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How to Grow Blueberries

I've been growing blueberries in containers in my backyard for years now and love sharing my knowledge with others so they can do the same.

Blueberries are the superfood you can grow in your own backyard, and this guide will provide you with all the information you need to grow and care for this amazing plant.

Blueberries are the superfood you can grow in your own backyard, and this guide will provide you with all the information you need to grow and care for this amazing plant.

Why I Started Growing Blueberries

My experience with blueberries began years ago when I first started enjoying the little blue fruit. I was actually a very picky eater when I was young, so I didn't really appreciate or enjoy blueberries till my late teens and early twenties. Now I'm in love with this fruit!

In my college years, I became aware of the energy, the food miles, and the chemicals it took to grow much of the food we ate and decided to do something about it: I started my own vegetable garden. Since then, I have picked up facts, tips, and tricks on how to consistently grow blueberries every summer! By the way, they can also be grown even in small spaces, as I will elaborate on here.

Here is a chart highlighting the blueberry varies and the best places to grow them, as categorized in the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.

VarietyIdeal ZonesRipensYield









Gulf Coast



10–12 pounds




7–10 pounds



very early

10–20 pounds

Pink Lemonade


late mid-season


Sunshine Blue



5–10 pounds

Top Hat



3 pounds

Before You Start Planting

Blueberry plants are perennials. This means they will go dormant in the winter and return every spring. This makes for a great investment, especially if you buy plants cheap in the fall season or purchase young plants for around $10. Eventually, each bush should produce 6–15 pounds of berries per season! We all know how expensive a pint of blueberries can be at the supermarket! By planting your own bushes, they practically pay for themselves in no time!

If you're patient, you can get blueberry plants on sale in the fall. I’ve gotten plants as low as $2 at garden centers. This is compared to paying $10 a plant in the spring. Just make sure to plant the bushes and protect them during the winter months.

You can often find great deals on blueberries and other berry plants if you look to purchase them in the fall.

You can often find great deals on blueberries and other berry plants if you look to purchase them in the fall.

How To Care for Blueberry Plants in Containers

After a few seasons, I began to think outside of just vegetables and dreamed of rows and rows of blueberry shrubs. Unfortunately, I have no room in my yard for a nice blueberry patch. Then out of the blue, I saw blueberry plants on sale for $7 at the garden center in the spring of 2012 and couldn't resist buying some. This was when I bought my first two blueberry bushes. They were a cold-hardy, half-high hybrid variety named Chippewa.

Since it was an impulse buy, I wasn't sure where I would put the plants, which is when I learned about planting blueberries in containers. So I bought two large pots and filled them up with some potting soil and some peat moss. They looked fantastic on my back deck and even gave me some berries that first year. Unfortunately, I lost one plant by August because the pot was not draining correctly, and we had a very wet end to summer.

As the fall of 2012 approached, I realized I needed another blueberry bush for the following year. So I decided to stop by a garden center one day, and I'm so glad I did! One of the best deals I've ever discovered happened at that garden center. At the time, berry plants were on sale for $2! I ended up buying two Sunshine Blue blueberry plants, a Brigitta blueberry plant, an Apache Thornless blackberry bush, and two 16-inch pots for the astounding price of $12!

Areas Where Blueberries Grow Best

Blueberries are native to North America. So if you live there, it will most likely be easier to grow! Over the years, blueberries have spread across the globe and now can be found growing in the United States, parts of Europe, Canada, parts of South America, and even Australia!

There are two common species of blueberries:

  1. The “low-bush blueberries” are generally considered the wild blueberry and do really well in northern latitudes, particularly in Maine.
  2. The other variety is called “high-bush blueberries." This variety is the taller blueberry bush that you will most likely find at the garden center. Many types of high-bush blueberries do well all across the United States.

Growing two or more blueberry varieties near each other will give you more berries! Like many fruits, cross-pollination is necessary for blueberries, but it also results in much larger yields. You can not just plant random blueberry plants next to each other, however. It would be best if you had plants that will bloom at the same time. So when buying blueberry bushes, always know what variety you are buying. Many plants will have tags with appropriate companion bushes to plant nearby. I have planted Chippewa, Brigita, and Duke, which all aid each other in larger yields. I also had Sunshine Blue blueberry plants, but they were damaged by the extreme cold and dying.

Despite this anomaly with my batch, part of what makes blueberry plants special is that you don’t have to worry too much about frost damage from a late spring freeze, as blooms can withstand temperatures as low as 28°F! Other fruits, especially cherry, apple, and pear trees, tend to have problems when blooms are threatened by a frost or freeze, resulting in significantly less fruit that season.

How To Help Blueberries Survive Rough Winters

In the winter of 2012–13, I was smart enough to place my blueberry bushes in my shed right before the infamous blizzard Nemo hit! My area received about 40 inches of snow in one night! This certainly would have crushed my plants if I had not protected them. This wise decision resulted in an awesome harvest from all four blueberry bushes later that summer.

The following winter brought extreme cold for my area, which damaged my Sunshine Blue plants (they're better suited for areas further south). One was lost, and the other one was severely damaged. The summer of 2014 resulted in fewer blueberries, mostly because I lost one bush, another was damaged, and the other two needed some pruning.

