grafting southern highbush on rabbiteye???

cousinfloydFebruary 25, 2013

My state blueberry guy, Bill Cline (who, by the way, has a great blueberry blog), says that northern and/or southern highbush varieties generally require extensive site modification to grow well in the soils in my part (western Piedmont) of the state. Rabbiteyes, however, have been easy to grow and have done well for me. Can I graft southern or northern highbush onto rabbiteye bushes? Would that be a way to grow highbush varieties in soils that their own roots wouldn't do as well with?

This post was edited by cousinfloyd on Mon, Feb 25, 13 at 13:17

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shazaam(NC 7B)

That's an interesting idea -- I'd never considered grafting blueberries before. In case you haven't come across it, here's a link to short article and video about a grafting SHB scion on Farkelberry rootstocks (a related species that's adapted to alkaline soils).

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 11:59AM
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bennylafleur(6 E. Tn.)


I have O'Neal (a Southern Highbush), and find it just as easy to grow as the Rabbiteyes.

Most Rabbiteyes send up many shoots from the base of the plant, and it seems to me that this would be a problem for the graft. The Rabbiteye that I grow that sends up the least shoots is Climax.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 1:45PM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

As Benny mentioned, how to handle new canes and keep the shrub productive would seem to be the biggest issue. I suppose that you could graft new scions to a few new canes from the rootsock each year, but that seems a bit labor intensive. V. aboreum (aka Sparkleberry/Farkelberry) has a single trunk growth habit, so that appears to be part of the appeal of using it as a rootstock. What I don't quite understand is how you'd be able to prune and maintain the grafted blueberry indefinitely in order to keep it productive.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 2:24PM
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The guy in Japan " fukuberry" on you tube grafts spartan northern high bush onto Rabbiteye rootstock. He's got videos on it. I have beckyblue rabbiteye in a 3 gallon pot that I'm practicing grafting on. This feb I grafted another rabbiteye variety on to it and I plan on trying to graft Misty, Gulfcoast and Sunshine blue onto it as well. I did 2 cleft grafts and one t-bud graft so far. As far as other canes sprouting from the rabbit eye root stock, just prune it out. I will graft the Southern high bush onto it this week and keep y'all posted if its compatible or not.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 2:31PM
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I have a Jersey - which is a Southern Highbush (I think...)

It's doing fine except that it wants some Company in the big crowd of Rabbit Eyes...

Tasty blueberries!


    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 4:57PM
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Jersey is a Northern Highbush.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:49PM
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