How to Start a Blueberry Bush


For many people, fresh blueberries evoke images of summer. It's a popular fruit and great for cooking, baking and snacking. But many home gardeners are intimidated at the prospect of growing their own blueberries due to their specific soil needs. Blueberries grow best in acidic soil with a pH of 4.0 to 5.0. To successfully start a blueberry bush, test your soil first to determine if it will support a growing blueberry bush.

Step 1

Choose a planting location. Blueberries grow best in full sun, although they tolerate partial shade. Keep in mind that the more shade the bush gets, the less fruit it is likely to produce. Plant blueberry bushes in spring, typically in late April or May after the soil warms up.

Step 2

Dig a hole 18 inches deep and 18 inches wide using a small shovel or trowel. Fill the hole in with peat moss, leaving a hole about 4 inches in diameter for planting.

Step 3

Place the blueberry bush in the hole, setting it down gently but firmly so the roots spread out naturally and are not damaged. It's best to plant blueberries 1 inch to 2 inches deeper than they were grown at the nursery. A soil line on the bush indicates the original planting depth.

Step 4

Fill in the hole with the remaining soil, tamping it down firmly to remove any air bubbles.

Step 5

Water the plant thoroughly after planting so it can begin to establish its roots in its new location. After the initial watering, blueberry bushes need 1 inch to 2 inches of water per week and should be watered during dry spells.

Step 6

Place mulch 2 inches to 4 inches high around the bush at a width of about 2 feet. Use sawdust, straw or another garden mulch. The mulch prevents weed growth and allows the plant to retain moisture.

Things You'll Need

  • Small shovel or trowel
  • Mulch


  • University of Minnesota Extenstion: Blueberries for Home Landscapes
  • Ohio State University Extension: Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden
  • Michigan State University Extension: Hints on Growing Blueberries
Keywords: starting blueberry bushes, growing blueberries, planting berries

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.