How to Propagate Blueberries

by Marcie
close up of two big ripe blueberries on a blueberry bush

Propagating blueberries is easier and faster than going to the store and buying a plant. Of course, you have to already have mature blueberry plants or have a friend who has some. Ask if you can take a few of the root suckers and I’m sure they’ll let you.

At the foot of the bush you’ll notice new canes (branches) coming off the roots and growing up. I dig with a spade around it to figure out the exact location it’s coming off the roots. Then I half cut, half rip it off of the root. I use the spade and a sawing motion to saw it off. Just because I’m too lazy and forgot to bring clippers with me. If you have clippers, you can clip it off too. I gather 5-7 of these or as many as you want. Not all of them have worked for me, so the more I get, the more likely I’ll have a few that work.

I dig a big, deep hole, about 12″ deep if they are long branches, 6″ if they are short little canes. Shorter is more likely to work and stay alive, but I’m so anxious to have a big bush that I cut 3-4′ canes and plant the whole thing. In that case a 12″ deep hole is needed to hold the long canes in. Anyway, dig a hole that is at least 5-6 feet away from your other bushes and put your new canes in it. Cover it up and water daily.

The picture on the left shows Samuel pruning the dead twigs and branches off one of our blueberry bushes last February. The one on the right shows Madalyn and Makenna helping to plant the long (6-7 feet) branches I took from our blueberry bushes. These actually didn’t work. They were too long and never did put out roots. In the summer I tried again.

Propagating Blueberries Second Try

In September when it was obvious the first blueberries did not propagate, I tried again. This time I made sure to only get branches straight from the roots/root suckers of the original plant. I also took shorter ones than the first time. These were only 3-4 feet tall. I pulled out the dead ones that didn’t work and stuck these ones in instead. I watered it, put some mulch on it, and it worked! It’s now January and they have survived the winter. I really hope to see some blueberries on it this year!

Hopefully this helps you learn how to propagate blueberries. I love propagating things and think you should give it a try. It’s a fun experiment. If you already have a plant you love, why buy more of the same kind? Just take some of the original and try to get it to propagate. I’ve also tried blackberries (easy), celery (even easier), lettuce (just as easy), azaleas (fairly easy), Christmas trees (hard). See everything I’ve tried here. I’m not a professional gardener, I just love to try and see what happens. It’s free and gives me a sense of accomplishment. What are you going to try? Tell me how it goes!

I’ve always dreamed of having my own blueberry bushes and I was thrilled to find this house came with lots. Three in the front yard and a hundred overgrown ones on a hill by the road. I love picking, eating, and preserving them. Hope you get a lot too!

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Mark Goings March 12, 2023 - 7:45 am

Have you ever tried Knock-out roses? I took cuttings back in January and used honey for root toner. In less than a week the buds opened up and leaves started to grow. The leaves grew until about a week ago, then wilted and fell off. No roots ever developed.

Marcie March 12, 2023 - 8:17 am

I haven’t tried roses yet. I did transplant a rose bush I found in the shade on my property. I split it into 2 bushes and put both of them in the sun in my yard. One is doing great and is huge. The other is doing fine but not as big. I think it gets too much rain from the roof and doesn’t get to dry out enough. Maybe I’ll try a cutting sometime. Did you put yours in water or dirt or where?

Mark Goings March 12, 2023 - 7:46 am

Would you suggest another method?

Marcie March 12, 2023 - 8:24 am

Taking shoots from the root of the blueberry bush is the method I recommend. I have had almost 100% success with it. I’ve tried taking pieces I’ve pruned, dipping them in cinnamon and planting them but with a very low success rate. I think only 1 or 2 has worked for me that way out of 10. Good luck!

Mark Goings March 12, 2023 - 7:49 am

I have access to several large blueberry bushes. Is it too late to get some started by the method you described?

Marcie March 12, 2023 - 8:20 am

No, it’s not too late! I just did some a few days ago. If you’re taking shoots that have some roots, I believe any time during the growing season will work (at least for my area). I’ve had success spring, summer, and fall.

Mark Goings May 3, 2023 - 1:28 pm

I put the roses in water then dirt but they didn’t make it. I’m sorry it took me so long to respond back. I’m so use to getting notifications on my phone. I didn’t even know you had looked at my comments until today. I guess I should have checked. But anyway I do appreciate the information. I really enjoyed doing this kinda stuff. I have started what some people call snow ball bushes from cuttings I took last fall. I’m going to look up your email and I’ll send you some pictures. By the way I’m not sure if you know me, but I’ve come to a few of the single adult activities. I’m in the Dobson Ward. I remembered seeing that you were looking for egg cartons. If you still need some I have several. Just let me know. I’ll try to check here more often to see your response. Or you can email me directly. Maybe I’ll get a chance to get out and get some of the blueberry root shoots.


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