Blueberries

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Botanical name: Vaccinium

Plant type: Fruit

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Any

Soil pH: Acidic


The modern blueberry is a 20th century invention. Before the 1900s, the only way to enjoy these North American natives was to find them in the wild. Then, scientists started to unlock the secrets of cultivating blueberries, and we’re glad they did!  Plump, juicy berries are now easy to grow in your backyard on bushes that are resistant to most pests and diseases, and can produce for up to 20 years. A relative of rhododendron and azalea, blueberry bushes are also an attractive addition to your overall landscape, offering scarlet fall foliage and creamy white spring flowers.

There are three types of blueberries: highbush, lowbush and hybrid half-high. The most commonly planted blueberry is the highbush. Most blueberry breeding has focused on this species, so there are many varieties that range widely in cold hardiness and fruit season, size, and flavor. See more about blueberry varieties below.
 

Planting

  • Blueberries are picky about soil. They require one that is acidic, high in organic matter, and well-drained yet moist. pH should ideally be between 4 and 5.
  • Bushes should be planted in the early spring. If available, one to three-year-old plants are a good choice. Be sure to go to a reputable nursery.
  • Dig holes about 20 inches deep and 18 inches wide.
  • Space bushes about 5 feet apart.
  • Apply fertilizer one month after planting, not at time of planting.

Care

  • Mulch to keep shallow blueberry root systems moist, which is essential. Apply a 2-4 inch layer of woodchips, saw dust or pine needles after planting.
  • Supply one to two inches of water per week.
  • For the first four years after planting, there is no need to prune blueberry bushes. From then on, pruning is needed to stimulate growth of the new shoots that will bear fruit the following season.
  • Drape netting over ripening blueberries, so that the birds won't make away with the entire crop.
  • Prune plants in late winter, preferably just before growth begins.
  • On highbush varieties, begin with large cuts, removing wood that is more than six years old, drooping to the ground, or crowding the center of the bush. Also remove low-growing branches whose fruit will touch the ground, as well as spindly twigs.
  • Prune lowbush blueberries by cutting all stems to ground level. Pruned plants will not bear the season following pruning, so prune a different half of a planting every two years (or a different third of a planting every three years).
  • Do not allow the bush to produce fruit for the first couple of years. Pinch back blossoms, this will help to stimulate growth.
     

Pests

Harvest/Storage

  • Blueberries will be ready for picking in late July-mid August.
  • Don’t rush to pick the berries as soon as they turn blue. Wait a couple days. When they are ready, they should fall off right into your hand.
  • Be aware that full production is reached after about 6 years.
  • Blueberries are one of the easiest fruits to freeze. Wash, dry thoroughly, and pop them in the freezer in a plastic container with a lid or a plastic bag. You’ll have berries all winter long.

Recommended Varieties

Blueberries are partially self-fertile, so you will harvest more and larger berries by planting two or more varieties. Planting more than one variety can also extend the harvest season.

Highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum): A six-foot shrub adapted from Zone 4 to Zone 7. For withstanding cold winters, choose 'Bluecrop', 'Blueray', 'Herbert', 'Jersey', or 'Meader'. For big berries, choose 'Berkeley', 'Bluecrop', 'Blueray', 'Coville', 'Darrow', or 'Herbert'. For flavor, usually the main reason for growing your own fruit, choose 'Blueray', 'Darrow', 'Herbert', 'Ivanhoe', 'Pioneer', 'Stanley', or 'Wareham'.

Lowbush (V. angustifolium):For the coldest climates, lowbush varieties are your best bet, adapted from Zone 3 to Zone 7. These are the blueberries you find in cans on supermarket shelves. When fresh, the fruits are sweet and covered with a waxy bloom so thick that the berries appear sky blue or gray. The creeping plants, a foot or so high, are spread by underground stems, or rhizomes. They blanket the rocky upland soils of the Northeast and adjacent portions of Canada. Lowbush blueberries make a nice ornamental fruiting ground cover. Plants sold by nurseries are usually seedlings or unnamed wild plants, rather than named varieties.

Half-High: Breeders have combined qualities of highbush and lowbush blueberries into hybrids known as half-high blueberries. University of Minnesota introductions include 'Northcountry', a variety that grows 18 to 24 inches high and has excellent, mild-flavored, slightly aromatic sky-blue fruits; and 'Northblue', which grows 20 to 30 inches high and produces an abundance of dark-blue, nickel-size, somewhat tart fruits-just right for pies. 'Northland' is a half-high-3 to 4 feet-from Michigan, with bland, average-quality fruit.

Recipes

Wit & Wisdom

In Ireland, baskets of blueberries are still offered to a sweetheart in commemoration of the original fertility festival of Lammas Day, celebrated on August 1.

Comments

I live in Illinois, and the

By Dave Brian on August 24

I live in Illinois, and the PH of the soil is around 6. I've applied soil acidifier, and have mixed in peat moss, but the PH hasn't declined much. So if I go ahead and plant the blueberries, and the PH stays high for awhile, what will happen? Will the plants die, or will they live but not produce any blueberries? Or will they make blueberries, but they'll be few and far between and puny in size? Thanks for your help!

I live in the Toronto,

By dllfb on August 21

I live in the Toronto, Ontario area. I was given a pot with three varieties of blueberry plants in it. It was bought like this at a local garden centre. It's quite lovely with an abundance of blueberries on it.
The tag attached states that it's "a cold resistant fruiting shrub and self polinating....great to plant in the garden but our decorative pot makes them right at home on the patio." It also states it will grow to 2.5' high and 3' wide.
I don't believe my garden would have enough sun for this plant so I was hoping I could leave it in the pot on our patio. Will this be ok with our cold snowy winters? What do you suggest that I do please? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks so much in advance!

