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