Hardwood and Softwood Blueberry Cuttings
Starting blueberries from cuttings has better success rates than starting them with seeds. You can use the following types of cuttings for propagating blueberries:
- Hardwood cuttings – This type of blueberry cutting takes a bit longer to root, but it’s easier to work with hardwood cuttings. The best time to take these cuttings is when the blueberry bush is dormant. The canes you cut should be at least one-year old, making it a mature and solid cane. Hardwood takes over two months to grow roots.
- Softwood cuttings – Unlike hardwood cuttings, which you take from last year’s growth, you take softwood cuttings from new growth. Clip your cuttings about six weeks after new growth begins but before you see any flower buds. Softwood forms roots in two to six weeks.
Steps for Taking Blueberry Cuttings
Before clipping off your cuttings, make sure you have a spot ready for planting them. The area you keep them should be about 68°(20°C). You’ll get the best results if you plant them right after cutting. Always avoid cutting from bushes that show signs of disease, pests or weakness.
- Prune about 6-inch long canes growing from the bottom of the bush, rather than the top.
- Cut the branch at a slant below the buds.
- Remove any leaves from the bottom of the cutting, leaving a few at the top.
- Split the top leaves in half.
Planting Blueberry Cuttings in Containers
You can use pots or raised beds to propagate your blueberry cuttings. Follow these steps for rooting your blueberry cuttings:
- Fill your container with a mix of potting soil, sand and peat moss.
- Add water to the potting mix.
- Using a pencil, make a hole in the soil.
- Place your cutting in the hole and firmly press the soil around it. Don’t add any more water.
- Put the pot containing your new cutting into a plastic bag and tie the top of the bag.
- Place the pot in a shady spot.
After a few days, you’ll see water condensation on the inside of the bag. This makes a humid climate for your blueberry cuttings. You can untie the bag weekly to check on your cuttings. Add water if the inside seems dry. If the leaves start to droop, open the top of the bag for a while.
After a few weeks, you’ll notice buds and new shoots. Don’t remove the pot from the bag until the leaves open and turn green. Once this happens, open up the bag for a few days and then you can take the bag off. Allow your new blueberry plant stay in the shade for about two more weeks and water it directly.
The last step is to place your blueberry plant in the morning sun for about four weeks. You can transplant it into a bigger pot for another month, allowing the roots to grow stronger.