If you can't move the

By Almanac Staff on August 22

If you can't move the container into an unheated garage or shed the best thing to do is to dig a big hole and "plant" the container with the blueberries in the hole. Bury it deep enough so that the top of the container is slightly covered with soil. Fill in around the container as you would with a plant and then add mulch on top of the soil for extra protection.

hello I'm from Bulgaria and I

By Ivan Dimitrov Lambrev on August 17

hello I'm from Bulgaria and I want to sow 15 acres of blueberries. will you give me information on what varieties is better to buy, how to look, what they cost for 4500 units. Could you send me Email varieties here with us because PH is 4.50 to 5.50 and from May to September is 25 to 40 degrees. Can you give me advice on what to do and how to do it. Thank you.

I want planting the

By D.D.Chaniyara

I want planting the Blueberries in India Gujarat State
Soil--black cottan
Temp-summer-25 to 45'C
Winter-7 to 15' c
Monsoon-25 to 35'c

This is the first year and

By JOEL K

This is the first year and the plant is producing a fruit that is small and red in color. All are red now. Will they turn blue and how soon ? thanks

Hi Joel, Some varieties of

By Almanac Staff

Hi Joel,
Some varieties of blueberries turn pink or red before turning blue. You should have some ripe blue berries soon.

Maybe it's not a blueberry

By John wants the D

Maybe it's not a blueberry plant.

Hello there! I am in southern

By Tiffany Bella

Hello there! I am in southern California and am having a hard time with reviving my sister's blueberry bush. Right now it is in a medium size pot in her backyard and looks as if it is almost completely dead. I dont know what to do. Can you please help?

Hi Tiffany, Please read our

By Almanac Staff

Hi Tiffany,
Please read our "care" section on this page. How old is the bush? Is it getting enought sun, water? Is the soil acidic enough? What variety is it? You may have to test the soil and amend it.
 
 

What varieties of blueberries

By Chris Coddington

What varieties of blueberries have the largest berries?
What varieties of blueberries have best taste?
What varieties are sweetest?
I am in northeastern Arizona where winters get down to 0 and occasionally a little lower. Summer can get up to mid 90's and low humidity.

I did go thru your many posts and that was quite an education!

Thanks

Hi Chris, Thanks for reading

By Almanac Staff

Hi Chris, Thanks for reading through your comments and your kind words.  In your area of Arizona, growing blueberries can be a challenge.  Soils in the higher elevations of northern Arizona have a pH range of between 6.7 and 7.3. Blueberries require a soil pH of 4.3 to 5.0. Remember that at least 2 varieties need to be planted for cross-pollination and fruiting.
In terms of variety: "Patriot" produces large size fruit (approximately 55 per cup) and has excellent flavor. Taste is very subjective but many people enjoy "Bluecrop" which produces medium to large fruit (approximately 65 per cup) and tends to be good and tart.
Much of this information comes courtesy of the University of Arizona cooperative extension and we would advise getting in touch with their services for more on-the-ground support. 

I live in South-Central

By Matthew B Streeter

I live in South-Central Colorado in a zone 5 climate with lots of sun and fairly temperate winters but low humidity. What would be a good variety of blueberry bush(es) to grow and when should I plant them? Thanks.

Blueberries are not the most

By Almanac Staff

Blueberries are not the most natural berry for Colorado, due to the alkaline soil. Blueberries need acidic soil to thrive (pH 5.5). If you're up for the challenge, 'Earliblue' Highbush blueberries grow in zone 5. You'll need two varieties for cross-pollination.  Other highbush types that cover zone 5 are 'Blue Crop", 'Blue Gold', and 'Blue Ray.' Some tips: grow in sphagnum peat moss, ensure that the root zone always stays moist, even in winter, and protect the bushes from winter winds. Wrap bushes with burlap or old sheets while they are dormant.

Im indian,i m having keen

By himali chakraborty

Im indian,i m having keen interst in planting blueberries,especially emerald ones ,is hybridization is possible here,,with othr berries,and what r the neccesary steps required to do the plantation.

I have a blueberry bush that

By Angiemb

I have a blueberry bush that I purchased at a local store. I planted it in a large pot because I live in an apartment. It had several berries on it which ripe
ned and I picked. The bush does not seem to be producing anymore. Is that typical? Is there anything that can be done to it to produce again. Also, live in the northeastern US. Will the bush survive the winter?

I just received a blueberry

By julsrn

I just received a blueberry bush from my granddaughter which she has failed to water for most likely a good week. Some of the leaves are very dry and will most likely die, but some are okay and there are berrys on the bush. I need to know if it is a waste to try to revive this bush or should I start over. Also it is in a large pot (patio type container), will it continue to grow or will it need to be replanted?.

Put the container in the sun

By Almanac Staff

Put the container in the sun and give it some water. Blueberries need 1-2 inches of water a week. If it survives you can plant it in the ground next spring.

Are blueberries are loaded

By Emilee

Are blueberries are loaded with fruit. Have gotten several good crops. Now all of a sudden they are getting hard and not turning blue. What is causing that our lack. We had a lot of rain..above average...until about a week ago and not a drop since.

My blueberry bushes have

By Chris C

My blueberry bushes have spots.....brown ugly spots......they are in full sun ........is my soil bad or is this a type of fungus infection? What are some things I could to remedy this problem?

You mentioned to use 1

By Purple Finn

You mentioned to use 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to one gallon of water to amend the soil, please mention how often,every watering or once a month?

After adding vinegar, wait a

By Almanac Staff

After adding vinegar, wait a few days to retest the soil's pH before adding any more. Once you get it to your desired pH, test again every 2 or 3 months until the pH stabilizes.

I live in northeastern

By Patty Ann

I live in northeastern Kansas and just planted 4 Misty and 2 Earliblue. I have not been able to find much on line about either of these. Can you tell me if they are highbush or not and if they are compatible?
Thanks!

Misty is a Southern highbush,

By PonyBoy

Misty is a Southern highbush, never been to Kansas but I'm pretty sure winters would be too cold for that variety. Misty does do well in containers however so that is an option. I don't have the other variety that I am aware of so no experience with those.

