All About Growing Blueberries

Growing blueberries isn’t as difficult as you might think. Read how to grow blueberry bushes suited to your climate and how to properly prepare your soil’s pH to harvest homegrown, antioxidant-rich berries all summer long.


| April/May 2012



All About Blueberries Illustration

Start growing blueberries and you'll be rewarded with delicious, healthy berries, as well as stunning red and orange fall foliage.


ILLUSTRATION: KEITH WARD

(For details on growing many other vegetables and fruits, visit our Crop at a Glance collection page.)

Long-lived and dependable, blueberries are among the easiest fruits to grow organically. Different species are native to various regions of North America, but you can grow some type of blueberry bush almost anywhere. The limiting factor is soil acidity: Except for saskatoons, blueberries require acidic soil with a pH below 5.0. Blueberries can also be grown in containers filled with an acidic, bark-based planting mix.

Types of Blueberries to Try

Lowbush blueberries are native to colder parts of North America. The compact bushes can be grown as an edible hedge or ground cover, even in partial shade, and they bear delicious berries that hold on the plants for a long time.

Northern highbush blueberries grow wild in the Eastern mountains of the United States. Cultivated strains grow into 6-foot-tall bushes that bear for many years, with bright red or orange fall foliage.

Southern highbush blueberries are low-chill versions of northern highbush blueberries, making them a good choice in Zones 7 to 10.

Rabbiteye blueberries are descended from Southeastern native plants. Tolerant of heat and humidity, rabbiteyes are the best to grow where winters are mild.

robert
8/5/2017 2:27:18 PM

We started gardening and we were gone wrong. We could not figure out why we were not getting the beautiful vegetables we were hoping for. People suggest to spray chemicals for vegetables and fruits but is poison and it is not organic vegetables. My lab professor referred a guide it helps me to grow my gardening as what we like, you can get the guide from here >> ( http://go2l.ink/plants ) <<. I have recommended this system to all of my friends and family. We got good organic natural vegetables and fruits in the next harvest, one of the beautiful products in the market....*


jayant.atreta
7/4/2017 1:23:01 AM

I want to grow blueberries in shimla ,india in the northan region I am an apple farmer .can u plz suggest blueberries variety and help us in growing and providing nurseries thank u so much


keo
10/31/2015 9:00:58 AM

In Botswana I would like to try planting blue berries. Which type is most suitable? Our climate is dry and hot with mild winters.


tammyg
4/6/2015 11:45:11 AM

Lots of blooms/3yr old patio plant..but none of the blooms appear to have fruit starts ??? HELP!!Lel


paullad
2/3/2015 8:18:42 PM

Thanks. Great article. The way this is written it could be interpreted that the pruning recommendations apply to only highbush varieties. Or do they apply to lowbush as well? Also, I applied the coarse yellow sulfur supplement to my plants and two years later as I was digging in the soil found it still had not broken down.


bannett
5/26/2014 1:15:48 AM

As all we know the importance and need of food in our daily life for survive. Choice of food varies from person to person. All foods available in market are not good for health. Some of these work as toxic for our health. We have to posses sufficient knowledge about all food composition. Organic foods, green vegetables and food having required nutrition are good for our health. http://www.gsplantfoods.com/


nancyrose
1/22/2014 3:54:12 PM

I am trying blueberry plants this year to use as a companion to my pine trees. Thanks for the advise on how to plant them. http://www.quintessencecreations.com/


pillai
7/3/2013 1:37:09 AM

How can we grow Blueberries successfully in Tropical climates like India, i heard you can successfully grow using evergreen growing technique with heavy prunning.I also got to know there is company called Abonna Fruits and Plants Co Pvt Ltd in India supplying Berry plants and their website is wwww.abonnaplants.com .Is it OK to buy plants from them.


karl warkomski
12/29/2012 12:52:13 PM

A few additions: blueberries will not grow or thrive with pH above 5.5. NEVER give them ANY fertilizer with ammonium nitrate - nitrates are toxic to them! So no, do't use azalea mixes unless you know all of the ingredients. Use ammonium sulfate and cottonseed meal. Organic sulfurs work biologically, and can take 6 months to adjust the pH to the optimum range - so plan ahead. Never allow blueberries to be planted where water pools or does not drain - they will die. Use DIY 1/2 PVC cages with netting - critical if you actually WANT blueberries for human consumption. Blueberries seem to do better in protected spots - in the South, that means partial shade. DO NOT use sawdust - aged leaf mulch and pine bark is preferred. Water during droughts and do NOT cultivate too deep around the plants as their roots are shallow and delicate. KARL


ann pulley
4/14/2012 12:03:15 AM

I love blueberries and tried to grow some a few years ago... Apparently they do not like black walnut trees nearby, because every one of those 7 bushes keeled over dead. :( One of these days, I will have to get more blueberry bushes and try again in a different spot.






Crowd at Seven Springs MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Sept. 15-17, 2017
Seven Springs, PA.

With more than 150 workshops, there is no shortage of informative demonstrations and lectures to educate and entertain you over the weekend.

LEARN MORE