Huckleberries ripen in the late summer and can be used as the filling for pies or to make jam. The small round berries grow on the huckleberry bush, which can get from 2 to 6 feet in height. There are different varieties of huckleberry plants, with some bearing blue colored or black colored berries. The plant prefers moist soil that is either sandy or peaty in composition, and locations with partial shade. Huckleberries grow in the wild and can be found in regions such as the Atlantic Coastal Plain.
Collect huckleberry seeds during the fall by gathering ripe huckleberries from the plant.
Process the berries in a blender using a dull blade. This will help separate the seeds from the pulp and skin.
Strain the mixture through a sieve, pushing the pulp and juice out while reserving the seeds.
Spread the processed berry seeds out on a paper towel, allowing them to dry. Keep the seeds refrigerated until you are ready to plant in January.
Plant the seeds in pots filled with moist, firm peat moss, covering them with 1/8 inch vermiculite or sand. Keep the soil misted. Place in an area where the temperature is between 55 – 64 degrees. Seeds will take about 16 to 21 days to germinate.
Keep the germinated seeds at 68 degrees for about 14 hours a day, and 57 degrees for the rest of the day. Fertilize the seedlings when they are about 10 weeks old. Use liquid fertilizer for household plants, diluted with water, half strength.
Transplant each seedling into its own small pot after 12 weeks, using a soil mixture of equal parts sand and peat moss. Keep the soil moist.
Move the plants outside, to a partially-shaded area when the danger of frost has past. Fertilize weekly with the same mixture used in step 6. Keep the plants moist.
Transplant year-old seedlings into 1-gallon containers in the spring. They can be planted in raised beds after another year or two. Use fast-draining soil enriched with peat moss.
Things You Will Need
- Paper towel
- Peat Moss
- Sand or vermiculite
- Liquid house plant fertilizer
- Garden huckleberries are not related to true huckleberries.
- To improve germination, over-winter the seeds outside in flats.
- Huckleberries are difficult to cultivate.