If we go back a century ago, we find blueberries just in the wild. But in the twenty-first century, it is one of the most in-demand fruits. But, have you ever knew, that modern blueberries are the creation of twentieth-century scientists? The bush-like blueberry plant is native to North America. The tiny blueberries are an amazing fruit. At the same time, they add real value to your garden.
What is Blueberry?
Blueberries come under a group of small shrubs belonging to the family Ericaceae. These types of shrubs produce a small edible fruit that celebrates its sweet flavour. Blueberries are popular dessert fruits and are also used in several backings and snacks. Despite their super flavour, they are rich sources of dietary fibre and antioxidants. Vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, and iron-like minerals also enrich blueberry value. Cranberries and Bilberries are siblings of blueberries that belong to the same family.
Growing Blueberry plants
The blueberry plant is a perennial that grows from 2 feet to 13 feet in height. Small flower clusters range from white to a hint of pink. Once your plant matures, it will give indigo to black colour, true-berries with tiny seeds when they ripened.
Growing blueberry plants is not a big deal. But you have to provide the right conditions. This plant only grows in highly acidic but well-drained soils and prefers a cool climate. The plant is native to North America. There are large-scale cultivations in areas such as Michigan, Oregon, New Jersey, and Washington. Few cultivars can grow in Southern American regions as well. But the increasing popularity leads to the expansion of blueberry cultivations across the globe.
Popular Blueberry varieties
The most common types of blueberries are the Highbush, Lowbush, Hybrid Half-High, and Rabbiteye. Highbush plants are the growers’ favourites.
What is the best time to plant blueberry bushes?
Blueberry prefers cool climates. But, planting can be practised only during spring or late fall. You can choose to plant either in the pot or directly in the soil.
Planting Blueberry bushes in direct soil
- If you are interested in planting blueberries, a sunny sheltered place is the best. But be careful to avoid harsh wind conditions.
- Maintaining proper spacing is the key to avoiding shading, pests and diseases, and moisture management. It’s better to keep 4–5 feet distance in a row and 8 feet between rows.
- About 20 inches deep and 18 inches wide hole will do the work.
- The shallow root blueberry bushes prefer well-drained moist soil. It’s better to add some organic fertilizers to the planting site.
You can have several directly planted blueberry bushes if you have plenty of space in your garden. But if you are worried about space, and only want to try a few plants, don’t worry. You can select to plant bushes in containers as well.
Planting Blueberry plants in a pot
Pot planting offers you multiple advantages. It is easy to maintain and for aftercare operations. You can always change the place of the plant to receive optimum sunlight and shelter.
- It is better to select a larger pot with a drainage hole.
- The potting mixture can combine with compost and peat moss. It’s essential to add some mulch on the soil surface, after planting the bush.
- Your blueberry plant is all happy when the pot is placed in a sunny place.
- If you have plans for pot-grown blueberries, Top Hat, Pink Lemonade, and Pink Champagne can be good options.
Facts you need to know about Blueberry plant care
- The plant doesn’t have a deep root system; About 3 inches of a mulch layer help in moisture retention.
- Watering can be practised after you have an understanding of the moisture level of the soil. Water your plants two to three times a week.
- The recommended rate of fertilizer should apply after the first year of establishment. However, it is better to prevent fruit sets for the first two years of establishment. The small blossoms can be removed to avoid fruit setting allowing the plant’s vegetative growth.
- After about four years, the blueberry plant requires pruning to stimulate new growth. The late winter or the early spring is most suitable.
Climax blueberry plants
This is a special type of blueberry bush. But it is one of the oldest rabbit eye blueberries that lived on earth. It gives higher yield and larger fruits, early in the season. The plant will be covered with white or pink shade flowers from February to March. Although the plant is in a self-fruit setting, it requires cross-pollination. So planting in groups is a better way to increase the yield. After the blooms, the plant will give medium-sized, juicy fruits from May to June. Climax blueberry has a hint of spiciness to its flavour.
Places of Blueberry plants for sale
There are different types of varieties for you to select. But, do not forget to buy from guaranteed and certified nurseries. Buying from professionals helps you avoid chaos and they will provide the blueberry grow guidelines and other after-care services.
In the early twentieth century, people found blueberries only in the jungle. It is great that our ancestors identified the importance and grace of blueberries. So we can enjoy them right at the moment we feel like experiencing this tiny but delicious fruit. The small white blooms enhance numerous fresh feelings during spring. Despite being a super fruit, the pink to violet colour range is a good choice for your garden. So, do not hesitate to grow your blueberry plant this year.