Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Plant a Blueberry Bush

Tip

Plant bushes in the spring when danger of frost has passed.

Prune of dead and dying branches in January when the bush is dormant. Prune off any old growth of more than 4 years as it is no longer productive.

Use a Douglas fir bark mulch to preserve soil moisture and acidity.

Warning

Birds will decimate a berry crop. Use bird netting to protect berries. Avoid getting the leaves and blossoms wet as this may lead to mold problems.

Planting a blueberry bush in your yard makes this fresh fruit available to you without having to pay high prices for it at the store. It takes planning to ensure the soil and conditions are right to ensure maximum fruit production from your bushes; but once planted. all they require is yearly pruning and fertilization to keep producing. Berry bushes take up less room than fruit-bearing trees.

Choose a sunny area with well-drained, sandy soil to plant your bushes. Avoid areas near trees as they will provide too much shade and compete with the blueberries for soil nutrients.

Test your soil before purchasing young bushes and planting. Use a pH test kit, available at garden centers. Apply sulfur to raise soil acidity as recommended by the particular pH level of your soil (see Resources).

Dig an 18-by-18-inch hole. Mix the soil removed from the hole with equal parts peat moss then refill the hole to within 4 inches of the rim.

Set the root ball of the bush in the hole then fill it in the rest of the way with the peat and soil mixture. Space bushes 5 feet apart and rows 10 feet apart.

Water thoroughly after planting then water weekly when there is no natural rainfall so each plant receives 1 to 2 inches of water per week. Avoid over watering which will drown the roots.

Prune branches back at the top of the plant about 40 percent. Leave the new growth at the base of the plant as is.

Remove flower blossoms the first year so that fruit doesn't set. This allows the plants to grow vigorous and healthy so they will begin producing fruit the second year.

Fertilize at mid-summer with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Fertilize in early spring and mid-summer in following years.

Garden Guides
×