Methods to Spread Blueberry Plants


There are several ways to propagate blueberries, and one of the easiest methods is through stem cuttings. Blueberries are typically grown in well-drained soil with adequate moisture and full sun. However, they can also tolerate partial shade, making them a versatile and desirable plant for many gardeners.

To start propagating blueberries, choose healthy stems that are pencil-thick and semi-hardwood. Cuttings should be taken in early to mid-summer when the plant is actively growing. Remove any flowers or fruit from the stems, as this helps the plant conserve energy during the propagation process.

The next step is to prepare the cuttings for rooting. Cut the stems into several 4 to 6-inch lengths, making sure each cutting has at least one or two pairs of healthy leaves. Dip the cut ends in a rooting hormone powder to stimulate root growth.

Blueberry cuttings can be rooted using a variety of methods. One common way is through direct planting in a propagation media. A well-drained media that retains moisture is ideal for blueberry propagation. Some gardeners choose to use a mix of peat moss and perlite to provide good drainage and humidity to the cuttings.

Once the blueberry cuttings are planted, they should be kept in a cool and shady area to prevent wilting or damage from direct heat. A high humidity environment is also necessary for successful propagation. Mist the cuttings regularly to maintain the required humidity level.

It may take several weeks or months for the blueberry cuttings to root and establish themselves. During this stage, it is important to keep the media moist but not overly saturated. Too much water can cause the cuttings to rot, while too little can lead to wilt and poor root development.

Blueberries are typically propagated in late summer or early fall, and the newly propagated plants can be transplanted in their permanent location the following spring. By propagating blueberries, you can ensure that you have a steady supply of these delicious fruits for years to come.

3 Tips to Propagate Blueberries from Cuttings + How to Do it

Propagating blueberries from cuttings is a great way to expand your blueberry plants without having to wait for the seeds to grow. It’s also a cost-effective method if you don’t want to purchase new plants every year. Here are three tips to help you successfully propagate blueberries from cuttings:

  1. Choose the right time: Blueberry cuttings should be taken in late winter or early spring, before the new growth starts. This is usually around late February to early March, depending on your climate. It’s important to take the cuttings during this time to give them enough time to develop roots before the growing season begins.
  2. Select the right cuttings: Look for semi-hardwood stems that are about one-half inch in diameter. These stems should be from the current year’s growth and have good leaf bud formation. Take cuttings that are about 4 to 6 inches in length, making sure to leave at least two leaf nodes on each cutting.
  3. Prepare the cuttings and start rooting: Remove the leaves from the lower one-third to one-half section of the cutting. Dip the base of the cutting in a rooting hormone powder to promote root growth. Plant the cuttings in a well-draining soil mix, making sure to keep the soil consistently moist. Place the cuttings in a shaded area with high humidity, such as a greenhouse. It’s important to mist the cuttings several times a day to keep them hydrated. Roots should start to form within 6 to 8 weeks.

When propagating blueberries from cuttings, it’s also important to keep in mind the hardiness of the varieties you are working with. Some blueberry varieties are more difficult to root than others, so you may need to experiment with different methods to find what works best for your specific plants.

By following these tips, you can increase your blueberry yields and provide yourself with a number of new plants for future seasons. Propagating blueberries from cuttings is a rewarding and cost-effective option for blueberry growers, and it’s a great way to expand your blueberry bushes without having to purchase new ones each year.

About Blueberries

Blueberries are a popular fruit that are often cultivated for their sweet taste and numerous health benefits. They are native to North America and belong to the Vaccinium genus. Blueberry plants can be propagated through various methods, including using cuttings and tissue culture.

When choosing blueberry plants for propagation, it is important to select a variety that is suitable for your region’s climate. Blueberries have different hardiness levels, so ensuring that the variety you choose can withstand the winter temperatures in your area is crucial.

Propagation by cuttings can be done in the early morning when the stems are relatively cool. Hardwood or semi-hardwood cuttings can be taken from the uppermost part of the mother bush. These cuttings should be around 2-3 inches long and can be dipped in rooting powder for better success.

Alternatively, blueberry plants can also be propagated through tissue culture. This method involves taking individual plant cells from the mother plant and transferring them to a media that promotes root growth. Tissue culture propagation is often done in a laboratory setting and requires specialized equipment and techniques.

Once the cuttings or tissue-cultured plants are rooted, they can be planted in a suitable soil mix. Blueberries prefer well-draining soil with a pH between 4.5 and 5.5. It is also important to ensure that the plants receive adequate sunlight, as blueberries thrive in full sun or partial shade.

During the propagation process, it is essential to provide the necessary care for the young plants. This includes regular misting to keep the leaves hydrated and monitoring for any signs of wilt or disease. The plants should also be placed in a cool and shaded area to prevent them from drying out.