Hello, We have We have 2

By Melissa Springmann

Hello,

We have We have 2 bounties, 1 pink lemonade, 1 peach sorbet, 1 jelly bean, 1 bluecrop, 1 toro and 1 chandler blueberry bush.....we are currently renting our home so we don't want to plant our bushes in the ground (plus we don't really have the ground space to do so, there's a spot we could, but our landlord won't let us), so right now we have them in pots just slightly larger than what they came in when we bought them.....and they are so close together that they are touching......what can I do to remedy this situation? I don't want to kill them, but I also really have no where else to put them. :( right now 3 of them are producing berries, but they are really small. I wish I could upload a photo to show how they are.

Jim: I want to transplant

By lRev.James Knaus

Jim: I want to transplant four blueberry bushes...presently in my yard in town...want to move to my daughter's place in country...two high boys, two. Low...recommendations ?

Hello, When I transplant, I

By samarzdietch

Hello,

When I transplant, I make certain the location where they are going already has the holes dug. In our area we transplant in the fall NOVEMBER when all the leaves have dropped. Water the plant well so that transporting the root ball is moist. Dig up the plant and wrap the root ball in moist newspaper. Put plant in cardboard box. (Not sure how large the plant is you are transplanting). If your new transplanting location is someplace far away, don't let them set over night in a garage or car. I would get them there immediately after digging up and get them in the ground same day if possible. If that is not possible, you will need to keep them in a cool location - away from the sun and keep that newspaper moist. as you don't want the roots to dry out. Hope this helps...

5 years ago, I planted 4

By SodaGirl

5 years ago, I planted 4 blueberry bushes (1 each in row order: BlueCrop, Elizabeth, Duke and BlueJay). They are planted in a row about 2.5 feet apart. I know, they are slightly too close together, but on the plus side, they are single file with nothing to either side for about 6 ft.! 3 of the 4 bushes flower and fruit well, but the bushes are slightly small... 3.5 ft tall...

The fouth bush (BlueJay) is huge (well over 6 ft) compared to the others, but does not seem to want to flower or fruit. I found 2 blossoms this year, which was 2 more than last year! Also, compared to the other three bushes, the leaves on the BlueJay are less green... Not really yellow, just not as green, or as deep of green if that makes sense.

I've had gangbusters of fruit from the Duke. But nothing from the neighboring BlueJay.

Is this normal? Should I replace the BlueJay?

Bluejay blueberry bushes grow

By Almanac Staff

Bluejay blueberry bushes grow almost twice as fast as other blueberry varieties so it is normal for it to be much bigger than the other bushes. Not blooming can be caused by being too close to the other bushes, not getting enough water or sun. Have you checked your soil to make sure that it is acid enough? Adding a bit of nitrogen and organic matter (compost or aged manure) to the soil may help the bushes to grow healthier.

I have been growing 8high

By Michele Marble

I have been growing 8high bush blueberry bushes, 2half high bushes and a small bed of wild blueberry bushes. Last year I had a bumper crop of blueberries from all. This year I learned about pruning the high and half high bushes and pruned them.. Howeve, at this point of the spring the bushes should have lots of buds but I don't see any so far. I live in Maine and we have had a long cold winter. So far the weather is still cool. Any advice to increase bloom production? I plan to use Epsom salt but hope it's not too late.

Hi Michele, Sometimes pruning

By Almanac Staff

Hi Michele,
Sometimes pruning will cause the bush not to bloom in the spring. You will have lots of blooms next spring. Adding ammonium sulfate to the soil will help the overall health of your blueberry bushes.

Will cross pollination occur

By tif0515

Will cross pollination occur better with two different varieties of the same production time (like two varieties that develop mid season, rather than two varities that develop at different parts of the season)?

For best cross pollination

By Almanac Staff

For best cross pollination plant two varieties that bloom at about the same time. The chart at the link below may be helpful.
http://portlandnursery.com/docs/fruits/BlueberryBloomTime.pdf
 

We have had a dozen high bush

By Anonymous

We have had a dozen high bush plants for a few years now, 4 or 5 and they are not bigger than knee high... I really hoped to have large bushes. I do get a hand full of berries off most of them but just enough to eat there not do any saving. I put hollytone on for acid what else??

Prune, prune, prune!

By Tiffanydw2

Prune, prune, prune!

Also blossom spray. Used on

By Tiffanydw2

Also blossom spray. Used on tomatoes for years. Great stuff!

My husband and I are

By amyanne

My husband and I are considering buying our first home on 8 acres and it is known for it's perfect blueberry soil in Michigan. My question is how many bushes would we want to plant to get started with a small income? I would eventually like to sell at local farmers markets and to friends/family as a side job. Also, should I expect to put forth a lot of money into our bushes in the first couple years?

You can start small with just

By Almanac Staff

You can start small with just a handful of bushes. If your soil is perfect the bushes don't need much care. Read our planting and growing advice above.
For more local advice we suggest that you go to Michigan State university's extension service at http://blueberries.msu.edu/growing_blueberries

I bought two blueberry bushes

By Tim Anderson

I bought two blueberry bushes six years ago, after year two they got eaten down by the deer and I was worried I'd lose them, but four years later they have GREAT foliage, but no flowers. They're six and a half feet tall and again lots of leaves but no flowers. When can I expect flowers on them this year living in Indiana and suffering through a cold Spring? I see what I can only describe as a vanilla bean type of growth on them, that leaf's out and looks like it's creating more leaves. Any help would be appreciated.

Hi Tim, Are you sure these

By Almanac Staff

Hi Tim,
Are you sure these are the blueberry bushes that you planted? Look at photos of blueberry bushes online and compare the leaves. If you do think that these ar blueberries then see our care instructions above. You may need to test the soil to make sure that it is acidic enough and also make sure the bushes get enough sun.

After reading all the posts

By Sammysue

After reading all the posts about soil, PH and birds, I sure have my work ahead of me. What recommendations do you have about deer? I'll be starting different varieties in containers but eventually would like to plant them in the ground, where the deer eat everything.

