how to grow blueberries

This ultimate guide on how to grow blueberries will help you to grow blueberries in your garden. Know about growing season, potting mix, propagation methods, etc. Blueberries are not only delicious in taste but it is also highly nutritious.

They are filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and fibres. It is quite easy to grow blueberries with little care and effort. If you follow my guide then you are definitely going to enjoy fresh blueberries from your garden.




Introduction

Blueberries are perennial flowering plants. These flowering plants edible blue to purple berries. There are mainly two types of blueberries. These are commercial blueberries (lowbush) and cultivated blueberries (highbush).

Moreover, blueberry is quite new in the plant market. Before 1900’s blueberries were only present in the wild. But, from 20th century agriculturists started exploring blueberries. And because of their hard work we are now able to grow them in our garden.

The most commonly grown type of blueberry plant is highbush type. However, there are total 4 varieties of blueberry plant. These are hybrid half-high, rabbiteye, low bush and high bush.






how to grow blueberries

How To Grow Blueberry?

To grow blueberry you will need to know about growing season, potting mix, pot selection, propagation method, etc. This will help you to grow blueberry successfully.




Growing Season

You can grow blueberries in plant hardiness zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. You can start planting blueberries during spring or fall season. However, if you are living in places that faces extreme cold weather in winters then start planting during late spring season.




Potting Mix

Blueberries plant love well drained, loamy soil that can hold moisture and is slightly acidic. Soil pH range of 4.5 to 5.5 pH is ideal for growing blueberries. Soil pH plays a very important role in the growth of blueberry plant.

You can also grow blueberries in pot. If your soil is too much clayey or sandy then you can prepare ideal potting mix. Add 40% garden soil + 30% organic compost + 30% sand ( if clayey soil) or 30% cocopeat ( if sandy soil).

If your soil is not acidic then you can add vinegar or coffee grounds to make it slightly acidic.





Selection Of Pot

You can grow blueberry plants in ground as well as in large pots having 3 to 4 drainage holes at the bottom. But for successful pollination and fruit set you should plant 2 to 4 plants nearby. For this purpose purchase 3 to 4 containers.

Blueberry is a shallow root plant. And its root doesn’t go much deeper. The roots only grows to 10 inches deep. So a pot of 20 inches wide and 15 to 20 inches deep will be perfect for growing blueberries.




Propagation

You can either buy a young plant to transplant directly or high quality disease free seeds from the market. You can also grow blueberries from softwood and hardwood cuttings. If you have purchased young plant then you can transplant directly in the pot by using prepared potting mix.

But if you want to propagate from seeds or cuttings then you can follow the following procedure.




Propagation From Seeds

If you are germinating seeds of blueberry then make sure that it have been frozen for at least 90 days. To propagate blueberry plant from seeds, fill a small container of 6 inches with the potting mix. Make sure that the container have drainage holes at the bottom. You can also use germination tray for this purpose.

Sow seeds 1/2 inches deep and cover them with a thin layer of potting mix. You can keep 1/2 inches gap between each seeds. Apply water gently after sowing seeds. Keep the germination container in shade and maintain adequate moisture.

It will take near about 30 days for germination of seeds. Once you notice the growth of new seedlings then place the container under semi shade. It should receive filtered sunlight during early growth period.

You can also use peat moss for germination of seeds instead of potting mix. Once your seedlings reaches 2 to 4 inches of height then you can transplant it in the selected pot.




Propagation from Hardwood Cutting

You can also propagate blueberries from hardwood cuttings. For this purpose take during end of dormant season i.e. late winters, take 5 to 6 inches long cuttings. Take cuttings from the strong and healthy shoots.

Remove flower buds or discard the tip of the terminal end of the cuttings. Fill the container with peat moss and perlite in 1:1 ratio and do not add any fertilizer. Put 2/3rd of the cutting in the medium. And keep one shoot bud exposed.

Keep the pot in semi-shade and apply water gently. Keep the medium moist but not soggy. After few days you will notice development of new leaves.





blueberry plant
Blueberry Plant

Blueberry Plant Care

Once you are successful in growing blueberries plant then the next important step is to care for them. You need to know about sunlight requirement, watering frequency, fertilizers, pruning, etc. to care for your plant very well.




Sunlight

Mature blueberry plant loves full sunlight. Place your pot in the regions where your plant can receive 6 to 7 hours of direct sunlight daily. But during hot summer days or extreme winters protect your plant.

For this purpose you can place your pot in semi shade region. Blueberry plant doesn’t grow much taller, it can grow from 2 feet to 12 feet tall depending on the variety. So even if you have planted directly in the soil then too you can provide shelter by constructing a temporary shade.




Watering

Blueberry plant loves moist but hates soggy soil. That means you have to apply water whenever the top layer of the soil in the pot seems try. But you also have to ensure good drainage in the pot to remove excess water.

The best practice is to apply a 2 to 4 inches mulch layer of either woodchips or saw dust. This will help to retain the moisture in the soil.





Fertilizers

You can start fertilizing your plant from spring to fall. Stop fertilizing during winters. You can fertilize with half teaspoon NPK (10:10:10) once after every 30 days. You can also add a pinch of micronutrient solution.

If you want to use only organic fertilizers then you can add two to three handful of vermicompost or any organic manure once after every 30 days. You can also use sanjeevak or waste decomposer.




Pruning

There is no need of pruning in the first four year of plant growth. But, keep removing dead and decaying leaves or branches. After fourth year you can start pruning periodically. Prune the weak diseased part of the plant during early spring season.

This will help to keep the plant healthy and promote growth of new branches during the growing season.




Pests & Diseases

Your blueberry plant can get affected from blueberry maggot or powdery mildew. Birds can also damage the plant sometimes. Keep checking regularly for any sign & symptoms of pest or diseases. Read this guide to learn on how to deal with powdery mildew.

READ MORE: HOW TO CONTROL POWDERY MILDEW?




blueberries
Blueberries, Image by Nowaja from Pixabay

Harvesting

Generally you can start picking blueberries during June to August. Once the berries turns blue then do not pick them very soon. Wait for 2 to days and then pick berries. If you want heavy fruiting then do not allow berries to grow during the first and second year.

This will help to promote more numbers of branch and the fruit formation will increase gradually.




Author’s Note

I guess you are now clear on how to grow blueberries. If you have any idea, suggestions or query then you can leave your comment below. You can also connect with Agriculture Review on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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