How to Grow a Blueberry Bush From Seed

Overview

While it is possible to buy already-rooted blueberry cuttings to grow in a garden, many gardeners enjoy the satisfaction of growing their own blueberries from seed. The best time to start seeds is in January or February, so your plants will be ready for transplanting to the garden as soon as the danger of frost has passed in your area. Blueberries will grow in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 9, but produce the heaviest fruit in cooler climates.

Step 1

Purchase frozen blueberries. Keep them in your freezer for at least 45 to 90 days. This is part of the stratification process necessary for the seeds to germinate properly.

Step 2

Put 3/4 cup of thawed blueberries into a kitchen blender and then fill the blender three-quarters full of water. Run the blender on high speed for 10 to 15 seconds, and then shut it off.

Step 3

Pour the water and blueberry pulp from the blender into a bowl, trying not to pour out any of the seeds, which have settled to the bottom of the blender. Return any seeds you inadvertently poured into the bowl to the blender, and then discard the material in the bowl.

Step 4

Refill the blender with water and repeat the pouring-off process. The idea is to get rid of all the blueberry pulp in the blender until you have only seeds left. Pour the seeds onto paper towels, and allow them to dry.

Step 5

Fill a 3-inch-deep growing tray with finely-cut sphagnum moss that is thoroughly dampened. Spread your blueberry seeds on the surface of the moss, and then cover the seeds with 1/4 inch of finely-cut moss. Dampen well with a spray bottle, then cover with a sheet of newspaper. Dampen the newspaper with your spray bottle.

Step 6

Place the growing tray in a 60- to 70-degree-F room with indirect light, and keep the newspaper and the moss damp, but not soaking. In approximately 4 weeks, you should see tiny blueberry sprouts. Remove the newspaper. Keep the moss damp but not soaking, and move the growing flat to a sunny location. Allow the plants to get plenty of direct sun, and keep the tray in a temperature of at least 65 to 70 degrees F until the plants are 2 to 3 inches tall.

Step 7

Re-pot seedlings carefully into plastic growing pots filled with one-third peat moss, one-third sand and one-third garden soil. Be careful not to damage roots when re-planting. Keep the pots in a sunny location and keep the soil damp but not soggy. After 21 days, fertilize the seedlings with liquid starter fertilizer at one-half the recommended strength.

Step 8

Choose a sunny location in your garden and work 1 lb. of 10-10-10 fertilizer per 100 square feet into the top 4 to 6 inches of your garden soil. Dig holes slightly larger than the root ball of your plants, and set them into the garden, spaced 4 to 6 feet apart. Keep the soil damp but not soggy.

Step 9

Add 1 inch of organic manure three weeks after planting outdoors, and water well.

Things You'll Need

  • Frozen blueberries
  • Blender
  • Bowl
  • Paper towels
  • Growing flat
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Spray bottle
  • Newspaper
  • Plastic growing pots
  • Peat moss
  • Sand
  • Soil
  • Spade
  • Liquid starter fertilizer
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Organic manure

References

  • University of Main: Growing Blueberries From Seed
  • University of Kentucky: Growing Blueberries in Kentucky
  • Michigan State University: Hints on Growing Blueberries
Keywords: grow blueberry seeds, sprout blueberry seeds, propagating blueberry seeds

About this Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for TV, everything from SMURFS to SPIDER-MAN.