Tufts University researchers have found that blueberries are higher in antioxidants than any other food. They go on to say that blueberries have pectin that can help lower cholesterol and they are high in vitamin C.
Native to North America highbush blueberries are easy to grow from cuttings, taken while the plant is dormant. The cutting will root within 8 weeks but the plant won’t yield any berries for at least two years.
What you will need to root blueberry cuttings
- 1 gal. planting container
- Coarse sand
- Peat moss
- Pruning shears
- Scalpel or small, sharp knife
- Rooting hormone powder
- Spray bottle filled with water
- Craft sticks, bamboo skewers or small plant stakes
- Plastic bag large enough to hold the planting container
- Heat mat
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Prepare the container
The planting container can be a plastic tub, an old bucket or planting pot, as long as whatever it is has holes in the bottom for drainage. Combine equal parts of coarse sand and peat moss. The peat moss may be a little dusty so if you’re sensitive to that sort of stuff, wear a dust mask. When it’s combined, run water over it. This is the probably the most frustrating part of the whole propagation. Peat moss is tough to combine so you may have to stir for quite some time to get it combined with the sand and moist. When it is, pour it into a gallon planting pot and set it aside to drain.
Take the blueberry cutting
Make sure your pruners are sharp and clean. Find a stem from last year’s growth that is the diameter of a pencil and take a 4- or 5- inch tip cutting. If you want to take more than one cutting, cut them from different branches so that they are all tip cuttings.
Use the scalpel or knife to lightly scrape the bark off the bottom inch of the cutting then dip it into the hormone powder. Make sure at least the bottom 2 inches are covered with the hormone. Stick it immediately into the sand/peat mixture in the pot, leaving the top one-fourth exposed. Spray the exposed portion of the cutting with water.
Insert the craft sticks into the soil around the edge of the pot. Equally space them so that one is at the top, bottom and either side. The sticks should extend higher than the cutting. Now insert the cutting into the plastic bag. Adjust it so that it is held away from the cutting by the craft sticks and seal the bag.
Put the heat mat somewhere that gets bright but indirect sun and turn the thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the bagged cutting on top of it and check to ensure the planting mix remains moist as the cutting takes root. This may take up to two months. When you see new foliage, open the bag halfway to allow air to circulate.
By the way, all blossoms during the first two years of growth should be removed. Otherwise they will stunt the blueberry plant’s growth.
If you want to root lowbush varieties it’s easy to do by digging up the rhizome, cut into 4-inch sections and root in perlite.
Photo Courtesy: Buyblueberrybushes.com