I have two blueberry bushes

By Ron Roseman

I have two blueberry bushes planted in clay pots. Both look very healthy with many flowers. But the flowers soon turn brown and die with few berries produced. This has happened in the past three years.

It sounds like a pollination

By Almanac Staff

It sounds like a pollination issue. Or, it may be a blueberry variety that is not self-pollinating. All blueberries benefit from companions of different varieties--and planting more than one variety is essential for blueberry plants that are not self-pollinating.

Which variety of blueberries

By jola

Which variety of blueberries will you recommend for central Virginia climate, for the purpose of growing few bushes for tasty fruit.
Thank you

Here is a helpful guide from

By Almanac Staff

Here is a helpful guide from your Virginia cooperative extension which includes a chart of varieties by region: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/438/438-103/438-103.html

I read here that you should

By Melissa W.

I read here that you should have more than one type of blueberry to increase fruit production, however I didn't see if you could have a highbush and a rabbiteye and have the same benefit. Does it matter?

A rabbiteye needs another

By Almanac Staff

A rabbiteye needs another rabbiteye for pollination and a highbush needs another highbush.

Michigan guy. I want to grow

By keithash61

Michigan guy.

I want to grow blueberries do I have to have 2 plants in order for a good crop.

Blueberries cannot be

By Almanac Staff

Blueberries cannot be fertilized by their own pollen. The best bet for blueberries is to have different varieties of blueberries  within 100 feet, so bees can travel and cross pollinate.  

We live in chicago - we have

By amanda magtschie

We live in chicago - we have a duke and a jersey and are about to plant them. I've seen the recommended distance is 5 ft. How far apart can we plant them without risking that there won't be cross-pollination? Is 5 the max?

Your Jersey should actually

By Almanac Staff

Your Jersey should actually benefit from having another variety such as the Duke for pollination. You will get more and larger berries if you have a pollinator.They should be planted about 5 to 6 feet apart.

Ok.. I just around 150

By Blueberry farmer

Ok.. I just around 150 blueberry bushes. They were growing fine with green leaves and all about 2 weeks ago. Then I put 10 10 10 fertilizer on them and leaves started to fall off. Is it an effect for growing or what? Plants are about 1 1/2 year old cuttings in ga

Blueberry leaves should not

By Almanac Staff

Blueberry leaves should not fall off in the spring. When you fertilize it is recommended that you sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of fertilizer (per bush) about 18 inches from the base of the plant. Fertilizer should not touch the stems or the crown. Water your bushes and see if they will bounce back.

Live on central TN/KY border.

By MKCDAC

Live on central TN/KY border. Which type is best for this area? We have clay-like soil

Some good rabbiteye varieties

By Almanac Staff

Some good rabbiteye varieties for your area are Garden Blue, Climax, Southland, Bluebelle and Brightblue. Blueberries need well-drained, acidic soil that is high in organic matter. We suggest that you test your soil before planting.

I just bought a blueberry

By dlang1

I just bought a blueberry plant and intend to keep it in a pot on my deck for the summer. I live in southeastern Kentucky. I would like a second variety, but don't know what type this is?? Purchased from a local greenhouse and the tag just says blueberry?? How can I tell? And should it take in for the winter or put in the ground??

Hello. I need help, I'm from

By Wilma

Hello. I need help, I'm from Montana, I bought a blueberry bush and raspberry bush from Walmart, not sure how old they are but the blueberry bush is already sprouting flowers, should I pinch them off, also I'm growing them in containers, I'm wondering if this means they will grow fruit this year. Its April. Where I live blueberries grow wild in some parts called June berries, my blueberry bush doesn't have much leaves just mostly flowers. Is that normal

Hi Wilma, Blueberries usually

By Almanac Staff

Hi Wilma,
Blueberries usually have buds before they leaf out. Don't pinch them off. You may get some nice berries this year.

I am planting 12 plants, 3

By Susan14

I am planting 12 plants, 3 varieties. Early, mid, late. Should I put like varieties together or totally mix them up for cross pollination?

It is generally good practice

By Almanac Staff

It is generally good practice to plant several different blueberry varieties together to promote cross pollination. 

I just bought 3 different

By Minamisfit

I just bought 3 different varieties of blueberry bushes and they were kept inside so they have started to sprout new green leaves, one even has some flowers. I'm worried if I plant them now the frost will kill the plant since it's started to get new leaves. Should I wait until after the may 10 cold spell or just go ahead and plant them. I live in south west Va. Will the frost hurt the plants?

In the spring, dormant plants

By Almanac Staff

In the spring, dormant plants are planted as soon as the soil can be tilled. Your plants are coming out of dormancy.
If you are worried about a late frost, you could cover your blueberry bushes with fabric (found at garden shops).
Also, plant in areas less susceptible to frost (low-lying areas).
Water the soil; moist soil will allow surface heat to keep the bushes warm. Place buckets filled with warm water around the blueberry bushes at sunset before the frost at night.

I am living in dallas,

By Mathew

I am living in dallas, TX.
Which type of bluberry plant is good for our soil.

The best blueberry for Texas

By Almanac Staff

The best blueberry for Texas is the rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei). The Ochlockonee variety has the right number of chill hours for the Dallas area.

I bought 4 blueberry trees

By Mary Freeman

I bought 4 blueberry trees where I work. I live in Louisiana. My yard is pretty much flat. Would it be alright to plant the trees in a yard like mine, or will I have to add soil to add height before planting?

Blueberries need soil that is

By Almanac Staff

  • Blueberries need soil that is acidic, high in organic matter, and well-drained yet moist. pH should ideally be between 4 and 5. You may want to test your soil's pH.
  • Dig holes about 20 inches deep and 18 inches wide. Add organic matter (compost or aged manure) before planting the bushes about 5 feet apart.
  •  

I would like to plant around

By Altair90

I would like to plant around 1 acre of blueberries (the highbush kind). The terrain is tilted. It's actually quite a steep slope.

