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  • propagating blueberry bushes

    I have some high bush blueberry bushes next to my driveway that need to be trimmed back. Is it possible to propagate new bushes from these trimmings?

    I've propagated figs from cuttings before but not blueberries and I just wanted to know if it is worth trying. Thanks.
    Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

  • #2
    Kevin:

    I'm no expert but haven't heard much success rooting dormant, hardwood blueberry cuttings. Mostly it's softwood cuttings in a mist bed. Even then the pros have trouble rooting some varieties like the new Indigocrisp. I failed with my few attempts. Not nearly as easy as figs or grapes.
    Alpine, Texas 4500ft elevation Zone 7
    http://growingfruit.org/

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    • #3
      http://www.ehow.com/how_4888669_prop...ueberries.html
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sI_GXqVlty0
      http://www.extension.org/pages/29211...n#.VOY5Yi4YG7Q

      You can do both hardwood and softwood cuttings, air laying, and plant division (digging the plant up and cutting the root ball)
      Art
      St Louis County, MO Z6B

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      • #4
        I've not done hardwood cuttings, but have successfully divided older plants. Not all make that feasible however.

        About 5 years ago I took about 100 softwood cuttings. I do not have a misting table, but put them in a high humidity situation and monitored them closely. I got about 50% to root, which I thought under those circumstances to be very good. Some varieties do root much more easily, and others don't.

        Right now I have a small number of air layers going. Since my blueberries (all southern highbush) have leaves year round, I figured layering was worth a try ... in winter. About a month ago, I checked two of them. One had rooted, and the other had nice callose tissue formed. The moss was still moist so I'll leave them on till after fruiting (time to prune anyway), then remove them.

        SoCal, zone 10.
        www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the comments and videos, I'll let you know if I have any success.
          Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

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          • #6
            Fitzski,

            This has what has worked for me......... The new spring growth from the first flush is the best. One thing that I don't see mentioned and I don't know if this is more on southern high bush is that the smaller the cuttings are and by small I mean thin the better they root. It does not seem logical that a cutting that is fresh and the size of a pencil has 0% chance of rooting or close to it and a cutting that is pencil LEAD thin, yep that thin is 75% likely to root. That has been my observation and I think it is why so many people have a hard time rooting them. They take the best stuff and try it and the crap tiny stuff they disgard but in reality the crap is what will root. Have to stay humid....best is a mist bed but if you can't do that just a cutting in a cup with another over it or a pot with a bag over it. Bright light but indirect so they don't cook. They will leaf out long before they root. Be patient it takes awhile........

            Wills
            Cutting sales on willsfigs.com started Nov 1 and will continue till about March 1.

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            • fitzski
              fitzski commented
              Editing a comment
              wills,

              Thanks for the tip. These bushes are growing along my driveway and are now buried under 4-5 feet of snow. Some of the branches are weighted down by all the snow and are sticking into the driveway. My wife keeps threatening to "take the hedge trimmers to them" so I figured I'd trim them and try to root them instead of just tossing them.

              Thanks again for starting the forums.

              Kevin (fitzski is a combination of my last name(irish) and my wifes(polish))

            • Darkman
              Darkman commented
              Editing a comment
              Do you take a little of the semi hardened wood with the first flush. That was recommended by MSU.

          • #7
            Thanks Wills, that's a very helpful tip indeed. Gives me confidence to try again just to see if I can.
            Alpine, Texas 4500ft elevation Zone 7
            http://growingfruit.org/

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            • WillsC
              WillsC commented
              Editing a comment
              Steve I was actually shocked that it was the case. You try it and let me know because in all the literature I have read on the subject I have never seen that mentioned. When I asked my commercial BB friend he said yep that is how it works........

          • #8
            I can confirm Wills comments on thin branches rooting better. Almost every single cutting Ive tried to root of Sunshine Blue has taken root as long as they were thin. That being said, all of SB branches are pretty darn thin.
            Can some refresh my memory on how long a patent stands on blueberry plants? If my memory serves me right its 10 years?
            Rob

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            • #9
              Rob,

              I'm pretty sure the plant patents are valid for 20 years. Patents issued before 1993??? were only good for 15??? years but they changed it... it has been a long time since I read it but pretty sure the current plant patents are 20. Some patents don't last that long, depends what the product is.
              Cutting sales on willsfigs.com started Nov 1 and will continue till about March 1.

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              • #10
                Here are some of the BB I am rooting. Today 17 days after set for rooting I see the first tiny "lity-bity" roots. Thank you Wills for the nice cuttings.
                Perhaps The smaller wood may be is beter for greenwood cuttings but when it comes to hardwood I think that something like a pencil thick and little smaller is better.
                Wills you sent me different sizes cuttings and only those that were the thickest made good calus and already the first roots. The smaller wood is struggling and some are already discarded and dead.
                Luckly no leaves yet. May be it all dipends on rotting metod, media and temperature. I rooted these BB the same way I root my figs. I hope The cuttings will not die after I plant them in few days.
                Pen Europe, Bulgaria, Zone-6a

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                • #11
                  Pen,

                  Interesting. Share your process with us?
                  Cutting sales on willsfigs.com started Nov 1 and will continue till about March 1.

