Blueberry Propagation : How To Grow Blueberries From Cuttings

Know how to grow blueberries from cuttings and by layering method. Blueberries are one of the top super foods as they contain more cancer-fighting antioxidants (antioxidant rich foods, health benefits of blueberries) than any other fruit or vegetable. The question is how to reproduce blueberry plants easily.

In Sydney, Australia blueberry plants are quite expensive, so I have propagated them from softwood and hardwood stem cuttings. The success rate is quite good, but needs patience.


Propagating Blueberries From Cuttings

I am sharing my experiences on how to reproduce, propagate and clone  blueberries bushes from softwood and hardwood cuttings so that you can get free blueberry plants from a blueberry bush. 
Blueberries can be propagated from seeds, cuttings and by layering method. I started my experiment of propagating blueberry bushes a few years ago. I describe below the tips and method of starting blueberries from softwood and hardwood cuttings which give a very high success rate.

Note that the other methods of blueberry propagation starting from air layering can also result in high success.

The hardwood cuttings are easier to handle but take longer time to root. The softwood cuttings allow more rapid multiplication. However, both procedures yield highly healthy plants.

I have not tried rooting a blueberry cutting by simply putting it in water.

What You Need For Propagating Blueberries?

  1. A blueberry bush.
  2. A clean sharp knife or pruning shears.
  3. Rooting medium in a small pot.
  4. Rooting hormone.
  5. A polythene bag with tie.

How To Take Blueberry Cuttings For Propagation

The most important step in starting a blueberry plant from cuttings is to take a cutting. Start early in the morning.
  1. You should not take cuttings from diseased and stressed blueberry plants.
  2. Cuttings should be planted as soon as possible.
  3. Avoid highly branched shoots and branches with flower buds.
  4. The optimum diameter for cuttings is 4 - 6 mm, and 4 to 6 inch long with about 4 buds.
  5. Cut stem directly above the highest bud and a slant cut just below the lowest bud. Remove the lower set of leaves leaving top 2 sets.
  6. Cut each of the upper leaves into half.

rooting hormone
Rooting Hormone
Pruning Shears
Pruning Shears

When To Start Blueberry Propagation

Successful growing of blueberries from cuttings needs a temperature around 21°C (70 °F), so summer is the best time for propagation. The best time to propagate blueberries is when the temperature start to warm up.

Softwood Cutting

Take cuttings during the growing season about 6 weeks after new growth and before flower buds form.

Hardwood Cutting

Take cuttings when the plants are dormant. Cuttings should be taken from the previous season’s early growth (i.e. 1 year old stem) and be well matured and firm. Avoid bruising or crushing of the tissue while making cuttings.

Simple Propagation Steps

  1. Fill the pot with the rooting mix and water well before planting. The rooting medium can be a mixtures of peat or pertile and sand. I used equal amounts of potting mix and river sand. Insert a pencil size stick into the soil of the pot reaching up to 1 inch above the base. Take out the pencil. 
  2. Put the lower part (basal end) of the cutting into the commercial rooting hormone powder and shake off the extra powder. You can use any of the homemade rooting hormones, I have used diluted honey as the best rooting hormone for blueberries.
  3. Insert the cutting vertically into the hole (step 1, don't push) and firm it. Do not water it. 
  4. Put the pot in a polythene bag and tie the top end and place it in shade. This way the cutting will be under high humid environment. After a few days, you will notice water condensing on the inside of the bag.
  5. Planted Cutting for Blueberry Propagation
    Cutting for propagation
    New Growth in Softwood Cutting
    Growth in
    Softwood Cutting
    New Growth in Hardwood Cutting
    Growth in
    Hardwood Cutting
  6. Each week, untie the pot and watch the progress. Add a little water if necessary. Ensure that water does not condense on the plant and the leaves not wilting, if this happens then open the bag for some time.
  7. First you will notice that one or two buds swell and shoot formation occurs. Don't just remove the bag at this stage. The cuttings will not grow after this until they begin to root.
  8. When the color of the leaves begin to change to green, it means that the roots are forming. Keep the bag slightly opened for one week to allow exposure to the outside environment. After one week remove the bag completely. Let the new plant sit in shade for another 2 weeks. Water regularly.
  9. Then place the pot in a position to allow morning sun for 4-5 weeks, by that time a few set of leaves will be formed. The plant has now established young roots but you should not transfer it to a bigger pot at this stage as the roots are very thin and delicate.
  10. The plant is now ready to be placed in full sun. In about a month time it will develop a more fibrous root system. 
  11. Take out the new plant and transfer it to a bigger pot containing acidic soil (how to make soil acidic for blueberries). Add a 3 inch layer of mulch. Don't give any fertilizer for the next 3-4 weeks.


You may put more than one cutting in one pot. Put the plant in water and remove all the sand to carefully separate the rooted cuttings to transfer the young plants into bigger plants. How to grow blueberries in pots.

How much time is required for root formation?

