How to Take Care of Blueberry Bushes


Blueberry bushes can supply several quarts of berries each when fully mature. Blueberries come in a number of varieties that can be grown in home gardens around the country. A blueberry bush not only provides fruits but can also add splendor to the landscaping with its beautiful blossoms and glossy foliage. Many blueberry bushes will last for years when properly taken care of.

Step 1

Use a shovel to add four to six inches of mulch around the base of each planted blueberry bush. Keep the mulch three inches away from the base or stem of the bush and spread it two to four feet away from it. This will deter weeds from growing in the area around the bush.

Step 2

Supply the blueberry bushes with at least one to two inches of water weekly, if rainfall does not occur during the growing season. Only water the blueberries during the growth period.

Step 3

Use pruning shears to cut back 30 to 40 percent of each bush when newly planted. Remove only diseased, broken or dead branches for the first three to eight seasons after planting.

Step 4

Remove any blossoms that appear on the blueberry bushes during the first and second season. Doing so encourages growth in the bush.

Step 5

Add one to two ounces of fertilizer for each blueberry bush, four to six weeks after planting. Use 10-10-10 fertilizer or another type required for your specific soil conditions.

Step 6

Place the fertilizer six or more inches away from the base of the bush and within 12 to 18 inches of it. This is known as "side dressing." Increase this amount during the second season, according to your soils needs.

Step 7

Add additional mulch as needed to maintain a depth of at least two inches. Allow blueberry blossoms to remain on bushes during the third growing season.

Step 8

Pick only ripened blueberries off of the bush. Wait several days after the fruit first turns blue. Berries will easily come off the bush when fully ripened.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Mulch
  • Shovel
  • Fertilizer (10-10-10 or equivalent)
  • Water


  • University of Kentucky Extension
  • Ohio State University Extension
  • Farm Info

Who Can Help

  • Oregon State University Extension: Growing Blueberries in Your Home Garden
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Blueberries for Home Landscapes
  • Michigan State University: Growing Blueberries
Keywords: planted blueberry bush, grow blueberry bushes, blueberry bush, blueberries, growing blueberries

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published in Southwest, Intel, TravelChannel, AmericanAirlines, Poker4Amateurs, AOL, CityGuides, Yahoo, GardenGuides and more. Dilov-Schultheis is an electronics media specialist and has a degree in Accounting.