Blueberry bushes are not only attractive in home landscapes but can provide you with a bountiful harvest of tasty berries that are full of healthy benefits. A hardy perennial to USDA zone 4, all blueberry varieties grow and produce best in soil with a pH value of 4.5 to 5.2. In other words, blueberry bushes should be grown in an acidic soil for optimum results.
There are dozens of blueberry bush varieties you can select depending on your climate zone, space available and desired use of the fruit. The size of a blueberry bush is significant in determining the size of the fruit and the quantity of berries the bush can produce.
The size of your blueberry bush selection should be determined by the site exposure and location and the planned usage. Larger blueberry bushes can be used around house foundations or for hedges, if the growing requirements have been met. Smaller blueberry varieties function well planted next to, or among, ornamental plants and shrubs.
As the name implies, highbush blueberry varieties are the largest bush, growing up to 4 feet when mature and produce an abundance of berries. On the opposite end, are low bush blueberry varieties that reach no more than 24 inches. The lowbush are cold hardy, making them ideal for northern landscapes, but will produce less fruit. Half-high blueberry bush types are a cross between highbush and lowbush varieties.
Consider why you want to grow blueberry bushes when selecting the type and variety of blueberry bush for your yard. Highbush types can produce two to three times more berries than lowbush varieties, but a lowbush can withstand colder winters. Highbush are easier to harvest but harder to protect the berries from birds. Lowbush can be planted closer together, which will give you more bushes for the space and a larger yield, but harvesting the fruit can be difficult, particularly if you already experience back problems.
If high yield, with large, plump blueberries is your goal for growing a blueberry bush, then a highbush variety is an ideal choice. If fruit volume is secondary to the beauty a blueberry bush can add to your landscape, all size varieties can be selected. High privacy hedges can be grown using highbush, while lower accent hedges and borders are planted with half-high or lowbush varieties.