Depends on with what kind of cutting you want to propagate. I have tried both the hardwood and the softwood cuttings. Softwood cuttings taken in spring will root faster then hard wood or semi hardwood cuttings taken in late summer to early fall. The following times for first shoot are expected:

Hardwood cuttings take up to about 10 weeks to root. Success rate 50-70%.
Softwood cuttings take up to 2-6 weeks to root. High success rate, almost 100%.

Fertilization For Blueberry Bushes

The plant can die if any kind of fertilizer is mixed into the rooting medium. Be careful even if you have transferred the plant into the bigger pot. Always add fertilizer at the rim of the pot, i.e. away from the plant.

Watch video on blueberries

Video on Blueberries

how to grow blueberries from cuttings youtube video
How to grow blueberries in containers video
List of Plants that grow from softwood cuttings
Simple method to propagate plants from cuttings
Growing Blueberries by cuttings, Blueberry propagation
See Blueberry flowers and fruits
Blackberry propagation by layering
How to make acidic soil quickly for blueberries video

Blueberry Propagation by Layering

  1. Cut a branch right back to three or four buds from the ground. 
  2. Cover the whole branch with compost making a mound.
  3. New shoots will emerge from the soil after a few months. Add more compost to the mound.
  4. Wait for about 10-12 months when new roots are formed, cut the branch and plant them in the ground or new pot.


Jack August 17, 2015 8:18 AM
I tried to grow new blueberry plants from cuttings as suggested by you. A few leaves grew, but when i removed the cover, the plant died. What happened? Please guide me.
P. Mehta August 18, 2015 7:31 AM
You should not remove the cover as soon as you see the new growth. Opened the bag slightly for a few days to allow exposure to the outside environment. After one week remove the bag completely. Let the new plant sit in shade for some more days.
Rabelad November 03, 2015 7:33 PM
Very interesting article, but I notice that there was no information as to what time of the year one should attempt to propagate blueberries. Or better, which SEASON of the year - should one attempt propagation of blueberries? You mentioned that there in Sydney blueberry plants are quite expensive, which implies that you live in Australia. So the reason I asked about which season is that I will have to adjust timing of propagation as we live in a much more temperate area of the northern hemisphere - the Judean Mountains of Israel. Here we live on the central mountain ridge with a mild temperate zone where the rest of Israel in lower elevations is sub-tropical to tropical. Here our deciduous fruit trees and vines drop their leaves around the beginning of January and winter commences in earnest at that time, with occasional snow and sub freezing temps until about late February. By March our deciduous trees and grape vines start to wake up. So if you would kindly advise when to carry out both soft and hard wood propagation for blueberries I'd really appreciate it. Thank you!
P. Mehta November 05, 2015 9:48 AM
Blueberries will not start from cutting in cold winters. Start when it becomes warm, around 20 deg C (68 deg F), possibly beginning of summer.
Kristin Bennett February 14, 2016 5:54 AM
Thanks for this detailed post, I have about four potted blueberry plants and I'm looking for ways to propagate them so that I can put a few in the ground..this looks great!
P. Mehta February 14, 2016 7:58 AM
Thanks Kristin. Good luck!. I have propagated many blueberry cuttings. You start propagation when it warms up and follow the steps given above.
Kerry April 25, 2016 7:28 AM
Can I propagate blueberries from cuttings in winter time.
Kerry April 25, 2016 7:47 AM
After reading the above article, now i know that the blueberry cuttings will not propagate at low temperatures. They need temperature more than 20 deg C to root. Anonymous May 20, 2016 9:05 AM Did you try winter cuttings brought indoors to root? I haven't tried blueberries yet, but have had moderate success with other plant/tree cuttings in the winter. I keep my indoor greenhouse between 75-81. I have about a dozen bay laurel cuttings currently rooting that i cut back in february in the pacific northwest.
Anonymous June 08, 2016 9:36 AM
Hell of an article - best I found - re blueberry propation! Thank you very much.
Gemma May 05, 2017 4:53 PM
Any tips for a blueberry plant that has snapped off at the base? My Toddler crashed into it on his bike. We are coming into winter.
P. Mehta May 05, 2017 5:34 PM
1. If the plant has some roots at the bottom, replant it in a pot. If the roots are very small, or ever you see a thin small root, re-pot it and trim most of the leaves. Feed some seaweed solution.
2. If the roots are still inside the soil, then new branches will emerge after winter. keep the pot damp
Grant Myers May 24, 2017 11:10 PM
Also on step 5 are these cuts you make to the cutting or instructions on how to take the cutting?
P. Mehta May 25, 2017 12:08 AM
Step 5 for how to take cuttings os for yhe cuttings you have already taken.
Anonymous November 20, 2017 9:24 PM
Congratulations on the excellent article!
I also have some experience in the propagation of blueberries. My experience tells me if you use a greenhouse you can propagate throughout the year. Just buy a small greenhouse with electric heater, does the work easier. Using root riot is simpler and cleaner.Hope it helps.