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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Poplarville, Mississippi » Southern Horticultural Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #277590

Title: Propagation of Vaccinium arboreum for use as a rootstock for commercial blueberries

item BOWERMAN, JESSICA - Auburn University
item SPIERS, JAMES - Auburn University
item CONEVA, ELINA - Auburn University
item TILT, KEN - Auburn University
item BLYTHE, EUGENE - Mississippi State University
item Shaw, Donna

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2010
Publication Date: 9/1/2011
Citation: Bowerman, J.R., Spiers, J.D., Coneva, E.D., Tilt, K., Blythe, E.K., Marshall, D.A. 2011. Propagation of Vaccinium arboreum for use as a rootstock for commercial blueberries. HortScience. 46(9):S297.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In recent years, there has been an increase in consumer demand for fresh blueberries throughout the year, which also increases the demand for sites suitable for growing blueberries. Commercial blueberries, particularly Vaccinium corymbosum, have very specific needs for optimum growth; hence, growing sites are limited. They require acidic soil (pH 4.0–5.5), good drainage, thorough aeration, and a constant moderate amount of moisture. V. corymbosum has a fibrous, shallow root system, making it susceptible to drought and wind damage. To overcome these restrictions, they could be grafted onto a plant adapted to less desirable growing conditions. One potential rootstock is V. arboreum, which has the ability to grow in many areas that could not be used for commercial blueberries. In the past, propagation of V. arboreum has been difficult, but there has not been much research on the subject. Currently, V. arboreum plants are commercially propagated from seeds. Asexual propagation techniques will be necessary for rapid clonal propagation of selected varieties of V. arboreum. The objective of this experiment was to identify an ideal way to propagate V. arboreum using stem cuttings. We determined rooting success of juvenile and mature tissue of hardwood and softwood cuttings subjected to different concentrations of rooting hormones. The results of this experiment can be used to determine the feasibility of using stem cuttings to commercially propagate selected varieties of V. arboreum.