|Written by Dena Bolton|
Blueberries are considered one of the power foods, and it is no wonder. One cup of blueberries contains only 82 calories. You also get at least one-third of the recommended daily requirement of vitamin C along with a little over 3 grams of fiber, some potassium, and very little sodium and fat. Sometimes blueberries can be rather expensive to buy, however.
Growing your own blueberries cannot only be less expensive, it can be quite rewarding. It is actually rather easy to grow your own blueberry bushes and just as easy to increase your stock through propagation. Rooting blueberry plants from stem cuttings can be fairly easy if you follow a few simple steps. If you do so, you will soon have enough blueberry bushes to feed your habit.
You will need:
â€˘1 bag of seed starting mix
â€˘Brown paper bags â€“ luncheon size
â€˘1 bottle of rooting hormone
â€˘Clear plastic bags
Step 1:Â Fill the luncheon-size brown paper bags with the seed starting mix. You definitely want to such a mix, because it is specifically designed for starting new plants. In addition, it is sterile and does not contain diseases that may be found in compost and regular garden soil and that can be passed on to your cuttings.
The paper bags can be planted directly in the ground when your blueberry bushes are ready to be moved outside or into a large container. This is a great way to avoid transplant shock, because the roots are not disturbed by being moved from one container to another or into the ground.
Step 2:Â Take soft-tip cuttings in the early spring right after the blueberry bushes have flowered. The cutting should be 6-8 inches long with the cut being made about Â˝-inch below the leaf node.Â Also, be sure to make the cut on a 45-degree angle.
Step 3:Â Strip off the bottom leaves from your cuttings. You need to only have a very few leaves at the top of the cuttings.
Step 4:Â Poke a hole into the seed starting mix. You do not need anything fancy to do this. In fact, your finger will work nicely. (You can use a pencil if you have a problem with getting dirt in your nails.)
Step 5:Â Dip the end of the cuttings into the rooting hormone and then plant in the seed starting mix.
Step 6:Â Water well and cover with a clear plastic bag. Place in a warm, bright spot; however, you do not want your cuttings to receive direct sunlight.
Step 7:Â Open the plastic bag for about 10-15 minutes each day to allow the air to circulate and water when necessary.Â (You want to keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy.) You can remove the plastic bag after the cuttings have started to take root. (You will either begin to notice some new growth or some resistance when you try to gently lift the cuttings from the soil.)
Step 8:Â Plant your bags of cuttings in the ground after they have taken root. Usually you will do this in the summer.
â€˘Plant your blueberry bushes in very acid, sandy loam, well-drained soil. Can be grown in containers if you do not have acid soil.
â€˘Blueberries like to get at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.
â€˘Keep your blueberry bushes evenly moist during their flowering and berry-bearing periods.
â€˘First-year blueberry cuttings do not always survive. If you have trouble with the survival rate of your cuttings, keep them in a container until the second year before transplanting them into your garden.