How to Pot Blueberry Plants

Overview

Any blueberry cultivar can be grown in containers. However, some varieties can easily reach 5 feet to 6 feet tall. Dwarf or low-bush cultivars are better sized to containers and can produce as many berries as a full-sized blueberry bush. A favorite variety for containers is top hat. It has a small mature size but produces loads of huge berries. Blueberries require acidic soil (soil with a pH of 4.5 to 4.8) to produce flowers and berries. It's easy to make your own acidic soil mix, in fact, this soil mix can be used to grow azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias.

Step 1

Make your own acidic soil by mixing regular garden soil with peat moss, coir and perlite. The mix should be 40 percent coir, 40 percent peat moss, 20 percent regular garden soil and 20 percent perlite.

Step 2

Fill the container two-thirds full with the acidic soil mix.

Step 3

Center the blueberry bush in the container and back fill the container with the acidic soil mixture. Blueberries have a shallow root system and shouldn't have more than half to 1 inch of soil over the top. There will be a 1- to 4-inch gap between the soil surface and the top of the container.

Step 4

Give your blueberry bush 4 to 5 gallons of water to settle the soil around the roots and eliminate air pockets. You can add more soil around the roots if necessary after watering.

Step 5

Spread 1 to 2 inches of acidic mulch like pine needles on top of the soil.

Tips and Warnings

  • Planting blueberries in containers reduces their winter hardiness by 1 to 2 zones. So if you have a cultivar hardy to zone 3, it might only be hardy to zone 4 in a container. You can eliminate this by wrapping the container with bubble wrap or covering it with straw.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden soil or general-purpose potting mix
  • Peat moss
  • Coir (coconut husk)
  • Perlite
  • Container with a 20- to 24-inch diameter (half whiskey barrels work well)
  • Dwarf blueberry bush like top hat
  • Acidic mulch like pine needles

References

  • The Garden Primer; Barbara Damrosch; 1988
  • Blueberries; Growing and Caring for Blueberry Bushes
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