I've read that they should be planted in rows facing north-south. Here's the issue: This would make the rows run down hill, and I'm not sure if that's good or not.

So should I plant them so that the rows face north-south or east-west?

Thanks

It's most important that the

By Almanac Staff

It's most important that the blueberries get a lot of sun. Heavier fruiting happens with more sunshine.It does not really matter if your rows face north-south or east-west as long as the bushes are not shaded by mature trees.

I am wanting to start a few

By Adam Linson

I am wanting to start a few blueberry bushes here in Ohio (Miami Valley) and was interested in knowing if BB's will grow well in a raised bed. Our soil is fairly clay and does hold water, so I wanted to use the raised beds (2) 4' x 8' to plant a few bushes. Will they survive? If so how many do I plant and what type?

Thanks
Adam

Yes, researchers at Ohio

By Almanac Staff

Yes, researchers at Ohio State University have proven that blueberries grown on raised beds produced comparable yields to blueberries grown on flat, tile-drained soil. Here's a fact sheet with blueberry varieties for Ohio:

http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/pdf/1422.pdf

I need to learn about

By David James Rogers

I need to learn about blueberries industry's in Maine for a test. Please help me learn.

Can you transplant blueberry

By Vonnie dehaven

Can you transplant blueberry bushes that are 5 years old?

If the bushes are healthy you

By Almanac Staff

If the bushes are healthy you should not have problems. Take as much of the rootball as possible and make sure to amend the soil in the new spot to match the soil where the bushes grew. Water and fertilize later in the season.
 

I live in WNY. When is the

By Vonnie dehaven

I live in WNY. When is the best time to do the transplanting? Thank you.

Set plants in early spring at

By Almanac Staff

Set plants in early spring at 4 to 5 feet apart. You do need to have the soil prepared in advance. See more articles from Cornell University in New York:

http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/fruit/pdfs/bbhomegarden.pdf

http://www.fruit.cornell.edu/nybn/newslettpdfs/2004/nybn32a.pdf

I need to know any and all

By Shiela Coker

I need to know any and all credentialed info on rooting and or graphing blueberry bushes.

Blueberries can be propagated

By Almanac Staff

Blueberries can be propagated from softwood or hardwood cuttings (twigs). See websites below for more detailed information.
www.extension.org/pages/29211/blueberry-propagation#.Us70v_aGEio
http://berrygrape.org/blueberry-propagation/
 
 

Please help! My son in law

By Regina Gilbert

Please help!
My son in law has blueberry plants and they are moving to Rosemond, CA. They have asked me if I know how to keep his plants alive and i have no idea. We are in the desert and it gets very hot here. Our temps during the Spring and Summer can range from 80* to 120*, in the winter we get temps from 25* to 50*, how do we keep these plants alive?

Some varieties of blueberries

By Almanac Staff

Some varieties of blueberries do well in hot climates. They will do better in containers that you then can move into shady areas during the hot summer afternoons. You can also control the soil better in a container. Blueberries love acid soil. Fertilize lightly 2 to 3 times a year.

I LIVE IN MICHIGAN, I HAVE 2

By GEORGE BOGART

I LIVE IN MICHIGAN, I HAVE 2 PLANTS SHOULD I COVER THE PLANTS IN THE WINTER

The maximum cold hardiness

By Almanac Staff

The maximum cold hardiness for most Michigan varieties is about -18°F. If you purchased the varieties that are hardy for your zone, they should be OK. Add an acidic mulches (such as pine needles) and floating row covers for an extra layer of protection. The snow is helpful insulation, too. Do not fertilize after the blooming period; late fertilizing will encourage late growth in the fall which, in turn, can cause winter injury. 

I live in West Virginia. Is

By Robert Conners

I live in West Virginia. Is Hoover a good, appropriate choice of berry for my climate? Should it be planted in spring? Do vendors still carry the Hoover variety?

Hello, Robert, Blueberries

By Almanac Staff

Hello, Robert, Blueberries are planted in the spring as early as possible. However, you want to prepare the soil a year ahead with a lot of organic matter and the right pH levels based on a soil kit test. Here is a page that lists varieties of blueberries that grow well in West Virginia: http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/hortcult/fruits/groblueb.htm Hope this helps! --Your OFA editors

My sister gave me a blueberry

By xenia

My sister gave me a blueberry plant. It has very few leaves, and she told me to keep it inside. It is about eighteen inches tall. I want to plant it next spring in my community garden. I want to get a grow light for it as well.

Will coffee grounds be good for acidity?

You also need more than one

By Ooo

You also need more than one blueberry bush so they can fertilize one another.

Wish I come to this site

By Barb Cheshire

Wish I come to this site before oh well I have two blueberry plants..one is 4 years old the other I planted last spring. The 4 yr old is about 3 ft high and the last two years has bore alot of delicious berries, however there is a shoot (not as tall as rest of the plant) that to look at is healthy but never has had one berry on it. Do I need to cut this shoot off at it's base in late winter?

Yes, throughout its life,

By Almanac Staff

Yes, throughout its life, prune out dead or weak, low-growing
shoots. Also, as your plant is four-years-old, you can head back young new shoots about 4 to 6 inches below the top of the bush so encourage branching and compact shape. When your plant is about 6-years-old, start removing 20% of the canes each year, starting with the oldest canes, so that over a five-year period, the entire crown of the plant will have been renewed.

Can I plant my bushes right

By M. Wong

Can I plant my bushes right now in the ground? They are still in a pot but want to get them in the ground. I live in Washington state. Thanks

Blueberry bushes are best

By Almanac Staff

Blueberry bushes are best planted in the early spring. However, you could also plant in the fall. Normally, we recommend that you prepare the soil in the fall. Soils not within the range of pH acceptability for blueberry plant growth must be prepared BEFORE planting.

I would like to buy Blueberry

By sal gee

I would like to buy Blueberry bushes for my girlfriend's birthday, which is in November. We live in the Hudson River valley area midway between NYC and Albany. Is this a viable time to plant them?

