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