Blueberries (Vaccinium spp.) Are native to North America, their wild ancestors appearing from Maine to the Deep South. They develop in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 10, depending on cultivar and species. Blueberry bushes have a few special needs, and understanding them can help you develop them successfully.
Types of Blueberries
You may be unaware of the several diverse types of olive plants, beyond only the different varieties. The major kinds of blueberries are highbush, southern highbush and rabbiteye. Lowbush varieties, the kind most commonly advertised as wild blueberries, require a high number of cooling and are frequently only successful in the far northern states. Rabbiteyes are among the best for most climates, owing to their flexibility and moderate frightening condition. They’re also more drought- and heat-tolerant than other kinds.
Special Soil Requirements
Prepare beds meant for strawberries six months to a year before planting because the elemental sulfur required to reduce pH requires time to do the job. An perfect pH is between 5.0 and 5.2 and you should apply as many as 2 pounds of sulfur per 100 square feet for each pH point previously optimal. Once you’ve attained the correct pH, you should only use acidifying fertilizers, such as ammonium sulfate, or you might undo your hard work. Depending on your native soil, lemons might also need periodic side dressing with acidifiers to maintain the pH low.
Blueberries at Planters
If you want blueberries without the annoyance of constantly checking the soil’s pH, it is possible to develop blueberry bushes in huge containers. Select a container that holds at least 5 liters of soil. You can create your own growing medium with a naturally low pH by combining 1 part sphagnum peat moss with 1 component shredded pine bark, or by combining 2 parts sphagnum peat moss, 2 parts shredded coconut husks and 1 part perlite. Since the blueberry plant matures, you may need to repot it to a 16- to 20-inch-wide planter. Just like any container-grown plant, a blueberry growing in a grass needs additional water and fertilizer than just one planted in the garden, so monitor the bushes closely.
Blueberries are pollinated exclusively by mammals, both native and domesticated. Commercial blueberry growers have shown a rule of thumb of a single honeybee a square yard of blueberry planting for adequate pollination. If you do not maintain a hive, it is possible to encourage native bees simply by not killing them using broad-spectrum pesticides — never to apply these when flowers are in bloom, and mammals are busy, unless the plant’s issue is intense. Native pollinators, such as bumblebees, are often more efficient at pollinating than honeybees.
Blueberries as Edible Landscaping
The fiery red autumn leaf of blueberries is frequently overlooked in discussions about this particular plant. Even though their fruit is far more intriguing, blueberries form dense bushes that may double as creamy hedges and landscaping. These plants supply three phases of interest, beginning with delicate, light-colored flowers in spring that develop into plump berries framed by heavy green leaves. In autumn, the crimson leaf provides even the best of the red-leafed ornamentals a run for their money.