Growing blueberries is really easy and can produce great results. They prefer an acid soil in a nice sunny or semi shaded position. And even if your garden soil is not acidic then you can try growing blueberries in containers using an ericaceous compost mix. One top tip to remember is that like all acid loving plants, blueberries are best watered with rainwater whenever possible as tap water can make the compost more alkaline over time.
Blueberry bushes don’t really require a lot of attention. But to ensure that your plant remains productive over many years you will need to prune them each spring around February or March, while the plant is still dormant.
Pruning blueberries is really straight forward once you know what you are trying to achieve. The idea is to ensure that your plant always has a good selection of productive young red stems with plenty of fat fruiting buds. These buds are much rounder than the vegetative buds so you can easily tell which stems will produce the most fruit. It’s the two year old wood that is most productive.
Cut back the just very oldest stems to ground level each year to encourage new stems to be produced - creating a constant process of rejuvenation. While you are pruning you should also aim to trim out any dead or damaged stems to help create a healthy open framework. Blueberries tend to send out some low horizontal stems close to the ground and these can also be pruned out too.
With regular pruning your highbush blueberry plants should remain productive for many years producing delicious fruit every summer. And with its attractive flowers and glorious autumn foliage your blueberry plant will make a stunning feature in your garden too!
Plants and gardens have always been a big part of my life. I can remember helping my Dad to prick out seedlings, even before I could see over the top of the potting bench. As an adult, I trained at Writtle College where I received my degree, BSc. (Hons) Horticulture. After working in a specialist plantsman's nursery, and later, as a consulting arboriculturalist, I joined Thompson & Morgan in 2008. Initially looking after the grounds and coordinating the plant trials, I now support the web team offering horticultural advice online.
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