HOW TO GROW BLUEBERRIES

Blueberries are a wonderful and easy fruit to grow! Here’s some tips to get the best blueberries you can.

Blueberries need sun but will tolerate a little dappled shade. They need a fair amount of water to get those juicy berries. Daily watering in high heat is essential.

Purchase blueberries in 1-5 gallon containers. I would avoid bare root plants. You can buy and plant them anytime of year, even though they only fruit in Spring and if you’re lucky into Summer. Blueberry plants live on for years.

Blueberries enjoy containers and our 25 gallon grow pots are perfect. You don’t want to use a pot smaller than 25 gallons. Your main concern will be the pH of the soil. Blueberries must have an acidic soil. To accomplish this goal, plant your blueberry bush in an acidic potting soil, usually called an azalea mix and add an acid fertilizer. Lastly you can also add coir and redwood chips to your soil and definitely mulch the soil around your plants with our mini redwood mulch. Blueberry plants have shallow roots which means the roots stay near the surface, so covering them with the mulch protects those roots.

The other main concern to keep in mind is you need to plant more than one variety as cross-pollination between varietals increases fruit production. Here in Los Angeles we need to plant low-chill plants. These plants need only 150-180 “chill” hours to produce fruit. These are called Southern Highbush plants and they are appropriate in zones 5-10. My favorite varieties are Southmoon, Misty, Sunshine Blue and Jewel. Plant as many as you can and as many different varieties as possible!

Blueberries make great ornamental plants in your landscape. The shrubs themselves are attractive and their flowers and fruits are pretty.  Although they are mainly deciduous, some varieties also have fall color, including Jubilee, Misty and Sunshine Blue.

Because of the high acidity blueberries need, not everything will grow around them. I pair them with strawberries and herbs which can tolerate a low pH. Don’t forget some nice flowers like sweet alyssum to bring pollinators.

Enjoy your blueberries!

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