How to Grow: Blueberry Care

Watch this video on caring for blueberries in your garden including fertilizing, watering and pruning.


I love blueberries. They’re a great edible landscape plant. You can grow them close to your home or go them in a patch like this. And they’re adapted all across the country. You can get northern or southern highbush variety and you can get some half high varieties too that will fit in a small space. Blueberries generally are kind of low maintenance. They do like a sandy loam soil that’s really well drained. If you have a clay soil you can still grow them you want to mound it up and add a lot of organic matter. One thing about blueberries is that they do need some fertilizer. You want to have about 1 foot of new growth each year on your blueberry plant. If you’re not getting that kind of growth you’re going to add fertilizer in the spring. I like adding a cup or two of a cottonseed meal or a blood meal each spring around the plant. That will add nitrogen so it really grows well. If you’re not getting the new growth that you’re looking for, then add a little bit more in the early summer.

The other thing you have to watch out for is the soil PH. Blueberries like an acidic soil, so somewhere around five on the acid-base scale. Seven is neutral five is very acidic. You want to add some garden sulfur to your plants in spring and fall based on a soil test. So you can have a nice acidic soil and those blueberries to grow well. If you don’t have the pH low enough you get what we call chlorosis on the leaves. That means the leaves are kind of yellow. All you have to do is add sulfur to lower the pH.

Blueberries don’t need a lot of pruning especially for the first five years. They’ll just grow up strong and be really healthy and start producing fruit. After five years though, some of those older canes will start
actually being less productive and have less leaves on them. At that point what you’re going to want to do is prune off one or two of those a year. Ideally you want to have five to seven branches on the plant at different ages, from young ones, middle-aged and older ones. That way you’re always having new branches coming
up that will be very productive.

So those are some of the basics of growing blueberries now you might notice behind me you got all this reflective tape. That’s for bird control and that’s what’s next. We’ll talk about controlling birds, not only on blueberries, but on other fruit and veggies in your garden.

Go here for more on growing blueberries.