You plant blueberry bushes in

By Almanac Staff

You plant blueberry bushes in the ground in early spring.We recommend buying bare-rooted plants of two year, or higher grade. Highbush blueberries are most common in your area. ‘Earliblue’, ‘Duke’, ‘Blueray’, ‘Bluecrop’, ‘Sierra’, ‘Toro’, and 'Elliot’ are varieties grown in your part of New York. Two different varieties should be grown to get the best -sized fruit.

I have a new blueberry Bush

By marlart

I have a new blueberry Bush and the flowers are turning brown.. I'm not sure if it's the soil??

I live in Washington State I

By Chris Bryant

I live in Washington State I bought a small blueberry plant and planted in my gardenI have to tomato plants and two tomatillo plants and they all have about 2 feet in between each other but my tomato plants are growing over my blueberry bush will it hert it and my bb bush is turning brown what should I do?

To do well, your blueberry

By Almanac Staff

To do well, your blueberry bush will need at least 6 hours of sun per day, so it should not be shaded by other plants. You might try putting your tomato in a wire cage, which might help it to keep in its own space.
 
Also, the blueberry is more fussy about soil pH than the tomato and tomatillo. It will require a more acidic soil (between 4 and 5), than tomatoes. Tomatoes are OK in acidic soils, but do their best around 6.0 to 6.8. Tomatillos are similar. So, test your soil pH (you can get a kit at a garden center or have it tested by your county's Cooperative Extension) and adjust the soil pH to the blueberry's requirements. The tomatoes/tomatillos may not be as robust with the adjustment, but they should do OK. Then next year, if you have space, plant tomatoes and tomatillos in another area of the garden (which is good to deter diseases, too), so that the blueberry bush can have enough sun and space. For highbush blueberries, it's better to allow at least 3 to 6 feet between plants, for air circulation, which helps deter disease. For lowbush types, 1 to 3 feet is fine.
 
The browning may just be because it needs more light or does not have the proper soil pH (which affects how much nutrients it can absorb). Also check that the plant has good drainage and is not being attacked by diseases or pests.

I set some bb plants 3 yrs

By monte tirey

I set some bb plants 3 yrs ago,although they did produce some fruit this year, I havn't seen much growth at all,and the foliage never has greened up, they are more yellowish then green,,southern Indiana..thanks

Some blueberries may take

By Almanac Staff

Some blueberries may take about 6 years to produce fully. However, yellow leaves indicates that something else is going on, and can mean several things. First, check the pH of the soil (you can get a kit at a garden center, or have your soil tested by your county's Cooperative Extension). If your blueberry bush is not in the proper pH soil (between 4 and 5), it has a hard time absorbing nutrients, which causes nutrient deficiencies that can cause yellow leaves and other problems. Also, if you over- or under-fertilize, this again can cause yellowing leaves. Iron deficiency is common and starts with the newer leaves (yellow leaves with green veins), and then spreads to the older ones; it usually means that the soil pH is too high. Nitrogen (leaves and veins yellow) deficiency usually appears on older leaves first.
 
Also make sure your plant has at least 6 hours of sunlight each day, and good drainage so that the roots don't sit in water, and that the soil is loose, not compacted, which can cause damage to the roots. Check for insects, such as aphids, and diseases (such as blueberry stunt or stem blight).
 
 

I have four bushes with three

By Aragon

I have four bushes with three varieties all planted in large containers. This year I have seen a lot of growth but no berries. I believe the bushes to be 2 - 3 yrs old. Any idea why I haven't seen any berries forming?

Here is a good reference

By Almanac Staff

Here is a good reference article on reasons why a blueberry bush isn't fruiting: http://www.michigangardener.com/growing-blueberries-why-didnt-my-bushes-produce-fruit/

we bought a blueberry farm

By Kathy Bilodeau

we bought a blueberry farm recently, and there are close to 200 plants, 25 varietys, but some are all blue and so tiny, they are not even worth picking. why are some of the berries so tiny. this is their 4th year and we had a bumper crop, but the later season ones are very tiny berries. the early season some berries were the size of a grape.

We would really need more

By Almanac Staff

We would really need more information. Where do you live? What varieties? Are you giving them the very acidic soil they need? Blueberries prefer a soil pH between 4.5–5.0. You may want to identify the variety first by sending samples to your local cooperative extension; they can also help you with a soil test so you know how to prepare your soil appropriately.

I moved into a new house that

By Cindy Lou Who

I moved into a new house that was built on an existing Blueberry farm. We have about 200 high Blueberry bushes. Is it me---or is it normal for the berries to be late this year. Houses around me with bushes are the same way. I live in MA. Having a party in 2 weeks and really was hoping my guests would Pick---but now I'm worried!!

It depends on the variety,

By Almanac Staff

It depends on the variety, but the berries should start ripening in mid to late July and peak production generally occurs from early to mid August.

We bought a few Giant

By Kathleen Zoch

We bought a few Giant blueberry plants 2 years ago and planted them in full sun with acidic soil. This is the third year and we have GIANT leaves on the plants but no flowers. The leaves are green and very healthy looking, the stalk is healthy...I don't understand why no blooms or berries? We live in Southeast Michigan. Any tips??

I have seven blueberry

By Brad in Springfield

I have seven blueberry bushes, varieties including Duke and Bluecrop. We planted the bushes two years ago in the early Spring. I was harvesting many ripe berries each day from early or mid june up until now (July 17). All of the sudden, there is not a ripe berry to be found. Im thinking maybe birds are getting them, but bird damage up to this point was minimal at worst. Any precedents for new migrations into areas suddenly taking the ripe berries? Or any other thoughts? There are still many unripe berries on the bushes and the plants appear to be quite healthy.

