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How to Care for Bluejay Blueberry Shrubs

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How to Care for Bluejay Blueberry Shrubs

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Overview

The Bluejay blueberry shrub (Vaccinium corymbosum 'Bluejay') is a "highbush" blueberry variety that produces a heavy crop of large, sweet blueberries in mid-season. This blueberry variety blooms during spring in clusters of small white flowers that are waxy and bell-shaped. Vigorously growing and preferring acidic soils, these blueberry shrubs grow best in fertile, organic soils that are moist but well-draining. Bluejay blueberries are hardy down to -20 degrees F and are also resistant to mummy berry disease.

Step 1

Water Bluejay blueberry bushes slowly and deeply to provide 1 to 2 inches of water per week when rainfall is inadequate. A soaker hose or drip irrigation system is best for delivering water to blueberry shrubs. Don't water the blueberry bushes after early September unless conditions are extremely dry or drought-like.

Step 2

Keep a 4-inch-thick layer of organic mulch on the ground around Bluejay blueberry shrubs to control weeds and preserve soil moisture.

Step 3

Feed Bluejay blueberry shrubs with 2 to 3 lbs. of 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer per 100 feet of row each year. Divide the applications into half at bloom time and half four to six weeks later.

Step 4

Prune Bluejay blueberry shrubs once each year in late winter to remove all weak and dead branches, as well as any branches that are thinner than a pencil, old and nonfruiting, and crowded. Begin pruning in the third year after planting it.

Step 5

Harvest Bluejay blueberries once every five days during mid-summer, when the blueberries turn deep-blue in color. Pick off the ripe blueberries by gently twisting them between your thumb and index finger.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always plant more than one variety of blueberry shrub to ensure good cross-pollination and fruit production. Also, be careful if you hoe around Bluejay blueberry bushes to remove weeds, because they have very shallow and easily damaged root systems.

Things You'll Need

  • Soaker hose or drip irrigation system
  • Organic mulch
  • 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer
  • Pruning shears

References

  • American Beauties Native Plants: Vaccinium corymbosum 'Blue Jay'
  • National Gardening Association: Plant Care Guides -- Blueberry

Who Can Help

  • Ohio State University Extension: Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden
Keywords: Bluejay blueberry bush, Blue Jay blueberry, Bluejay blueberry care, grow blueberries, Vaccinium corymbosum Bluejay

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.