CREA Research Centre for Vegetables and Ornamental Crops, Pescia PT, Italy
University of Florence, Department of Agriculture, Forestry, Food and Environment (DAGRI), Sesto Fiorentino FI, Italy
Corresponding author: Nin Stefania, CREA Research Centre for Vegetables and Ornamental Crops, Via dei Fiori 8, 51012 Pescia (PT), Italy. Tel.: +39 0572451033; Fax: +39 0572453309; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: BACKGROUND:There is no mention in the literature of vegetative propagation of Vaccinium myrtillus. OBJECTIVE:The aim of the study was to evaluate the rooting potential of bilberry rhizome and stem cuttings. METHODS:Rhizome and stem cuttings collected in early Autumn were dipped in different IBA solutions (0 – 2000 – 4000 mgL–1) and rooted in non-sterilized V. myrtillus soil and expanded perlite under controlled growth chamber environment or under mist with basal heating in a greenhouse for 12 weeks. RESULTS:Rhizome cuttings showed high rooting potential in plant growth regulator (PGR) free substrates. Conversely, stem cuttings took advantage from IBA treatments; this positive effect on rooting percentage was synergistically increased when rooted in agriperlite. A higher rooting capacity was achieved when rhizome and stem cuttings were placed in agriperlite, however number of developed roots and shoots were much higher when V. myrtillus turf was used as substrate. Mist and bottom heating did not improve rooting significantly. CONCLUSIONS:V. myrtillus can be successfully propagated both by rhizome and stem cuttings. With an overall rooting success of 56–68% and with a reasonably good growth rate, production of planting material from stem cuttings of V. myrtillus offers opportunities for a cheaper, practically feasible and technically less demanding alternative means of propagation.