We'd guess birds. Birds will

By Almanac Staff

We'd guess birds. Birds will completely nail your blueberries as soon as they ripen. 
Are your bushes covered in netting?
Even with bird netting, we have heard stories of gangs of robins.
All kinds of birds love blueberries. You'll find bird species that you never knew existed.
You can find netting at home improvement stores and garden centers.
A 30% shade fabric in a 14 or 20 foot widths for use over single or double rows will last many years.

our blueberries are sour even

By bj buckman

our blueberries are sour even when ripe. Older tree and beautiful fruit but sour. Is there something we can do to the plant, soil or other to sweeten them up?

For older blueberry bushes,

By Almanac Staff

For older blueberry bushes, you need to prune. Also, make sure you thin early in the season. Remove blooms and berries so it's not overloaded with fruit and has more leaves versus fruit.

I got a blueberry bush from

By Yolanda

I got a blueberry bush from nursery and planted it now its turning brown. What can I do

Can blueberries grow well in

By Cristal

Can blueberries grow well in an appropriately-sized container? If so, are there any variations to the general recommendations that I've read on your site, such as about soil pH, sun exposure and watering?

I live in Los Angeles, CA.

Yes, blueberries grow in

By Almanac Staff

Yes, blueberries grow in containers. We'd suggest a 5-gallon container. You need to prepare an acidic soilless growing medium. Mix one part sphagnum peat moss and one part shredded pine bark. As the plant matures, repot it in a larger container or barrel. The challenge with containers is generally watering. Don't let the plant dry out; at the same time, we don't want the plant to have soggy roots. Keep it moist with light watering and occasional drench to get rid of soil salts. In a container, blueberries need to be fed with the appropriate fertilizers--a mix of liquid and slow-release acid fertilizers. Contact your county Extension agent about the best varieties for your area and what's best for each variety.

I live in Tennesse. I would

By Monica_Mays28

I live in Tennesse. I would like to know if it is too late in the season to plant blue berry bushes in my yard. It is Mid July.

Blueberries should be planted

By Almanac Staff

Blueberries should be planted while dormant, usually from November through March.

I live in the SC plains. I

By Janet Geranmayeh

I live in the SC plains. I just bought an O'neal variety Bluberry bush on sale here and it's Early September. What should I do with the plants untill they go dormant? I have them sittin gon my deck, full sun right now in th 5 gal containers they came with.

It should still be fine to

By Almanac Staff

It should still be fine to get them in the ground in the fall. Just make sure the soil is prepared BEFORE planting so it has the pH that is acceptable for blueberries.

How close can I plant my

By Steve Richards

How close can I plant my blueberry bushes. I have planted 2 about 2 feet apart.

Hi Steve, Spacing depends on

By Almanac Staff

Hi Steve, Spacing depends on the variety of blueberry. We use 4 to 5 feet apart as a general rule but you can see that some compact plants get 2 feet: www.burpee.com/fruit-plants/blueberry-plants/

Thanks. Great Help, Great

By Steve Richards

Thanks. Great Help, Great Website. Will space my plants further apart.

I HAVE BEEN GROWING BLUE

By RON HALE

I HAVE BEEN GROWING BLUE BERRIES FOR LAST 7 OR 8 YEARS ,I ONLY BUY MORE AT END OF SUMMER OR EARLY FALL .WHEN STORES PUT THEM ON SALE .I HAVE 27 PLANTS AND THEY ARE GREAT .I FERTILIZE LIGHTLY WITH 10 10 10 AND PUT PINE NEDDLES IN FALL.I NEED TO FIND A BETTER WAY OF PICKING THEN ONE AT TIME .ANY GOOD IDEAS WOULD BE HELPFUL

Google "Dirty Jobs

By Carl Bartelt

Google "Dirty Jobs blueberry", watch the Discover Channel clip and take a look at what appear to be custom hand made tools specifically for harvesting blueberries (though they might only work for the rabbit eye type) in this clip from Dirty Jobs

Also, studies have shown that 'all caps' text is harder to read so if ya want people to understand ya better, go with standard text :)

If your bushes are in rows

By P Patty

If your bushes are in rows you can lay sheets or unroll bolts of cloth on either side, slightly overlapped in the middle. I like to prop up the outside edges of sheets slightly - long foam rods such as used in swimming pools for play are great if set under the cloth outer edges so berries do not roll off of the cloth. Shake bushes gently and ripe berries fall. If unripe berries fall you are shaking too hard. Collect by gently sweeping up with a clean broom and dust pan or pick up cloth to gently dump into baskets, then wash and sort. Slightly unripe berries can be left spread out over night indoors and will continue to ripen for a day.

Even most small blueberry

By Almanac Staff

Even most small blueberry operations harvest their fruit by hand. Mechanical harvesters are available, but you need a large planting to justify the expense--and many of the berries aren't fit for fresh consumption and better for frozen use.
Blueberries are harvested most quickly when they are at peak ripeness. Look for the whitish, dusty appearance (bloom) of the blueberry. Harvest when it's the coolest part of the day. To easily remove from the bush, use the thumb and forefinger, keeping the hand cupped under the berry to avoid dropping it. Use pint cuts or buckets that are no larger than 5 quarts so the berries don't get mashed or too hot. Never leave berries in the sun; cool the fruit as soon as possible. We hope this helps.

I have a bag of frozen

By judy lee

I have a bag of frozen berries that were given to me thinking they were juneberries/serviceberries. They are a red/purple color like a wild plum. However they were bitter even with sugar when in a pie and they had a pit to remove. I do not know what the bush looked like. Tasting the frozen fruit, it seems very tart but not bitter to me. What are they and can I make jelly from them? Thank you for your assistance.

Hi Jody, I'm not sure where

By Almanac Staff

Hi Jody, I'm not sure where you live but here is an interesting page on unusual berries (including pictures); http://www.pickyourown.org/unusualfruits.htm

I just started to grow

By rodger durbin

I just started to grow blueberries and want to say that value of blueberries is awesome for the body. thanks for this info.

I live in NY state. I

By Eurretta D. Moore

I live in NY state. I purchased a 2 BB plants from Lowe's one is a Sharpblue. The other a Chandler. I am not sure if they will be ok in my zone. I'm sorry if question was asked already, but I really need to know.

