How to Prune a Blueberry Plant


Blueberry bushes should be pruned during the months of January through March while the plant is in the dormant stage. The end result of pruning should produce a bush that is narrow at the base, open at the center and free of vegetative clutter. Blueberry bushes should be trained during the first 2 years of growth into producing the proper structure for optimal fruit production. Pruning on an annual basis will increase fruit production.

Step 1

Stand several feet from the blueberry bush and visually examine the branch structure. Look for broken, damaged and diseased canes on young bushes and take note of how the bush will appear once these canes are removed.

Step 2

Disinfect all pruning tools by washing with a solution of 1 part bleach and 9 parts water.

Step 3

Remove all diseased and broken canes with a hand pruner. Remove all low-growing canes that would lie on the ground when filled with fruit.

Step 4

Prune the two oldest canes on blueberry bushes that have been pruned each year and are over the age of 2 years. The canes pruned should be the least productive from the past growing season. Do not remove more than three mature canes in a year.

Step 5

Visually inspect the blueberry bush after pruning several branches to prevent removing too many canes. The bush should be pruned to allow light to reach the center.

Step 6

Thin fruit buds on blueberry bushes that produce many small fruits instead of large berries once the buds become present in spring. Clip small shoots that carry large loads of flower buds. The flower buds are found near the tips of the previous season's growth and appear plump instead of scalelike.

Things You'll Need

  • Blueberry bush
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Hand pruner


  • Ohio State University: Pruning Blueberries in the Home Garden
  • Oregon State University: How to Prune Blueberries for More Fruit
  • Pruning Blueberry Plants: Timing and How To
Keywords: blueberry bushes, blueberry bush maintenance, prune blueberries

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.