- 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.
There are four types of blueberries: highbush, lowbush, hybrid half-high, and rabbiteye.
Blueberries are one of the easiest fruits to grow.
- ‘Top Hat’: Bred by the University of Michigan for small spaces and containers.
- ‘Pink Lemonade’: Pink blueberries contain genetics from rabbiteye blueberries (a standard in the hot South). These pink berries can be planted in nearly every climate.
- ‘Pink Champagne’: Another pink variety full of antioxidants and sweeter than blue blueberries.
Highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum): A six-foot shrub hardy from Zone 4 to Zone 7.
Plump, juicy blueberries 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 aren’t just a great fruiting plant but also an attractive addition to your overall landscape, offering scarlet fall foliage and creamy-white, bell-shaped spring flowers. Read more about why you should grow blueberries in your home garden (as if you needed an excuse).
Blueberries are partially self-fertile, so you will harvest more and larger berries by planting two or more varieties together. Planting more than one variety can also extend the harvest season.
- Use a large container with drainage holes.
- Use a potting mix designed for acid-loving plants such as azaleas or rhododendrons, or mix sandy soil with peat moss and compost.
- Plant the bush in the container and water well.
- Add mulch on top of the soil to keep in moisture.
- Place the pot in a sunny spot.
- Keep soil moist.
- In northern regions, overwinter the blueberry container in a protected area or cover the container with straw or wrap it in burlap.
Blueberries for Southern Gardens (Zones 7–9):
Learn how to plant, grow, prune, and harvest blueberries! Here's everything you need to know about growing delicious blueberries in your backyard.
Locate an appropriate spot for planting in your yard with full sun. Soil in the area should have a pH level between 5.0 and 5.2, according to Oklahoma State University. To adjust the pH level, treat the soil with sulfur at least six months before planting.
Purchase two- to three-year-old bushes from a reputable nursery. It’s very difficult to start a blueberry bush from seed.
Choose the cultivar of blueberry that you’ll grow. The Oklahoma State University recommends the northern highbush if you live in the Tulsa area or north. Those in Oklahoma City and south should grow varieties of southern highbush blueberries or the rabbiteye cultivar.
Place the new bushes in the holes and cover with mulch or peat moss.
The rewards of a freshly picked, juicy blueberry from your backyard are many. Most areas of Oklahoma are very suitable for raising the bushes for this tiny fruit, which is one of the few fruits native to North America. With a bit of preparation and on-going care, raising blueberry bushes is possible, even for new gardeners.
Spot with full sunlight
Dig one hole for each blueberry bush, leaving a space of at least 5 feet between each one. The hole should be slightly deeper than the root bulb of the plant.
Monitor the soil moisture for the blueberry plants, being sure to give them at least 2 inches of water per week.
Build a frame around your blueberry bushes, and place netting over it once the berries begin to turn blue. This keeps birds away, which are the plant’s main threat.
The rewards of a freshly picked, juicy blueberry from your backyard are many. Most areas of Oklahoma are very suitable for raising the bushes for this tiny fruit, which is one of the few fruits native to North America.