Propagating Blueberries through Cuttings - My First Attempt

Last week I acquired three blueberry bushes in a secret deal from my local big blue box store. OK it really wasn't a secret since they were offering them for half off to anyone. But what they don't know is that those three blueberries bushes I bought for $15.00 (Total) might become 50 one day, that is if I can get the plants to root from the cuttings I made over the weekend.  There are two big advantages to taking greenwood cuttings of blueberries. First, and most obvious, you might be able to make a few extra blueberry bushes. Second, each new cut will spur new growth and since blueberries flower and produce fruit on the previous season's growth it should encourage a higher yield.

Here's how I made my blueberry bush cuttings:

  1. I took 4-6 inch greenwood stem tip cuttings from two of the same variety of blueberry bushes. I made my cuts just above a node on the plant. After that I cut back the remaining stem so that a node was left at the bottom of the cutting.
  2. I removed all but the top two leaves from the blueberry cuttings. More leaves means more water loss. I probably could have left another pair of leaves on the cutting which is in fact what my favorite plant propagation book says to do.
  3. While I was getting the rooting hormone prepared in a clean baby food jar I placed the cuttings in a jar with water so they would remain hydrated. I always put my rooting hormone in a separate container just in case any cuttings may be contaminated with a disease. I don't want to put any pathogens into the original jar of rooting hormone.
  4. I dabbed the cuttings in the jar of rooting hormone and covered the base of the stems as much as possible with rooting hormone. Having the cuttings moist to begin with helps significantly!
  5. Then I stuck the cutting into a previously prepared container with a mix of sand and peat. 
  6. My last step was to put the cuttings into my plant propagating box

Now I have to wait to see when the plants will root. I'm estimating about 6-8 weeks but that could vary greatly. Since blueberries need a pollinator for cross pollination I'll be attempting a few cuttings from my other variety soon. Maybe one of these days I'll have my backyard orchard ready to grow!

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