Sharpblue is hardy in Zones

By Almanac Staff

Sharpblue is hardy in Zones 7b to 10. Chandler is Zones 5 to 7. We don't know where you live in New York and there is a large range so please check here: http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

I purchased 3 BB bushes from

By H Deisenroth

I purchased 3 BB bushes from Home De 2 years ago
We have had flowers but never any fruit
I made a large cage for them but I think a
chip monk may be getting in
Will they eat the berries??
Please provide any info
thanks
HD

I have 8 bushes that came

By ted hawkins

I have 8 bushes that came from a reputable nursery here in NC.
This is the 2nd year of the bushes having berries, but again the berries are not ripening (all green). Suggestions?

Blueberries grow well if they

By Almanac Staff

Blueberries grow well if they have the right soil. They need acid soil with a pH range of 4.5 to 5.2. Add peat moss to acidify the soil if needed and make sure the soil's high in organic matter.

We moved into a house last

By Byeargan

We moved into a house last summer and I never noticed until a couple days ago, but we have what I can only describe as a blueberry tree. It is well over 10 ft. My grandparents always had blueberries, but I didn't recognize this because of its size. The berries are delicious but a little on the small size. Any thoughts on this? I live near Nashville, TN.

By Byeargan, it sounds like

By Shoe

By Byeargan, it sounds like you have a shad bush tree, also known as Serviceberry (botanical name Amelanchier). You're right, the berries certainly do resemble blueberries and are actually pretty tasty when fully ripe.

Enjoy that tree and fruit. Keep in mind it can easily grow much taller making it difficult to pick the upper berries but you can let the birds have the ones you can't reach!
Happy Berry Pickin'!

Hmmm. Blueberry bushes aren't

By Almanac Staff

Hmmm. Blueberry bushes aren't usually this tall. Take a clipping to your local garden center or cooperative extension to make sure it's a blueberry bush. Blueberry produce smaller berries when they are overloaded with fruits. Thin out older, overgrown branches.

A friend just gave me 6 BB

By Ann Pfaff

A friend just gave me 6 BB plants, I do not want that many. I was told there are "male" and "female" plants, how do I tell the difference so that I don't get rid of the wrong ones?

Blueberry plants are

By Almanac Staff

Blueberry plants are self-fertile (i.e., they contain both male and female parts in each flower). So, no worries. However, it's always good to have different varieties to aide pollination to ensure you get fruit.

We moved to a location that

By MaggieMarie

We moved to a location that was built in the 60's, and while cleaning part of the property, came across what have to be HIGHBUSH blueberries, as these bushes are 6'-7' tall. Once we cleared the area, it is evident that these were strategically planted and maintained for years. However, they have obviously been neglected for probably near 20 years, but are producing enormous amounts of berries!

They obviously need to be pruned due to the serious overgrowth. Can you give any suggestions as to how this could be done to NOT kill these beautiful plants?

Thanks!

Would like to grow them how

By chara

Would like to grow them how do i get the seeds

new to bb in Alabama

By Anonymous

My friend gave me 3 bb bushes we planted them last year I have now what looks like roots spreading and sprouting my husband says it is just grass can someone please help looked for pics of bushes but no one has posted any fresh sprouts only adult bushes

Blueberries have a shallow

By Almanac Staff

Blueberries have a shallow root system that spreads easily. As you've found, suckers can sprout up some distance from the bush. You'll need to remove the suckers to prevent the bush becoming too spread out.

Do those suckered sprouts

By ScReggie

Do those suckered sprouts produce. I was thinking of trying to transplant them.is this a good idea or just a waste of time? Thanks in advance

How much sun?

By Anonymous

Do blueberries need full sun or will they grow and produce berries in partial shade?

They thrive in full sun for

By Almanac Staff

They thrive in full sun for maximum berry production but will tolerate partial shade, especially late in the day. Make sure that they are near a garden hose or water source. Blueberries require more water than most fruits so the surface roots do not dry out; they prefer quality (deep) watering, not just water on the surface.

Max distane between blueberry plants

By Anonymous

My daughter lives in Washington-Seattle area-and would like to know the max distance you can plant blueberries apart and still have them cross pollinate. Thanks

Ideally, she'd want different

By Almanac Staff

Ideally, she'd want different varieties of blueberries within 100 feet, so bees can travel and cross pollinate.

Just got new plants, now what?

By Anonymous

I ordered 4 blueberry plants online. They just arrive with their bottom half in bags with dirt and the top end is just a stalk, no leaves. How do I store them until it's time to plant? There is still snow on the ground in MN.

The plants should have come

By Almanac Staff

The plants should have come with instructions about storing and planting.
Place the plants in a cool and dark place. Add a little water to the soil in the bags if the soil seems dry. Do not allow the roots to dry out. Plant them as soon as possible.

Blueberries

By Anonymous

I live in NC just outside of Raliegh. I have an aunt who lives in Sumter SC. I dug up eight bushes from there and brought them here. She told me that I needed both kind of bushes. I dug up what she told me and then planted them when I got home. I amended the soil that we have with Black Kow manure, peat moss, and some top soil. I tilled all that in with a little 10-10-10 fertilizer. That has been two to three years ago. I have three plants now living. One of one kind and two of another. Will these work together and produce berries? This year had been the first where we saw any kind of new growth. I just added some new manure, moss, top soil around each plant and a trenched around each one to add a little more 10-10-10. Hopefully we will some action this year.

The bushes should do OK. Have

By Almanac Staff

The bushes should do OK. Have you had your soil tested to make sure that it is acid enough?
Do not over fertilize the bushes. You can use a little blood meal or fish meal to add nitrogen. Peat moss or coffee grounds add to the acidity that the bushes need.

area

By Edward R. Mendez

What web site can I go to find out what to plant in Henderson NV. Veggies,fruit.

Your cooperative extension

By Almanac Staff

Your cooperative extension service has information about local gardening.
http://www.unce.unr.edu/programs/horticulture/

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