Blueberry

Vaccinium corymbosum

American Blueberry, Highbush Blueberry, Highbush Huckleberry, New Jersey Blueberry, Smallflower Blueberry, Southern Blueberry, Swamp Blueberry, Tall Blueberry

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A flowering shrub indigenous to North America. The fruits (berries) of the blueberry plant are edible and are commercially cultivated across the globe. It has become a household name in some areas where it is often used as an ingredient in baking pies. This plant is hardened if planted in cooler climates and the beautiful flowers are well suited to decorate gardens. Due to their acid-loving nature, it is best to water them only with rainwater as tap water can have high levels of calcium and chlorine which can raise the pH of the soil. The fruit is regarded as a superfood, and is very high in anti-oxidants! Though they are called Blueberries, there are several cultivars that produce bright pink berries.
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Planning

Difficulty

Advanced

Flowering time

Spring

Fruiting time

Autumn

Harvesting

Blueberries shouldn't be harvested too soon. They should be blue in colour and easily come loose from the shrub. Blueberries can be handpicked using your thumb to roll the fruit from the stem into your hand. Harvesting takes place from late Spring to Summer.

Propagation

Cuttings

Propagation can be done from hardwood or softwood cuttings, but softwood is preferred. Prepare the rooting soil with plenty of peat. Use misters to keep damp.

Seed

Seeds will need to be macerated to damage the seed coat and then they will need to be stratified in the fridge for 1 month before they can be sown. Once the seed is fully prepared, they need to be sown into moist compost approximately 1cm depth. The seeds can take 6-8 weeks to germinate. Sow during the spring and keep them 15-21 degrees to increase germination rates. The seedlings will need to be kept warm until they are 10-15cm tall and transplant them into pots and put them in a sunny area of the garden and keep them warm.

Special features

Attracts birds
Attracts bees
Pot plant
Hedge plant

Special features

Origin

North America, America

Natural climate

Cold Interior

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam, Peat, Sand

Soil PH preference

Acid

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Edible

Berries are edible raw or can be made into desserts.

Medicinal

Used as a homoeopathic medicine due to their high levels of antioxidants.

Personality

Family

Ericaceae

Flower colour

Pink, White, Cream

Scent

None

Problems

The most serious pest for blueberries is birds. These can be kept at bay using netting. Other pests cherry ringworm. Ensure good drainage to prevent root rot.
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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