How to Start a Blueberry Plant

Overview

Blueberry bushes are an ideal addition to any garden or landscape, especially if mixed with other berry plants such as strawberries, raspberries or blackberries--they all require similar conditions. Many blueberry varieties are native to the United States, so they do not require a lot of work to start. It is important to know how to plant them and get started with a blueberry plant if you want them to flourish and produce an abundance of fruit.

Step 1

Figure out what blueberry variety is best for your climate and area. For example, Bluecrop is good for dry areas, while there are others great for rainy or colder areas. Make sure that you grow at least two varieties in order for the blueberry plants to pollinate.

Step 2

Decide where to plant the blueberry bush. Blueberries need an acidic soil with a high water retention and partial to full sunlight. They also like clay and other poor quality or rocky soils.

Step 3

Plant your blueberry bush in midfall or spring when the soil is workable, using a small shovel or trowel.

Step 4

Combine compost, organic matter and potting soil to plant the blueberry bush in. Plant the blueberry bushes about 5 feet apart--they do not like to be crowded. Spread a thick layer of mulch around the base of the planted bush to keep the soil moist. Water generously immediately after planting for about 10 minutes to make sure the water penetrates deeply. Water every day or two for about two weeks after planting to ensure root establishment.

Step 5

Fertilize the blueberry plant in late winter or early spring starting the first year you plant it. Make sure to have a fertilizer specific to your blueberry plant variety. Also, use an ammonium sulfate fertilizer at least twice a year, following the directions on the type you purchase. Make sure the fertilizer never touches the trunk of the blueberry plant. Water thoroughly after fertilizing.

Step 6

Keep in mind that the first blueberry harvest will begin in the third year of growth, but you won't really have a fully matured harvest until about the sixth year. Before picking them all, taste a blueberry first. They will be their sweetest flavor if you leave them on the plant for about a week after they turn blue. Mature blueberry bushes produce about 8 qts. of berries per bush.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Blueberry plants
  • Small shovel or trowel
  • Compost
  • Organic matter
  • Potting soil
  • Mulch
  • Water
  • Fertilizer

References

  • Growing Blueberry Bushes
  • Caring for Fruit Plants (Blueberries)
  • Starting Blueberries
Keywords: starting fruit plants, growing blueberry bushes, caring for fruit plants

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.