Blueberries are known for their ability to grow into bushier plants with proper propagation. With the right techniques and care, the propagated blueberry plants can yield an abundant harvest in no time.

In conclusion, blueberry propagation can be an easy and cost-effective way for gardeners to start new plants. Whether using woody cuttings or tissue culture, the process requires attention to detail and the right conditions for success. By choosing the right variety, ensuring proper soil and light conditions, and providing the necessary care, gardeners can grow their own blueberry bushes and enjoy the delicious and nutritious fruits they produce.


There are many varieties of blueberries that can be propagated. The most common variety is the Vaccinium corymbosum, which is the master variety for blueberry growers. This variety produces the largest and juiciest berries, making it highly desired by both home gardeners and commercial growers.

Other popular varieties include the Blueray, which is known for its high fruit yields, and the Bluecrop, which is a vigorous and hardy variety that can tolerate colder climates. The Elliot variety is another popular choice, as it is a late-season variety that can be harvested well into the fall months.

When propagating blueberries, it is important to start with healthy plants that are free from any diseases or pests. Cuttings can be taken from the base of the blueberry bush, using a sharp knife or pruning shears. The cuttings should be about six inches long and should be taken from one-year-old hardwood stems. The bottom one-half of the leaves should be removed from the cutting, and the cut end should be dipped in a rooting hormone solution to promote root growth.

The cuttings should then be planted in a well-drained soil mixture, with the bottom half of the cutting buried in the soil. It is important to keep the soil consistently moist, but not overly wet, to prevent root rot. The cuttings should be placed in a location with bright, indirect light and should be kept in a high humidity environment, such as a plastic bag or a propagating tray with a cover. After a few weeks, roots should start to develop, and the cutting can be removed from the bag or tray and potted up in a larger container.

Blueberries can also be propagated by layering, which involves bending a low-growing branch to the ground and burying it in soil. After a few months, roots will form along the buried portion of the branch, and the new plant can be separated from the parent plant and potted up.

Overall, there are many ways to propagate blueberries, and each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. By taking the time and effort to propagate blueberries, gardeners can ensure that they have a constant supply of fresh, delicious berries for years to come.

Choosing Varieties Based on Hardiness

When propagating blueberries, it is important to choose varieties that are well-suited to your specific climate and growing conditions. The hardiness of a variety plays a crucial role in its ability to thrive and produce an abundant harvest.

Before selecting a blueberry variety, it is essential to assess the hardiness zone in which your area falls. Hardiness zones are a geographic system used in the United States to determine the suitability of various plants based on average annual minimum temperatures. Blueberries are typically hardy in zones 3 to 7, but some varieties can withstand even colder temperatures.

When choosing a blueberry variety, consider its ability to tolerate winter weather conditions. Some varieties may be more susceptible to cold damage, while others can endure frigid temperatures. It is advisable to consult local gardening guides or experienced growers in your area for recommendations.

Hardy blueberry varieties are often categorized as lowbush, highbush, or half-high. Lowbush varieties, such as the popular “Blueray” and “Fiery Bush,” are among the hardiest and can withstand harsh winter conditions. Highbush varieties, like “Pencil Blue” and “Woody Berry,” are also hardy but may require additional protection in colder climates. Half-high varieties, such as “Health Haven” and “Green Leaf,” are a cross between lowbush and highbush and offer intermediate hardiness.

There are several methods of blueberry propagation, including taking cuttings or using sucker plants. When propagating from cuttings, it is best to use either hardwood or softwood cuttings. Hardwood cuttings are taken from mature, dormant wood, while softwood cuttings are taken from new, green growth. It is important to thoroughly scout the mother bush for potential disease or damage before taking cuttings.

To root blueberry cuttings, dip the bottom end in a rooting hormone solution and then stick them in a well-drained soil mixture. Provide plenty of shade and humidity for the cuttings to prevent excessive evaporation. It is best to start cuttings in the early morning when the air is cool and the plants are less likely to wilt.

When purchasing blueberry bushes, it is advisable to buy plants that have been propagated from cuttings rather than from seeds. Cuttings from a known variety ensure that the new plants will have the same characteristics as the mother plant, such as size, fruit quality, and hardiness. Seed-propagated blueberry bushes often vary widely in their characteristics and may not meet your desired criteria.

In conclusion, when choosing blueberry varieties for propagation, it is essential to consider their hardiness based on your specific hardiness zone. Selecting hardy varieties that can withstand cold temperatures and harsh winter conditions will increase your chances of having a successful and productive blueberry garden. Be sure to use the appropriate propagation methods, such as rooting cuttings, and provide the necessary care and conditions for the plants to thrive.

✿ Read More About Berries and Vine Fruits.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.