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Certain varieties of blueberry plants need a specific length of time in dormancy – specifically, in temperatures below 45°F– to set fruit. Blueberries that fall into the “high chill” category are called Northern Highbush and they need cooler winters to thrive. If you live in a warmer climate such as California or Florida, “low chill” varieties called Southern Highbush are likely your best bet.
Because blueberries are generally self-sterile, two separate varieties are necessary for cross-pollination and flower and fruit set. Therefore, it is important that both varieties be planted near each other and overlap in pollination time to ensure cross pollination. Once established, your blueberry plants may last well up to 20 or more years provided they are well cared for.
Blueberries like an acidic soil with a pH range of 4.0 to 5.0. If your soil is more alkaline, you may add ammonium sulfate to lower the pH.
Set plants out as early as possible in the spring. Space your blueberries about 5’ apart, with 8’ between rows. Dig a hole double the size of the root system and plant the blueberries using a combination of soil and peat moss to fill the remainder of the hole. Do not plant too deep; try to keep the lower roots no more than 5” below the soil line and the top roots no more than 1” below the soil line. Once planted, tamp soil firmly around roots and water thoroughly, and prune 1/3 to 1/2 of the top growth. By reducing top growth, root development is stronger and new vegetative growth will increase. This will help the root system become well established.
Prune your blueberry bushes in early spring, prior to breaking dormancy. Remove thin, weak and old wood. If you find that your plants are producing numerous, but small berries, try cutting back the tips of the canes so that only 4-5 fat flower buds are left on each twig.
SHIPPING INFO: Home Garden products have fixed ship dates based on your location. Products will ship to you directly from our supplier via UPS in spring unless you specify a later ship week in the Order Notes field at checkout. Shipments continue through late spring until product is sold out. Please see individual product pages for more information and any state restrictions.