How to Raise Blueberry Plants

Overview

Blueberries can be grown successfully throughout much of the United States as long as soil and growing conditions are met. Planting is relatively easy as long as you follow the proper steps to help your plants grow and thrive. Keep in mind, though, that blueberry plants do not produce fruit their first year and may take three or four years to start producing a large harvest. Give it a few years, though, and you'll get a bumper crop of blueberries for snacking and baking each summer.

Step 1

Find a location for planting. Keep in mind that blueberries need full sun and should be planted in an area free of trees and other large plants that can create shade and compete with the blueberries for water and nutrients.

Step 2

Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the plant's entire root system. Blueberries should be planted at the same depth they were grown at the nursery, so be sure not to dig too deep a hole.

Step 3

Place the plant in the hole. Allow the roots to spread out gently and naturally and take care not to crush or damage them.

Step 4

Fill the hole back in with the surrounding soil. Pat the soil down firmly with your hands to make sure all the air pockets are removed.

Step 5

Water the plant thoroughly immediately after planting to allow it to begin to establish its roots in the new location.

Step 6

Apply an acidic 10-20-10 fertilizer to the plant immediately after planting. Fertilizer can be applied again in late spring.

Step 7

Place mulch around the plants to help prevent weed growth and allow the plants to better retain moisture.

Step 8

Prune the branches by 30 percent to 40 percent to encourage new growth. Blueberry plants will not produce berries in their first growing season, and this pruning helps them grow enough to start producing berries in their second season.

Things You'll Need

  • Blueberry plants
  • Trowel or shovel
  • Fertilizer
  • Water
  • Mulch

References

  • Oregon State University: Growing Blueberries in Your Home Garden
  • Michigan State University Extension: Hints on Growing Blueberries
  • U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
Keywords: planting blueberries, how to plant blueberries, growing blueberries

About this Author

Meghan McMahon lives in the Chicago suburbs, where she spent six years as a newspaper journalist before becoming a part-time freelance writer and editor and full-time mother. She received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University in 2000 and has written for "The Daily Southtown" and "The Naperville Sun" in suburban Chicago.