How to Care for California Huckleberry


California huckleberries ripen in October and November and can be eaten fresh or put into the freezer. Huckleberries are ideal for cooking and can be used in jams and jellies. The leaves and berries contain high levels of vitamin C and can be used to make huckleberry leaf tea. Medical research has proven that the consumption of huckleberry leaf extract decreases blood sugar, making it an effective treatment for people with diabetes.

Step 1

Plant California huckleberry in moist and acidic soil to allow the plant to properly root. It is hardy to zone 6.

Step 2

Plant huckleberry in a location with partial sun to partial shade. The huckleberry thrives when planted under fir and pine trees. Water the plant thoroughly during the summer to keep its roots moist.

Step 3

Drainage is important for the huckleberry. Make sure the water is dispersed from the plant and does not create a puddle around the base.

Step 4

Prune the branches after you pick the berries to allow for new growth and adequate fruit production. Cut the dead branches down to the base of the bush and snip them off at a 45-degree angle. If a branch grows too long, cut it back above an outward-facing leaf bud. This will ensure the branch grows outward instead of inward, which could crowd other branches.

Step 5

Huckleberry plants do not compete well with weeds. Quackgrass and other perennial weeds should be pulled before planting. To ensure the weeds don't sprout back, you have the option of using an herbicide. For a more eco-friendly remedy, spread a layer of newspapers over the site, then top it with dead leaves. This will kill the weeds and decrease the chance of them competing in the future with the huckleberry.

Tips and Warnings

  • Contact your local Extension office before performing a managed burn.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Pruning shears
  • Newspaper


  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
Keywords: California huckleberry, huckleberry care, pruning huckleberry

About this Author

Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on and Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.