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I sold my soul to The_Blob. He had candy...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter came back from West Virginia with a surprise for me.

She dug up a wild blueberry plant. Picture a "Charlie Brown Christmas tree" with very few little roots. No dirt bulb, she stuck it in a bottle of water. What do I do with this to try to grow it here? Or should I just strip the leaves off (I wanted the leaves to dry for teas) and call it a loss?

She basically did the same thing with Milkweed. I wanted the roots, she brought me whole plants with tiny roots.

Should I try a rooting compound? Just stick them in the garden? HELP!
 

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The wanderer
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Don't strip off all the leaves. Cut the plant down to where only the bottom few leaves are left. Then go ahead and harvest the leaves off the top parts that you've cut off, for your tea. (great idea, by the way!)

When you plant it, make sure your soil is acidic. You can buy blueberry food/compound that would help balance the soil. If you can't find that, look for Azalea (spelling?) food, since they grow in the same kind of soil.

I've heard people say you should prune the roots too, but I never have. It seems to me that the more root, the better chance the plant has of taking off.

The branches will grow back quickly next year.

I don't know about Milkweed specifically, but I'd try the same thing, I'd cut the tops back, then plant them.

In both cases, water deeply every day for a week, then drop to twice a week, then once a week. DEEPLY, not a light watering!

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
 

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I sold my soul to The_Blob. He had candy...
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1,799 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the information. I'll give it a try and hope for the best.

I wanted the leaves for the tea because I have a nephew with Type 1 Diabetes. From what I have found out on the net and my herb books it can be useful for him if his meds become hard to get/find. He is on an insulin pump.

Then after doing more research, I found that it was useful for many other things. Here is one link to more information.

Buy Blueberry Leaf For Diabetes, Blood Sugar and Other Benefits

Now I need to find something to replace my sons seizure medication, just in case. He has epilepsy.
 

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I too would keep as many roots as possible, and I would not cut too much of the top off either.. I have a few plants going and I have wild ones in a sheltered spot in the wild.. they do not grow that fast, and might take a year or two staying at about the same size, recovering from being transplanted. Thanks for the site on blueberry leaves and diabetes as my hubby has type 2. He is doing better with his and is almost back to normal, diet and exercise. Dr. is planning on reducing his meds again! Not sure about milk weed tho-depending on the type they have huge tap roots and don't take real well to transplant- but if my patch does well I might have seeds later this year.. I might be cash poor but I can swing a couple bucks for postage on a pack of seeds.. These are the big common ones.. my swamp milk weed hasn't bloomed in a year or so, too much shade..:(
 

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The wanderer
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That's great info, about the blueberry leaves for type 1 diabetes. That's one of the hard ones to plan for, in case the SHTF.

I've heard that by pruning the plant it gives the roots less to take care of while they're getting established. If they're in really, really, good shape and not wilty at all, they might be okay if you don't prune them. But since you want the leaves anyway and it will bige th eplant a boost to not have to maintain all those branches, you might as well.

I have blueberries in my garden and they don't grow as fast as raspberries, but they do grow pretty quickly.

We just got home from 6 hours of huckleberry picking on the mountain, got about 4 gallons and my back is kiling me! They're basically wild blueberries, at least the ones we have here are.
 

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The wanderer
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Might depend on the variety? I put in "Northland" blueberries from gurney, a few years ago. Might also depend on the soil, water, temperature, humidity/general moisture?

Biggest problem I had getting them started here was amending the soil so they would grow. I still have to add the acidic blueberry food twice a year. Mulching with pine needles wasn't doing it.
 

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Partyin' like it's 1699
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I read the title of this thread too quickly, and thought "Why on earth is someone trying to cross wild blueberry with a milkweed plant?!" LOL! Like everyone else said, lots and lots of acid-boosting supplements for blueberry bushes. I've considered planting a few myself. Our house is surrounded by old oaks and the soil is highly acidic from all the years of oak leaves breaking down. (However this didn't seem to matter to our rhododendron, which is almost dead. I dont think it likes the heat.)
 

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The wanderer
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I read the title of this thread too quickly, and thought "Why on earth is someone trying to cross wild blueberry with a milkweed plant?!" LOL!
ROTFL! That sounds like a joke in the making! Hmmm...blueberries and milkweed...let's see...a SMOOTHIE ON THE STALK!

Sure, OFM, blueberry plants should do well there. Delicious treat too. Gurney has some on sale through September 8th and I'm thinking of putting in a few more too. Some day I'll be too old to climb all over the mountainside picking the wild ones. After 6 hours yesterday my back thought it was pretty old!

Hey, mdprepper, how are the little plantlings doing? From what I hear of the weather back there it would be a challenging time to plant anything!
 
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