The brutal winter of 2014–15 was the coldest on record for my area, however, and resulted in the loss of the other Sunshine Blue plant. So this spring, I went back to the garden center and bought a Duke Blueberry plant. I also pruned my other remaining plants, which include my Chippewa and Brigitta plants. Hopefully, this summer will be bountiful!

If you're interested in growing blueberries but not sure where to start, then check out the chart below to see some popular blueberry varieties in North America and which hardiness zone they belong to. If you're unsure which zone you are located in, consult the USDA page on hardiness zones. Once you get started, you'll be enjoying blueberries in no time!

3 Tips for Caring for Blueberry Plants

1. Blueberries love Acidic Soil!

Did you know that blueberry plants love coffee grounds? They make for a fantastic fertilizer and addition to the soil around the plant. Coffee grounds will lower the pH of the soil, which is great for blueberry bushes because they like acidic soil. This is also great if you are growing bushes in a container and maintaining a nutrient-dense, healthy pot of dirt. Just sprinkle a few coffee grounds around the plant in the early spring. But be careful not to add too much, for as with anything, moderation is key. If you don’t drink coffee, simply visit a local Starbucks, and they can give you coffee grounds for free! Just ask your local barista!

2. They Need to Be Pruned.

The blueberry flower has a beautiful, small bell shape. Like all berry plants, though, they need to be pruned. Younger canes produce more fruit, and the only way these canes will grow is if you make room for them. To do this, remove the damaged and older canes. Older canes will be thicker, woodier, and produce fewer flower buds. The best time to prune is late in the winter before buds really start forming. Canes will produce healthy fruit for up to six years. Check out the University of Maine video below to see how to prune a blueberry bush correctly.

3. No Room? No Problem!

No room in your yard? Don’t have a yard? Don’t have acidic soil? That's no problem, as blueberries can also be grown in containers. This is actually how I grow my blueberries, and I’ve been pretty successful! You do want to take some steps to ensure your blueberry plants stay healthy, though. First, plants need to be planted in larger pots to ensure enough room for the roots to grow. I recommend 16-inch pots or larger. If you’re planning on keeping the plants in containers for many years, consider replacing the soil and changing to a slightly larger pot every few years. Using a container, you can also control the soil's acidity, creating the perfect conditions for growing blueberries. Stick to slightly smaller varieties, however. You don’t want a blueberry bush that’s supposed to be 6–8 feet high in a tiny pot.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2015 Brian Dooling


Linda Bryen from United Kingdom on March 25, 2018:

Thank you for this hub about blueberries. I just love this fruit, in fact I bought one from a garden centre and for two years it has been giving lots of blueberries each year. I also grow it in a pot as I don't have much space in my garden. Well done, it is a great hub. Voted as well.

Brian Dooling (author) from Connecticut on April 27, 2015:

Hey agvupes! Yes, they definitely can be a money saver. Two summers ago I was able to have a handful of fresh blueberries on my cereal every morning for breakfast from Late July until Early September! Thanks for commenting!

Peter from Australia on April 27, 2015:

G'day Brian thanks for this great lesson on growing Blueberries I will have to find a plant, Over here in Southern Australia the prices vary quite a bit but atm I am paying about $6 for about 4 oz so it would be worth while growing a bush :)

Brian Dooling (author) from Connecticut on April 27, 2015:

Thanks vocalcoach! That's awesome, you'll have to let me know how you make out!

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on April 27, 2015:

I'll be growing potted blueberries after reading your helpful hub. Thanks so much. Voted up and sharing.

Brian Dooling (author) from Connecticut on April 26, 2015:

Thanks Vespawoolf! That's so exciting! I did a quick google search on blueberries in Peru and it looks like a booming industry. Hopefully, that will make finding the right variety to grow easier. Thanks for leaving a comment!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on April 26, 2015:

The title of this Hub caught my eye right away. Blueberries were unknown in Peru until just recently. I don't know which variety is being cultuvated here, but I had never thought of growing them in a pot! I plan to look into finding a plant soon. Thanks for the information and inspiration.

Brian Dooling (author) from Connecticut on April 26, 2015:

Thanks pstraubie48! The local nursery is an excellent place to start! Good luck with the new bushes, i'm sure you'll be enjoying homegrown berries in no time! Thanks for the vote up! Have a great evening enjoying those fresh berries from your friends!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on April 26, 2015:

So much helpful information here. I have NO blueberry plants as I have just moved to a new location but they are one of my favorite fruits so I will be reviewing your notes as I plant my new bushes. the local nursery has excellent ones for great prices.

My sweet little friends brought me a quart they had picked at a local patch yesterday. I am having some this evening.

voted up+++ and shared Angels are on the way to you this afternoon ps

Brian Dooling (author) from Connecticut on April 26, 2015:

That's awesome Austinstar! Good luck with your blueberries!

Brian Dooling (author) from Connecticut on April 26, 2015:

Thanks Glimmer Twin Fan! I'm glad you find it useful. I hope you have better luck with your blueberries!

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on April 26, 2015:

I'm trying to grow some blueberries now! Thanks for the tips.

Claudia Porter on April 26, 2015:

What a great and useful hub! I love blueberries but have never had success in growing them.