How to Clear Blueberry Bushes


Growing your own patch of blueberry plants can be satisfying when you have fresh homegrown berries you can use in your muffin or pie recipes. They are somewhat difficult to start because of the amount of acidity need for the soil, but once you get you're patch growing you'll want to know how to keep your plants healthy. Blueberries need to pruned and cleared periodically to keep them from overbearing and to prolong their life. You will be able to enjoy the fruits of your blueberry plants for up to 10 years if you continue to prune and clear your bushes as needed.

Step 1

Use your small hand pruners to remove all the fruit buds during the first winter of your blueberry plants' growth. The flower buds will be easy to see and identify during the winter months.

Step 2

Prune your plants more heavily the second year by removing all the dead branches. Clear out any plants that look weak or diseased by pulling them up by hand. Always prune your plants in the winter when your blueberry bushes go dormant.

Step 3

Remove all but three buds from each blueberry shoot so that your fruit will grow to be more plump. Blueberry bushes that are less than 3 years old should produce no more than two clusters of fruit to each plant.

Step 4

During the third and fourth winter of your plants' growth, remove the lower-spreading branches, or about the lower third, with your larger pruning scissors. Low-spreading branches tend to grow more towards the ground rather than upward.

Step 5

Remove branches that look thin or weak. Clear out thinnest and smallest shoots of blueberry plants in your patch by pulling them up by hand. Leave the thickest plants to grow. This will allow more room for the remainder of the plants to grow.

Step 6

Remove weak, diseased, and low-producing plants after eight years. Remove by digging around the roots with your shovel until the plant loosens and can be pulled out. Cut down the older but stronger plants till they are about 2 feet tall.

Things You'll Need

  • Long-handled pruning scissors
  • Small hand pruners
  • Shovel


  • Principles of Pruning Blueberries
Keywords: clearing blueberry bushes, blueberries need to be pruned, remove all but three buds, Clear out thinnest and smallest shoots of blueberry plants

About this Author

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Robin Coe has reported on a variety of subjects for more than 15 years. Coe has worked on environmental health and safety issues in communities across Ohio and Michigan. Coe holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a double-major in international politics from Bowling Green State University. She has also received training and experience as a nurse aide.