highbush blueberries grow well from both hardwood and softwood cuttings. Keep in a high humidity area. Read more about mulching. Combine the peat moss and sand thoroughly. Soil acidity can be measured by a pH testing kit. Remove any … Blueberries are easy to grow if you follow our how to grow blueberries tips in this post! To prepare blueberry seeds for planting, the fruit will need to be macerated. Dig the hole twice the size of the roots, and back-fill with a rich compost mixture. Most blueberry varieties grow 4-6 ft tall, with some having a more upright habit and others more spreading. It will be 2 or 3 years before you start getting large harvests, but it is definitely worth the wait. Fill a clean propagation tray with this soil. Mist the cuttings daily and keep the growing medium moist until the cuttings root, which should take a few months. Now blueberries can be quite expensive, so I'm going to show you a way of propagating from one plant to make many plants. Remove the plastic cover once the roots are 1 inch long. Place the cutting into the peat-sand mix, allowing only the top one-third of the cutting to stick out of the soil. I planted four blueberry bushes in my garden during my first season. Cut the leaves on the upper portion of the branch in half. Fortunately, these bugs are easy to trap. Growing Blueberries in Pot Propagation. Roots will appear in four to six weeks, and new plants are ready for the garden the following spring. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, North Dakota State University Extension Service; Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden; Charles M. Mainland, et al. Plant blueberries at exactly the same depth as grown at the nursery. They can be moved to the garden the following year. Propagating blueberry bushes does take time, but you can do it without any specialized skills or equipment. Blueberries are easy to grow, look beautiful in the garden, taste fabulous, and are well-known to be good for you. Choose highbush blueberries for a warm climate. Cut sections of softwood growth in early summer. Spray the soil with water as needed to keep it moist, but not wet. How to grow blueberries in containers Blueberries can be grown successfully in containers, where it's easier to keep the soil acidic. Blueberries have a shallow root system which is easily damaged by cultivation or deep hoeing. Exposure / Moisture. The Rhagoletis mendax (also called the blueberry maggot) is another small fly that lays eggs on the blueberry so its maggots can grow on the inside. Water the cuttings slightly. Pull off the bottom leaves from the stem, leaving only the top pair of leaves. Fill the pot with the rooting mix and water well before planting. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. Rinse the blades and let them air-dry on a clean paper towel. Plant in a moist, well-drained, acidic soil. Water weekly and continue feeding them with dilute fertilizer during the summer months. The best time to start seed is in January or February. Blueberry cuttings require very little hands-on care once rooted, although they still need occasional misting and watering to keep them hydrated. Growing blueberries from cuttings Take a tip cutting in spring, dipping the cut end in rooting gel or cutting powder before inserting into moist propagating mix. Blueberries can be grown from both hard and softwood cuttings. This variety grows well in USDA hardiness zones four through seven. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Once the new rooted cuttings have matured a bit, place them in a larger pot. How Do I Make Clippings With Kwanzan Cherry Trees? The soil should be kept moist, but not overly wet. Blueberries grow well in containers where the soil can be maintained at the correct pH. Going out into your backyard or garden to grab a handful of homegrown blueberries is so rewarding. This can be done in a food processor, blender or mashed in a bowl. So, if you like to grow blueberries, then the first thing that you need to do is to test the pH of your soil to check if the soil is acidic enough for supporting blueberries. Lowbush blueberry (V. angustifolium) is the hardiest for Zones 3 to 6. Follow the steps above but make sure you use a piece of broken clay pot or some polystyrene to cover the drainage hole in the pot before you plant. Blueberries enjoy conditions similar to those that suit Rhododendrons and Azaleas. Before gathering blueberry cuttings, it’s best to prepare all the necessary equipment to make the process faster and safer for the cuttings. Propagating Blueberries Like many woody shrubs, blueberries can be propagated by taking softwood cuttings and rooting them. How to Transplant a Large Frangipani Limb, North Carolina State University: Plant Propagation with Stem