Blueberry Plants for the South

Blueberry plants have a lot to offer a garden: flowers in the spring, a naturalized hedge, the ability to attract wildlife in droves and edible fruits that can be thrown into cereal, fruit salads or preserved in jams. Native to the southern United States, blueberry plants can be kept in their native environment and cultivated with relative ease throughout the Southeast.

Shiny Blueberry

Growing in woody habitats throughout the Southeast is the shiny blueberry (Vaccinium myrsinites), a low growing shrub known for its small, shiny leaves, pinkish white flowers and small, edible blueberries. This compact shrub is ideal for gardeners with limited space. The plant will produce its best berries if planted in full sunlight, in soil that is sandy, well-drained and acidic. The plant doesn't require much water and will often will suffer if grown in rich soils.


Though the fruits are not edible to humans, deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum) is a commonly grown blueberry plant because of its attractive ornamental appearance and ability to attract wildlife. The plant, which can reach heights of 15 feet or more, boasts twisted, smooth branches in a deep shade of maroon. A native of southeastern and northeastern North America, deerberry can be cultivated in well-drained, acidic soil in partial sunlight. The plant is quite drought tolerant once established and needs little water.

Rabbiteye Blueberry

A native of the southeastern United States, rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei) is a commonly grown blueberry plant in the commercial and home realm. Rabbiteye blueberry has an open, shrub like appearance, and the combination of edible fruits and pink, bell shaped flowers draw quite a bit of wildlife to the yard. The plant is easy to grow with well-drained and somewhat acidic soil. The bush should be planted in sunlight, although it will tolerate moderate shade. Rabbiteye is drought tolerant, though it will also tolerate some flooding.

Keywords: blueberry plants, blueberry bushes, Southern blueberry

About this Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based out of Astoria, Ore. She has been writing professionally for five years, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for an alternative weekly paper in Santa Cruz. She has a B.A. in fine arts from the University of California in Santa Cruz and a minor in English literature.