Seeds To Plants Lifecycle

Blueberries in their Home Containers

Blueberries are ideally suited for growing in containers because they have a shallow root system that easily adapts to the tight confines of a container. Another reason to grow them this way is that blueberries require specialized soil with a low, acid pH (ideal range: 4.5 to 4.8).

With in-ground plantings, maintaining this low pH may require a concerted, ongoing effort. In a container or raised bed, you can create the ideal soil pH at planting time and have it last for 6-10 years before you have to tackle major soil amending. (At that point, bushes also benefit from root pruning, so it’s a win-win situation.)

Container Size

When you first purchase a blueberry bush, tuck it in a 12-inch pot for the first two to three years. Then transplant it into a 20-24-inch-diameter container – about the size of a whiskey barrel planter.

Get The Soil Right

Fill containers with this soil mix, which fostered the best yields in trials at Colorado State University:

  • 40% untreated, raw peat moss
  • 40% coir (shredded coconut husk, available at most garden centers)
  • 20% perlite
  • A handful of soil sulfur per plant

Pollination

While blueberries are technically self-pollinating, you’ll get better, more consistent yields when you plant more than one type for cross-pollination. Choose types with overlapping flowering times. Check with your local Cooperative Extension System office for the best locally adapted varieties.

Other Keys To Success

  • Site – Blueberries need full sun.
  • Hardiness – Because containers expose roots to winter air temperature, choose plants hardy to two zones colder than your zone.
  • Mulch – Apply an acidifying mulch, such as oak leaf compost, pine needles or pine bark, to maintain soil moisture and reduce heating.
  • Water – Keep soil consistently moist. Monitor water pH; an alkaline water source shifts soil pH.
  • Soil pH – Check soil pH frequently using a pH soil-probe. If pH moves above 5.0, add cottonseed meal or iron sulfate.
  • Fertilizing – Use fertilizers formulated for acid plants, such as Azalea, Camellia or Rhododendron. Never use fertilizers containing nitrates. Fertilize 4-6 weeks after planting.
  • Flowering – During the first season, remove all flowers to establish strong roots.
  • Pruning – Established plants require annual pruning in early spring. Check with your local Cooperative Extension System office to learn pruning techniques.
  • Picking – Protect ripening berries with bird netting. Allow berries to turn blue, then wait up to a week before picking to allow berries to sweeten. Berries don’t ripen or sweeten after picking.

Blueberries For Pots

Try these varieties for growing in containers. You’ll purchase 2-3-year-old plants. Shrubs start bearing strongly in the fourth year. At maturity (8-10 years old), expect yields from 2-12 pounds of fruit per bush.

  • Top Hat (true dwarf Northern Highbush)
  • Chippewa (half-high)
  • Northcountry (half-high)
  • Northblue (half-high)
  • Misty (Southern highbush)
  • O’Neal (Southern highbush)
  • Sharpblue (Southern highbush)
  • Sunshine Blue (semidwarf Southern highbush)

1-Small size ideally suited for growth in containers.

People’s Newsroom Mobilization Network

Praiser

No one loves to be praised more than God, and no one accepts more excuses than God. Don't pluck flowers, you separate parents from their kids by this act. Trees in "social classroom" are linked to neighboring plants and trees by an underground network that resembles the neural networks in the brain to communicate with each other in cooperative ways. In the full glory of sunlight, the nature of trees is far more alert, social, sophisticated—and intelligent—than any scientific evidence provided on earth. Wise old mother trees feed their saplings with liquid sugar, shares air, water and nutrients through the underground networks to process signals as their communication elements. Trees detect scents through their leaves and start sending slow-pulse signals about change in nature’s plan, reach of any drought or disease, to each other for immediate behavior alteration. They warn the neighbors when any change approaches. Everything in the forest is the forest because of the praise of plants.

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