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Thread: Blueberry Propogation
- 19-01-2007, 01:57 PM #1
Blueberries can be propagated by both hardwood and softwood cuttings. Most propagation is done with hardwood cuttings by home gardeners like us, as they are easier to source and don't require any misting equipment like you would for soft wood cuttings
Cuttings are shoots that are cut into several pieces, each about 6 inches long. Take dormant, well hardened, unbranched, one-year-old shoots from mature plants. The shoots should be pencil width but not spindly. Do not use thin wood unless you have no choice. This is best done in February and March time.
Prepare shoots by cutting them into lengths. Cut the bottom of each section near to a bud; this is especially important for hard-to-root varieties like Bluecrop The cuts must be clean, taking care not to damage the bark. To stimulate rooting, slice a one-half to one inch long layer of bark from both sides of the base of the cutting. Protect the cuttings from drying out and pot them individually into ericaceous compost. Put the pot somewhere that will give bottom heat to about 70 degrees F ideally.
Water the cuttings thoroughly about once a week to keep the compost moist but not overly wet. Water more frequently when leaves develop in April or May, roots will follow so do not be tempted to repot.
Expect about 40-60% to strike and slightly less to turn into decent plants suitable for planting.
My success rate is somewhat lower unfortunately but I have nothing to give bottom heat yet.
Last edited by pigletwillie; 19-01-2007 at 02:03 PM.
- 24-01-2007, 11:56 AM #2
Thanks for the advice Pigletwillie. I've been tempted to try and propagate from my existing bush but think I'll wait antoher year until I've got more branches to select from as I don't want to damage the main plant by stripping too many branches, especially if the success rate is low.
I also read recently that you should grow multiple varieties of Blueberry in close proximity to increase yields as they need cross pollination.
Last year I seemed to have a reasonable crop from my single pot planted bush without another one nearby. Was this just luck or does a close neighbour have one that I don't know about? How much difference does it make having another bush to cross pollinate with?
- 24-01-2007, 03:57 PM #3
Whilst generally you get a reasonable crop from a single plant, the crop from two or more plants together does increase by a fair degree, I have noticed that single plants in pots waiting to be planted into their final position are outcropped by those planted in groups by about 10-20% which is a significant gain.
- 30-01-2007, 04:34 PM #4Germinator
- Join Date
- Nov 2006
As you both seem to know quite a bit about Blueberries can I ask a question. I have a blueberry bush in my Conservatory and I have noticed after I have watered it the buds seem to ooze water or sap, why is this? Am I doing something wrong. I feed it about once a week, only water it with rainwater. My other blueberry bush does'nt do this, although they are two different varieties.
- 30-01-2007, 07:11 PM #5
Get them outside Jofanning.
Blueberries need a minimum of 1000 hours at sub 10 degree temperatures to crop well. They are extremely hardy and will not thank you for nursemaiding them.
It doesnt need feeding at the moment as it should be dormant so is probably that full of goodness its bursting at the seams.
They should be fed in the spring with an azaelia or rhododendron fertilizer and again when the berries start to form.
- 31-01-2007, 10:23 AM #6
- 31-01-2007, 05:33 PM #7Germinator
- Join Date
- Nov 2006
Thanks for that Pigletwillie. The reason I have started to feed them was that they were dormant and have suddenly sprung into life with new leaves and are starting to bud, but will take your advice and stick them outside.
- 31-01-2007, 06:42 PM #8Seedling
- Join Date
- Nov 2006
- Northern Ireland
My blueberries have been outside all winter and are just leaving out now. I'm hoping for a good crop this year- they've always been good but I've bought three more varities and I took a load of cuttings in Autumn that I have high hopes for too. I'm going to give feeding them a whirl this year and see how big a difference that makes.
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