Growing blueberry from cutting

skald89July 4, 2014

The other day i found out someone i know is growing blueberry in his backyard. I don't want to ask more than once to get a few clippings. Can I ask for some now or should I wait till another season? Do I need to ask for them be clipped a certain length or at a certain point in the branch/vine? When I do I get the clippings what should they do while transporting it and what should I do once I bring it home?

Thank you

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Rooting blueberry requires very controlled conditions. The cuttings need to be taken when well hydrated, kept that way, and rooted in mist beds. It can be done with less but with very low chance of success. There are tutorials on Utube.

The ones I've seen are actively growing strong shoots mostly taken in early summer. Those are very fragile. A few minutes of dryness can kill.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 11:05AM
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Bradybb(wa8)

Now(late Spring-Summer) and late Winter-early Spring(dormant) are the two periods to gather Blueberry cuttings.
At this time,they should be new growth,just hardened enough,so when bent will break in two.If they bend and don't snap,they are still too young.
I usually make mine about 4-6 inches long.All the leaves are pulled off the cutting,except the top 2 or 3.The bottom end is cut diagonally to expose as much growth cells as possible.These last two steps can be done when sticking into soil.For that,I use about 50% Perlite and Peat moss.I also don't use a rooting hormone,because I've read it doesn't have much effect with Blueberries.
If there is some distance or time after removing them from the main plant,they will need to be kept moist and somewhat cool.I'd wrap them in wet paper towels or newspaper til ready to plant.
This is probably the most difficult part.Trying to keep the leaves moist while the plant grows roots.I've tried using plastic bags over containers and spraying them with a little success.Now I use two methods.A Mist-a-matic,which was bought used,they can be kind of expensive new,about $250 and a pond fogger setup,which is fairly cheap to make and works just about as well.The foggers can be bought on Ebay for less than $10.If using foggers,I'd get at least two,as a backup and sometimes I use two when the temps are hot.
Although I've never tried it,I've heard Aeroponics is another effective way to propagate.Brady

My Fogger Setup

Here is a link that might be useful: Propagation of Blueberry Cuttings Using Fog

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 11:16AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Thank you Brady. I'd like to try that someday. It's good to hear firsthand experience from someone who's actually had success!

Sounds like it's not too hard with the right setup. I have heard some varieties are much harder to root than others.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 11:52AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Thank you, Bradybb, for your excellent instructions & great photos on how to root blueberry. I root roses' cuttings, and your help has been priceless. Thank you for saving me money & time, much appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 11:59AM
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Fascist_Nation(9b)

Since you mentioned aeroponics, I have seen these two in action (not on blueberries), and they work---used to get clones as starters for aquaponics.

http://gardenpool.org/online-classes/how-to-make-a-simple-aeroponics-system

http://gardenpool.org/online-classes/how-to-make-a-simple-5-gallon-bucket-aeroponics-system

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 1:19PM
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Bradybb(wa8)

Truly welcome.
I think that is true fruitnut.I saw a list of some Northern Highbush and they were rated in three categories,from easy to difficult.Southern Highbush may be that way also.
Thanks Fascist_Nation for the the links.I may build one if time allows.A lady at a plant swap meet told me they work well.
I didn't cover the dormant cuttings that were mentioned above.Those are taken before the plants start growing,a little after the first of the year.For northern growers,it's when the plants are pruned for their upkeep.I use about pencil size or a little smaller wood with leaf buds,no flower buds,about 4-6 inches in length.I make a diagonal on the bottom of each one,to promote a larger scar for later root growth and to identify which end to stick.These are then stored in baggies of damp Peat moss in the bottom crisper of a refrigerator for about 2-3 months at about 35-40F.They are then taken out in Spring and treated in the same manner as the Summer cuttings. Brady

This post was edited by Bradybb on Fri, Jul 4, 14 at 22:58

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 10:53PM
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