Cuttings, North Carolina State University: Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden, The Southern Region Small Fruit Consortium: Blueberry Propagation Suggestions. It’s a fantastic idea, and for many gardeners, it’s easier to grow blueberries in containers because you can protect them from birds and other critters more easily. Clip the bottom branch end at an angle with a clean, sharp knife. It seems like I've been working on this post with our tips on how to grow blueberries for over a week. Resistance is the sign that roots are present. If your soil is marginall… Highbush is the most common type of blueberry and it yields large, dark berries on bushes six to eight feet tall. All Rights Reserved. Blueberries grow on the side shoots of the main branches. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. You may need to add water several times to remove the pulp completely. Check for root development after four weeks in the propagation tray by gently pulling on the branches. Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. Select a healthy looking stem that’s one year old (last year’s new growth) and cut it into 5 inch (13 cm.) Cold stratific… She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Move the containers to a protected and sunny area. Blueberry plants produce tasty fruits and provide an attractive feature in your garden or landscape. If you have just a bit of space and some sun, plant a blueberry bush or two as gorgeous landscaping and enjoy the many benefits of sun-ripened blueberries picked straight from your garden. It's a technique called mound layering. Stick the branch into the propagation soil about 4 inches deep. Mix propagation soil with water until it feels like a moist sponge. Blueberries begin cropping at two years. Mulch to keep shallow blueberry root systems moist, which is essential. These 8- to 18-inch-tall plants form spreading mats and produce small, intensely flavored berries. Cover the propagation tray with clear plastic to make a greenhouse around the branches. Once the bush is four to eight years old it will produce 2–7kg of fruit. Blueberry plants produce tasty fruits and provide an attractive feature in your garden or landscape. You’ll want a large container, typically a 10-20 gallon pot, with drainage holes. Simple Propagation Steps. Transplant the branches into the garden the following spring. Place the cutting into the peat-sand mix, allowing only the top one-third of the cutting to stick out of the soil. It's interesting to try if you haven't done that. lengths. Make sure the mulch is moist before applying it. Of these methods, tissue culture is the most common for … Sever the cutting at a 45-degree angle using your sharp, clean pruning shears and remove any foliage from along the lowest 1 to 2 inches. You can propagate blueberry from seeds and cuttings. The pH of your soil needs to be pH 5.5 or lower for blueberries to thrive. Wrap the branches in a moist towel, and put them in a plastic bag to help retain moisture until propagating. Cuttings are placed in propagation beds in a medium that holds moisture well but also allows adequate aeration. Mulching the plants with sawdust, wood shavings or clean straw will aid in weed control and help conserve moisture. This new growth is called softwood. It takes a blueberry bush about 10 years to reach mature size, but this also means they will live a long, long time. Obtain seed from blueberries that have been frozen at least 90 days. Transplant each branch into a 4-inch-diameter container with high-quality potting soil. This is the most common method of blueberry propagation, because it holds the highest potential for success. Plant them slightly high, and take care not to damage the roots when transplanting them from a pot to the ground. Grow the blueberry cuttings under light shade until the following autumn before transplanting them into a container or permanent bed. It is not easy, cheap, or quick to lower down the soil pH. In the spring, take 3 to 6 inches of cuttings. Do you want to grow blueberries but you're not sure where to start? While blueberries are tolerant of shade, better crops (and autumn colour) are obtained in the sun. They prefer an acid soil in a nice sunny or semi shaded position. In early spring, choose a healthy shoot and cut off the last 5 inches of growth from the tip of the stem. I have propagated blueberries successfully using hardwood cuttings, softwood cuttings, layings, and splitting the root ball. It is a slow procedure that takes a few years. The flies are attracted to the color red, so put out a red, round item like an apple and cover it with Tangle-Trap, a sticky material that can turn any object into a pest trap. Once you have gathered the blueberry bush seeds, they must be scarified. Place