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                  • #12
                    Yes, please share.
                    SoCal, zone 10.
                    www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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                    • #13
                      I did share this at the other forum, but I'll post it here as well. Tonight or tomorow.
                      Pen Europe, Bulgaria, Zone-6a

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                      • #14
                        Here: http://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-ho...mmies-from-pen
                        you can read about it. I posted it at the fig home because this method's purpose is for rooting figs.
                        Nearly 100% root without any problems.
                        I use it for the Blueberies as well but only with some 20% rooting sucsess.
                        Usualy It takes a month. I have to adjust something to improve rooting.
                        I am def. sure that if I increase the temperature to 25-26C the rotting will be over 50%
                        Pen Europe, Bulgaria, Zone-6a

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                        • #15
                          Thanks Pen.
                          Cutting sales on willsfigs.com started Nov 1 and will continue till about March 1.

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                          • #16
                            I wish rooting BBs were as easy as pomegranate (off topics) I started outdoor without rooting hormone, without peat moss, no sprinkler or covered for moisture, no cold frame, not in darkness or shade (more sunlight rooted faster). The pot with pomegranate cuttings on the picture was pretty much neglected except for watering regularly and protecting from cold weather if drops below 45 degrees. I have tried BBs cuttings several ways (including neglected pot as above) as described on web, youtube, etc with no success. I have been advised by a RE BB propagator to try his method: He takes 4-6” softwood cuttings and moistened peat moss mixed with vermiculite 50/50. Squeezes it so there is just enough moisture to keep cuttings from drying and buries the cuttings to 2-3 nodes. There should be no fruit buds. Remove all but 2 leaves. Put in a warm dark (shaded but not total darkness) place and seal in a plastic bag to retain moisture. He propagates from both softwood and hardwood but says this is the best method for softwood he has found with a 90+ percent success rate in 30-45 days. I have yet to try this method myself sometimes soon. I like Wills trick and going to try it as well.
                            You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
                            Last edited by Inkfin; 02-24-2015, 11:52 AM.
                            Zone 8B, Texas

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                            • #17
                              Thanks for sharing this method...
                              Whats your success rate been? Thanks.
                              Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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                              • #18
                                thanks for the many ideas on how to propagate blueberries. With all the cuttings I took, i can try each one, i'll post the results.

                                Thanks again for all the great ideas.
                                Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

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                                • #19
                                  Nursery procedures for propagating blueberries most always include bottom heat and rooting hormone, intermittent mist for green cuttings. A friend also propagates thousands of low bush blues by root division because of how these have the habit of spreading root runners.
                                  Jesse in western Maine, zone 4/5
                                  Wishlist- Figues Juane, Demos unk, Nantes Maroc, Thermalito

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                                  • fitzski
                                    fitzski commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    thanks, jesse. Once I move my current batch of fig cuttings to the greenhouse, i'm going to try and propagate some of the cuttings using the variety of ideas posted here. I have a pile of cuttings waiting to be propagated.

                                • #20
                                  After some heavy mulching many BB set roots in the upper mulched aria and can be easily extracted. Here 4 new plants were mede from this little bush.


                                  And a pic of my gang the 10 year old @@@@er Spaniel PIKE and the two Black sable German Shepards - the little 50 days old Princess Leia and 3 month old Han Solo.
                                  Pen Europe, Bulgaria, Zone-6a

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                                  • fitzski
                                    fitzski commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    thanks Pen. So it's kind of like air layering. I like the pictures of the dogs.

                                • #21
                                  When I was repotting my blueberries last fall/winter, there were a few that I could divide relatively easily. Older varities such as Sharpblue and Misty were relatively easy to 'make more plants' in this manner. I think however that the blueberry developers, at least southern highbush, are now trying to achieve single stem (monopodial) varieties to facilitate machine picking in order to lessen dependence on far more expensive hand picking in commercial fields.
                                  SoCal, zone 10.
                                  www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

                                  Comment


                                  • #22
                                    A blueberry rootstock. Interesting. I have no experience with this method. I wonder what his results are...given his methods and skill. I suspect the approach has been proven and blueberries are his business.

                                    jimmie aka JD | tallahassee.fl | zone.8b | davistating.eBay

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                                    • #23
                                      Peculiar,in the western world we would want root stock to have roots prior to grafting.
                                      Thanks for the video.
                                      Paul Robert,Simi Valley,Ca. 9b

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                                      • #24
                                        I'm assuming from the video that the rootstock must be a variety that roots easily? Or perhaps the scion is excellent but susceptible to root diseases or something? It is interesting.
                                        Cutting sales on willsfigs.com started Nov 1 and will continue till about March 1.

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                                        • Inkfin
                                          Inkfin commented
                                          Editing a comment
                                          You are supposed to translate Japanese to us ;-)

                                      • #25
                                        I think the patent length for plants is 15 years? If that is correct, Emerald will expire next year? Can anyone verify that?

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