Lighting Requirements for Blueberry Plants
Blueberries are a favorite fruit for a number of reasons. They are delicious, versatile and full of vitamins and antioxidants. You may have heard they are difficult to grow. This is not necessarily true. To produce the best harvest possible you simply need to meet your blueberry plants' lighting requirements and follow a couple of other blueberry tips.
Blueberry plants are native to the United States. Traditionally--and commercially--Michigan and the northeast United States have been the places to find your blueberries. However, with the popularity of the blueberry and with hybrids, you can now find a blueberry plant that will grow in almost any conditions the United States has to offer.
Southern blueberry plants cannot survive a cold winter. Northern blueberry plants cannot bear extreme heat and need a cold winter to thrive. All blueberry plants do best in partial to full sun. Seven to eight hours of sun a day is the minimum recommended light for a healthy production of blueberries.
While it is possible to grow blueberry plants in full shade, this will have its consequences. Blueberry plants produce their maximum in full sun. In full shade there is more space between berries and fewer overall berries. For blueberry plants, the number of berries produced is determined by the amount of light received.
To increase the benefits of the light and warmth your blueberry plants receive from the sun, you can use mulch. Mulch will help regulate the temperature of the soil and keep the roots of the plant warm. You can even purchase reflective mulch to maximize your sun exposure. In addition to absorbing the sunlight, organic mulches will help keep the roots of your blueberry plants moist and help lower the pH balance of your soil. Along with full sun, adequate moisture and soil with a low pH are basic needs for a healthy crop from your blueberry plants.
If you cannot give your blueberry plants full sun and do plant them in the shade of a tree, just make sure it is not a black walnut tree. Not only will the shade of the tree inhibit the growth of your blueberries, but the juglone that the black walnut exudes from its roots will also be toxic to your blueberry plants.