How to Plant Blueberry Plants With Bone Meal


Adding bone meal to the soil when planting blueberry plants promotes strong root development. Bone meal, made from crushed and powdered bones, is used as a slow-release fertilizer supplement because it provides a high amount of organic phosphorus. The supplement can also be worked into the soil around established blueberry plants when the plant begins to blossom to increase the size and amounts of flower blossoms.

Step 1

Select a planting location for the blueberry plant that has an acidic, well-draining soil and air movement to prevent disease. Blueberries prefer full sunlight but will grow in partial shade with a decrease in berry production.

Step 2

Test the soil pH to verify it is 4.0 to 5.0. Work ground rock sulfur into the soil to lower the pH number. Water the soil well and let it rest for two weeks before planting. Several applications may be needed to lower the pH to the desired number. Do not apply ground rock sulfur more frequently than once per year as this could burn the roots.

Step 3

Dig a planting hole twice as wide and at the same depth as the container the plant came in. Work equal amounts of organic compost into the removed soil to increase the water-draining ability.

Step 4

Add a large handful of bone meal to the bottom of the hole and set the plant in. Gently pack amended soil around the roots to eliminate air pockets. Space the blueberry plants 3 to 4 feet apart.

Step 5

Water the blueberry plants well after planting to stimulate root growth. Continue to water each week to keep the soil moist during the growing season. Additional water applications may be required during the hot summer months or during periods of drought.

Step 6

Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of peat moss, sawdust or clean straw mulch around the root ball area of the blueberry plants to assist with moisture retention. Maintain the mulch level through out the growing season and replenish each spring if needed.

Step 7

Remove flower buds from the blueberry plant during the first two years of growth. This will force the plant to use its energy to produce branches for future fruit production.

Step 8

Fertilize the blueberry plants after the first year of growth. Apply bone meal over the root ball area in spring prior to the blooming period to promote blossom size and production. Water the area well after applying bone meal to assist with absorption.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil pH test
  • Ground rock sulfur
  • Shovel
  • Organic compost
  • Bone meal
  • Mulch
  • Pruning clippers


  • University of Georgia Extension: Organic Blueberry Production
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Blueberries for Home Landscapes
  • National Gardening Association: Blueberry
Keywords: blueberry bone meal, fertilize blueberry, plant blueberries

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.