I’m looking for detailed information on propagating blueberries. Preferably by species and on a commercial scale. Does anyone have such knowledge or know of an online article or video on propagating blueberries?
Also, I plan to experiment with grafting varieties on rabbiteye rootstock. I’m aware of one person on GF who has done so. Were the benefits enough to justify the effort?
Thanks, - going to hunt up my copy of Plant Propagation Principles and Practices
I just watched this video yesterday lol. Blueberry and currants propagate easy this way when they’re still dormant.
Idk how successful it will be to try and root ones with leaves, I didn’t have too much luck the one time I tried during summer after the fruits were gone. I just tried to take it like any soft stem cutting. I only had two twigs that broke off. I used rooting hormone and stuck it in some peat. Then I covered with a clear container to act as a humidity dome, and kept it in a shaded area. I think it was prob too hot at the time and they didn’t make it. But until the heat wave, they stayed green and perky.
Blueberries cuttings are some of the hardest to propagate, but not impossible. I have had great success with propagating late summer green wood/shoot cuttings under a misting system every 5-10mins for 5 seconds! Dormant rooting is another story…I would get about 30 percent that would take. This video should increase your chances with dormant/early spring cuttings. The trick is to maintain the temperature at 60-80f for weeks on end for a few months. BLUEBERRIES IN CONTAINERS EPISODE 9: Rooting N Propagating Dormant Blueberry Cuttings Successfully! - YouTube
The easiest way is to bend a young limb down to the soil, scath off some outer bark down to cambium, dig the scratched section a few inches below soil line keeping the rest of the branch above the soil, place a stone on the buried section where you want roots, water all summer, once dormant cut the rooted plant free from its mother.
There is a guy i have talked to that also does this. When he prunes in July/August he sticks cuttings and buries some in the woodchips and mulch under the mother plant and by the next spring he has rooted cuttings. So these would be semi hardwood on his method. He said he has alot of success burying horizontally as well.
Blueberries seem to be nearly the same as canefruits… higher success of semi hardwood than hardwood…and easier than soft cuttings if you dont have a misting room/tent/area.
Personally i am going to root my blueberries in an opaque storage tote in the shade in sand and fine pines. I am rooting mulberries this way now.
Perhaps i will fail but it seems to me to be the least maintenance with the highest success rate and fairly easy to control the environment.
More than a decade ago I toured a nursery in Ocala Florida…they had flats and flats and flats of Southern Highbush rooted blueberry cuttings. Very few missing or dead in the flats.
I never asked about their ‘trade secrets’…and I’ve had poor success rooting dormant cuttings. Don’t have a misting system for tender cuttings. (Besides, I’m not desiring to propagate them to sell anyhow.)
I’ve been told that the research from Oregon State AG program showed that using rooting hormone on cuttings to root them made no difference in results. Apparently letting them sit for about 3 months in moist peat in the fridge before starting a misting regimen is all it takes. The misting has to be consistent though.
I tried with hardwood cuttings last year but didn’t get great results because my misting setup kept failing for various reasons. I purchased three of those pond foggers to utilize this year.
had some broken green, last seasons growth on my Chippewa from snow damage. took 4 sticks, scratched the cambium and stuck them in the ground near the mother. all 4 took. had similar results from Patriot last season. seems my clay soil roots things easily. if i did it in a pot id get very little takes trust me i tried.
We used to root Blueberries and Blackberries using the methods described by Krewer and Cline in the small fruits publication. We used a 4X25 bed with softwood cuttings a shade cloth and intermittent mist. Had some years with very successful takes and a couple of years with poor results.
We quit rooting Blueberries and Blackberries when most of the newer varieties were patented. Found we could buy a tray of patented Tissue Culture plants for a fair price which saved a bunch of work When we potted the TC plants into gallon containers they really took off
The small scale processes in the YouTube video look very interesting, especially the one with the cold frame and the fogger. Bet that 16 square feet would produce a lot of rooted cuttings.