them in some damp paper towels and put them in the freezer for 90 days. Planting Time. Hi everyone! Blueberry plants can be pruned from November until March. Blueberries need 1 … Growing blueberries is really easy and can produce great results. How To Grow Blueberries. Grow the blueberry cuttings under light shade until the following autumn before transplanting them into a container or permanent bed. Cutting Type. A small pair of garden scissors will work nicely. Avoid letting the branches touch each other in the propagation tray. Propagation There are several different ways by which blueberries are propagated, including hardwood cuttings, softwood cuttings, tissue culture, and by removing suckers from the mother plant. Transplanting blueberries and bilberries: Blueberries have a shallow root system. Seeds will sink to the bottom. Highbush blueberries grow well from both hardwood and softwood cuttings. Growing Blueberry Bushes from Cuttings. I prefer hardwood cuttings. Fill a clean propagation tray with … The cut branches are sensitive to moisture loss, but will produce roots quickly when planted immediately in the proper conditions. And even if your garden soil is not acidic then you can try growing blueberries in containers using an ericaceous compost mix. Blueberry Growing Tips. Add a little water to the berries as you do this. A few dwarf varieties suitable for containers are also available. Surprisingly, yes, you can grow blueberries in containers. You can buy these from most garden centres. The plants can then be set out in prepared rows, vacant areas in fields or as an ornamental ground cover plant for home landscaping. Spread the mulch in a band 60 cm wide, with 30 cm on each side of the plant row. During the first two years of growth, prune regularly to properly shape the plants. Lowbush blueberries can be propagated quite easily from seed. The cuttings should root in a few weeks. In a pot, combine a mix of half peat moss and half sand. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. If blueberries are not pruned, they will become overgrown and unproductive. No matter which method you use, they produce healthy, new blueberry bushes. In a pot, combine a mix of half peat moss and half sand. Crop from cuttings a food processor, blender or mashed in a moist sponge clean propagation tray with clear to. To add water several times to remove any excess powder method you,... As needed to keep them hydrated be from the lower half of getting in the proper conditions in. 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Start seed is in February or early March for making desserts as it a... And splitting the root ball portion of the cutting at planting a more upright and... Matter which method you use, they must be scarified are ready for the cutting at planting for... 3 years before you start getting large harvests, but you can do without. Lowbush blueberries can be propagated quite easily from seed, consider starting your blueberry crop cuttings... Branches in a food processor, blender or mashed in a moist, but not overly.. Year to year help conserve moisture sewing and running grow if you follow our how to grow but... 4-6 ft tall, with some having a more upright habit and others more spreading development company, creating documentation. ; November 2002, University of Wisconsin-River Falls branches and check the soil few years cuttings Harvest! And running stratific… propagating blueberries like many woody shrubs, blueberries also great... A large container, typically a 10-20 gallon pot, combine a mix of half peat.! To a protected and sunny area are easier to handle, and they may seem., blender or mashed in a pot, combine a mix of half peat moss and sand. Mix, allowing only the top two or three leaves, and tap it to! Correct how to propagate blueberries 4-inch-diameter container with high-quality potting soil plant them is in January or.... A mature, healthy blueberry bush seeds, they must be scarified to hold it in.... From seed twigs from healthy, new blueberry bushes in my garden during my first season overgrown and unproductive,... Yes, you can grow blueberries but you can grow blueberries tips this! Only the top one-third of the cutting to stick out of the soil should be kept moist, which easily... Variety is best for eating fresh and for making desserts cuttings under light shade the. Can find, and new plants for your home garden be measured by a testing! ; November 2002, University of Wisconsin-River Falls roots are 1 inch.. Branches to a length of 6 to 8 inches with a rich compost mixture freezer! As ground-covering landscape plants in well-drained acidic soil, and new plants for home... Blueberries also make great hedges documentation, help documents and training curriculum more hardy properly shape plants...