Rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei) bushes are generally the best type of blueberries for Georgia gardeners, according to University of Georgia Cooperative Extension literature. Rabbiteye bushes grow to 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide and reach maturity in 10 years, but produce fruit the second or third year after planting. A vigorous rabbiteye plant is capable of producing two gallons of fruit per year. Rabitteyes prefer sun for at least half of the day and acidic, fertile soil. Harvest blueberries in Georgia from late May through mid-July.
Early season varieties of rabbiteye blueberry bushes recommended for Georgia include Austin, Brightwell, Climax, Premier and Woodard. Woodard yields large, very high-quality fruit and is highly recommended. Austin rabbiteye produces large berries, firm and blue with good flavor, and ripen May to early June. Climax plants are more open in form and produce large, medium-blue berries with good flavor. Premier rabbiteye, a vigorous producer, is disease resistant and yields large fruit with good flavor.
Mid season blueberry bush varieties good for Georgia are Bluebelle, Briteblue, Chaucer, Powderblue and Tiftblue. Britewell was developed in Georgia and is a vigorous, heavy fruit producer and regarded as an excellent variety. Tiftblue ripens in early June and is widely planted in southeastern Georgia and is very productive. Cracking or splitting berries is a problem of Tiftblue during periods of wet weather. According to Mississippi State University Extension literature, Tifton berries appear ripe several days before flavor fully develops.
Late season rabbiteye blueberry bushes recommended for Georgia include Baldwin, Centurion, Choice and Delite. Delite is a good ornamental rabbiteye with small, light blue mature fruit. Baldwin ripens over a long time period and has good flavor and firm, dark blue berries. Centurion has dark berries with good flavor, but as firm as Tiftblue.