Growing top hat blueberries allows you to have fresh blueberries no matter where you live. The top hat blueberry bush is a dwarf hybrid that is 18 inches tall and wide when fully mature. Its small size is perfect for growing in a container. Patience is key when planting and caring for blueberries, because they take three years to produce fruit. You can cut the waiting time by purchasing a top hat blueberry bush that is two or three years old. This bush is self-pollinating, but if you want a bigger fruit yield, grow one or two other half-high varieties of blueberries.
Fill the container about three-quarters full with 50 percent potting soil and 50 percent sphagnum peat moss and mix well.
Remove the burlap, ties or other wrapping from the root ball of the blueberry bush. If the bush is in a container, cut it down the side and remove it. Break up the soil around the roots.
Dig a hole in the middle of the soil. Place the top hat blueberry bush into the hole at the depth it was planted in the nursery or as deep as it sits in the shipping container. Look for a brown soil line just above the roots for a burlap-wrapped blueberry bush.
Fill in the hole around the plant. Tamp the dirt gently to get rid of air pockets.
Water the blueberry bush soil until moist and the soil feels like a damp sponge.
Place the container in an area that receives sun for at least six hours a day with afternoon shade.
Put the blueberry bush in an enclosed patio, garage or shed during cold weather to protect the roots and stems from being damaged.
Water blueberry bushes regularly, keeping the soil moist at all times.
Fertilize top hat blueberries with a water-soluble complete fertilizer. Follow the directions on the label for how much and how often to feed your blueberry bushes.
Prune only dead, damaged or diseased wood during the first three years. Cut off one to two of the oldest canes (stems) each year for blueberry bushes three years and older. Continue to prune dead, damaged or diseased stems as needed.
Things You Will Need
- 3-gallon plant container
- Potting soil
- Sphagnum peat moss
- Top hat blueberry bush
- Complete fertilizer
- Hand pruning shears
- Place a piece of screen in the bottom of the container, or line the sides, to keep the soil from washing out of the drainage holes.
- For top hat blueberry bushes that are two years old, prune only dead, damaged or diseased wood for one year.
- Kansas State University Research and Extension: Blueberries in Containers
- Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension: Selecting Blueberry Varieties
- University of California Cooperative Extension Stanislaus County: Blueberries in Your Garden
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Growing Fruit Crops in Containers