How to Plant Blueberries From Seed

Overview

Blueberry bushes in the garden provide a fruit that is equally tasty whether fresh or cooked. The two main species of blueberry are lowbush and highbush, with the latter being the more cold hardy of the two. Either type can be grown easily from seed. Although seeds can be collected from fresh or frozen blueberries, the process of mashing them up and separating the seeds from the pulp can be quite messy. Blueberry seeds that are ready to plant are available from many suppliers and may be a more convenient option.

Step 1

Purchase good quality blueberry seeds from local suppliers or by mail order. Make sure the seeds you buy are stratified so that they will be ready to plant when you receive them. Stratified seeds have been cold treated to break their dormancy, which means they will be able to germinate when planted.

Step 2

Add peat moss to the planting tray until it is 2/3 full. Spread the seeds evenly over the surface and cover with another 1/4-inch layer of peat moss. Moisten with water and cover with a newspaper. Keep the tray in a warm, dry location and add water as needed to maintain the moisture of the moss. Most seeds will germinate within a month.

Step 3

Remove the newspaper and relocate the tray to a sunny window after the seeds have sprouted. Allow the seedlings to grow to about 3 inches high before transplanting to pots.

Step 4

Fill the 6-inch containers with a potting mix of equal parts sand, peat moss and potting soil. Carefully transplant the delicate seedlings to individual pots and return them to their sunny location. Water only enough to keep the potting mix moist. Apply a liquid organic fertilizer at half the recommended dosage after a month. The plants may be moved outside as soon as the risk of frost has passed.

Step 5

Allow the potted blueberry plants to grow to at least 12 inches before transplanting to the garden. Blueberry bushes need well-drained soil and prefer full sun. Outdoor planting is best done in fall or early spring. Blueberry bushes need at least 1 inch of water per week and should be mulched generously. Apply a high-nitrogen organic fertilizer such as alfalfa meal in spring and fall.

Things You'll Need

  • Blueberry seeds
  • Planting tray or flat
  • Sphagnum or peat moss
  • Newspaper
  • 6-inch planting pots
  • Potting soil
  • Coarse sand
  • Organic fertilizer

References

  • University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Wild Blueberry
  • North Carolina State University Extension: Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden
  • National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service: Blueberries: Organic Production
Keywords: plant blueberry seeds, growing blueberry seeds, planting blueberry seeds

About this Author

Based in Surrey, British Columbia, Stephen Oakley is a freelance writer focusing on environmental issues, travel and all things outdoors. His background includes many years spent working in the Canadian wilderness and traveling worldwide.