Blackcurrant is a unique culture in every respect. It's no secret that the berries of this plant are a real storehouse of vitamins and minerals, and leaves and buds are a valuable ingredient not only in cooking, but also in medicine. The bushes of this culture begin to smell fragrant in the spring one of the first and until the very late autumn delight the eye with lush greenery. Well, for gardeners unpretentious blackcurrant is a real joy, because its cultivation and care of the bushes does not cause much trouble. But, like any culture, blackcurrant requires updating over time. Its reproduction is a simple and feasible task even for beginners. The main thing is to know how to do it right.
Propagation of blackcurrant by cuttings: what are the advantages
There is an opinion that currants can bear fruit for twenty years or more and engage in its rejuvenation is completely pointless. This is not entirely true. The maximum productivity of blackcurrant is observed from the fourth to the eighth year of life. In subsequent years, productivity decreases, berries become smaller, their number decreases. In addition, an old and weakened plant is more susceptible to the negative effects of diseases and parasites. We should also not forget that under the long-lived bush the soil is depleted. Therefore, the need to update this culture does exist.
Independently propagate blackcurrant in several ways:
- cuttings (survival rate 85-90%);
- layering (survival rate of 100%);
- division of the bush (survival rate of 100%);
You can grow a bush of currants even from seeds. Only the probability that the seeds will inherit all the properties of the variety and the bush will be full, is extremely low.
The most popular, despite the complexity of the process and the lesser survival rate, is cuttings. This is explained by the fact that it is possible to procure a large amount of planting material. But the most important advantage is that the seedlings obtained from the cuttings retain all the varietal qualities of the mother bush.
Harvesting cuttings: when and how
Gardeners harvest blackcurrant cuttings throughout the year except for the winter period. However, cuttings in each season has its own nuances. In the summer, as a rule, green shoots are used for cuttings, and in the spring and autumn they are numb. In any case, it is important to choose the right mother bush.
Cuttings in the summer
The best time for harvesting cuttings in the summer is not earlier than mid-June and no later than the first decade of July, i.e., the period when the currant is at the stage of active growth. Green cuttings are made from a well-developed annual shoot, with a stiffened lower part and an elastic top not breaking when bent in the following order:
- the tool (pruner or knife) is treated with boiling water;
- selected shoots are cut from the bush;
- the top and the stiffened part of the shoot are not used as cuttings (the top will take root quickly, but it is unlikely to winter, and the bottom will not take root at all);
- cuttings 15-20 cm long are cut from the central part of the shoot by an oblique cut, at least three leaves must remain on each of them;
- the two lower leaves are removed along with the cuttings, and one third is left from the upper one, so that the moisture evaporates not so quickly.
Cuttings are ready. Plant them immediately. If this is not possible, then they are temporarily placed in water and covered with polyethylene.
High humidity is very important for green cuttings, therefore it is recommended to plant them in a greenhouse, in extreme cases - in a greenhouse. Before planting, the soil must be prepared - to loosen and water. Cuttings are buried in the soil on 2 lower buds necessarily at an angle of 450. Then they need to be mulled with peat 3-5 cm layer and cover with a film.
The plantation of green cuttings should be necessarily shaded. Under direct sunlight, the shoots simply "weld".
Until the root system is formed, green cuttings require careful care:
- systematic watering at least every other day;
- daily airing for several hours;
- spraying to maintain humidity;
- top dressing in the form of nitrogen-containing fertilizers with a frequency of once every 2-3 weeks.
After three weeks, we check whether the seedlings have taken root. This can be done by pulling the top of the bore. If rooting has occurred, then a slight resistance will be felt.
A film simulating a mini-greenhouse can be replaced with cropped plastic bottles.
A month after planting, the polyethylene is removed, and in the fall, seedlings are transplanted for permanent residence.
Next year, in spring, one long shoot will be pulled from the cuttings, therefore, to get a full bush, experts recommend planting 3-4 cuttings in the hole.
Video: Green blackcurrant cuttings
How to cut black currants in spring and autumn
Many summer residents combine blackcurrant cuttings with their planned pruning in spring. During this period, as well as in autumn, cuttings are harvested from woody one-two-year-old shoots (the diameter should not be less than 5 mm). Twigs 15-20 cm long are cut from their middle. The principle of creating the cuttings is the same as with green cuttings: the upper cut is made 1 cm above the kidney, and the lower one immediately below the kidney.
Harvested in autumn cuttings are not recommended for planting in the ground - they are unlikely to survive the winter. In this case, they can be stored until spring or germinated in a substrate.
It is possible to save woody cuttings in a cool place: in the basement, in the refrigerator, or even in a snowdrift. But first they need to be prepared. So that the moisture does not evaporate so quickly, the cuttings are dipped in liquid paraffin or wax, and then placed in polyethylene and in a cool place until spring. During the winter period, it is better to unfold the knot several times and check whether mold has appeared there and if twigs are shut up.
The best option for waiting by cuttings of a spring planting is to root them in a substrate. To do this, you must:
- Select individual containers (pots or glasses) with a volume of at least 0.5 liters.
- Place drainage at the bottom of the vessel, for example, vermiculite or perlite.
- Pour the prepared soil mixture from earth, sand and peat in equal proportions.
- Deepen the cuttings on the two lower buds and squeeze the earth around the seedling to avoid the formation of voids.
To form the roots, it is important to provide the temperature regime and humidity level necessary for the plant. At room temperature, the seedlings will be quite comfortable, but they will have to be sprayed often - at least twice a day.
When sprouting currant petioles at home, flowers and ovaries may appear on the branches. They are recommended to be cut off, since flowering of a plant in pots will weaken the root system, which will subsequently affect the productivity of the bush planted in the ground.
With the onset of spring, rooted petioles can be planted in the ground in a pre-prepared area. The main thing is to do this when the risk of frost will be minimal.
How to cut it properly: highlights
Blackcurrant lends itself well to vegetative propagation. But despite the simplicity of the grafting process, following certain rules will increase the likelihood of success:
- We pay attention to the choice of the mother bush. It should be a healthy-looking plant, with maximum yield and the most pleasant taste of berries.
- Cuttings are best done in cloudy weather or in the early morning on dew.
- For better rooting of the petioles, experts recommend soaking them before planting in a growth stimulator (for example, in “Heteroauxin”) for a day.
- In the soil stalks must be placed at an angle of 450. So it will be easier for them to winter.
- The composition of the soil also affects the survival rate of cuttings. It is best to use a mixture of earth, compost and river sand. You can also add sawdust.
- The first three weeks, watering should be plentiful and regular.
- Spraying is a prerequisite for cutting blackcurrant. The optimum is observed compliance with soil moisture at 80%, and air - 90%.
- When planting seedlings in a permanent place, planting density is important. It depends on the variety of currant - for branched varieties of space requires more than for varieties with a straight and narrow crown.
- Fertilizes seedlings 3-4 times a season. Organic fertilizers (manure, bird droppings) or complex additives (Fertika Lux, Zdraven Turbo at the rate of 1 teaspoon per 5 liters of water) are best suited.
So, observing these simple rules, everyone can grow full-grown blackcurrant bushes from small cuttings, moreover, without any special financial costs. Most importantly, the cuttings make it possible not only to rejuvenate the berry, but also to expand the varietal composition, borrowing several shoots of the bush from a neighbor.