Blueberry plants have special requirements for their soil, but otherwise are very easy to care for. In summer, they bear thick, blue berries and are therefore also called blueberries. In autumn they decorate the garden and balcony with colorful leaves.
We present 7 points that matter when you want to buy a blueberry plant.
can you provide a suitable location for the blueberry?
You can plant the blueberry or bilberry outdoors or in sufficiently large pots. In a sunny location, the fruits will be particularly aromatic and sweet. However, the blueberry also feels comfortable in a rather semi-shaded location. However, it needs a few hours of sun per day. The cultivated blueberry has somewhat different requirements than the wild forest blueberry. The latter likes to grow in shady forests. The thick, blue berries of the cultivated blueberry, on the other hand, need sun.
In the open field you can plant it alone, but also very nicely in a group or in rows with other blueberries. In the pot it should stand alone, so that the roots have enough space.
Is the blueberry suitable as a houseplant?
Blueberries need bees, bumblebees or other insects for pollination. Without pollination, the flowers will not be fertilized – and no fruit will develop. As is almost always the case in the garden, the larger and more diverse the insect party, the larger and more numerous the fruits will ripen. So, unfortunately, you can’t grow a blueberry plant indoors.
How much space does a blueberry plant need?
That depends on what kind of variety you buy. There are rather small varieties that have been bred especially for keeping in tubs. But also normal sized varieties like our blueberry Bodo grow in a pot – it just has to be a bit bigger. You can start with a newly purchased plant with a pot that holds a good 30 liters of soil. This is the case, for example, with a pot with a diameter of about 38 cm and a height of about 30 cm. Every few years, repot the blueberry plant into a larger pot. Allow it plenty of space and slowly increase to a soil volume of about 40 – 50 liters. So plan on needing more space on your balcony or patio after a few blueberry years.
Outdoors, blueberries will not be replanted once they are established, so they need a certain planting distance from their neighbors from the start. It should be at least 1.5 m, 2 m is even better. This seems like a lot at first, but the plant should have enough space to develop well.
Do you have a good location and enough space? Great, the first step is done to buy your own blueberry plant.
can you get the blueberry through the winter well?
The good news is that blueberry plants are hardy. They can tolerate very low temperatures and don’t need extra protection outdoors. The exception: if you planted your blueberry in the fall, you can give it an extra thick layer of mulch around the roots during its first winter. You can also cover the soil around the plant with pine greenery.
Blueberry plants in pots need frost protection to prevent damage to their roots. The soil in the pot can freeze quickly. It is best to protect the entire pot sufficiently from low temperatures, for example, with special fleece or jute fabrics. For ground-level terraces, it is also useful to place the pot on a wooden or polystyrene board, which will protect against ground frost. And a layer of mulch on the soil is always a good idea.
where best to buy the blueberry plant?
The classic source of supply for plants of all kinds are nurseries and garden centers. These farms raise their plants themselves and take care of them professionally. Plants in hardware and plant stores or even supermarkets and discount stores also come from large nurseries, wholesale nurseries or other plant dealers.
The closer you are to “the source” when buying, the better it is, of course. A blueberry plant in a hardware store may have already gone through many stops, but at least it is cared for on site by professional staff. Unfortunately, this is not the case with plants in supermarkets or discount stores.
Buy blueberry plant: Nearby or online?
There is no simple answer to this question. Even with local retailers near you, the berry bushes may have already traveled a long way via several middlemen.
In general, you should only buy plants from suppliers who seem trustworthy and reputable – and who of course know something about plants.
how much does it cost to buy a blueberry plant?
How expensive a blueberry depends on the size, quality and variety of the plant. Blueberries that are still very young and have only developed a few thin shoots are naturally cheaper. Most often, they are also offered in smaller pots, because the root ball is not yet so large.
By quality is meant whether the plants are healthy and robust. In addition, plants from conventional and organic cultivation can be distinguished.
In addition, there are many different cultivars, which differ in taste and size of the fruit or the size of the whole plant.
which variety is best for you?
Here it depends on how much space you have available for the blueberry. For a very small balcony that will accommodate other plants besides a blueberry, a dwarf variety is beneficial. These are also happy with smaller pots. Note, however, that such cultivars just remain rather small in height and should not be shaded by other plants or balcony parapets.
With a little more space or outdoors, almost all varieties are suitable. Some varieties can cope better with shady places and others with very sunny ones. Here you should see what locations are available to you for the blueberry.
What accessories do you need for your blueberry?
Spade or shovel
For an outdoor blueberry plant, a spade is very handy to be able to plant it. This is because the planting hole should be quite large. For a planting in a pot, a small shovel will do.
Most blueberry varieties need a slightly acidic soil. This means that the pH of the soil should be around 4 – 5. Normal potting soil is therefore only suitable if you “acidify” it. For example, you can mix in some sand and a lot of bark compost. Normal compost raises the pH of the soil and should be used very sparingly. A layer of bark mulch around the plant is recommended.
You can also plant the blueberry in rhododendron soil. However, make sure that it is a peat-free soil.
For outdoors, unless you live in a boggy, wooded area, your garden soil is most likely not well suited for blueberry plants. It is better to buy suitable potting soil, bark compost or similar. The heavier and loamier your garden soil is, the higher its pH. So, in this case, you need to fill the planting hole for the blueberry with an acidic soil in any case.
Pots or tubs
For your blueberry plant in a pot, you will of course need a suitable planter. Our Bloomify Blueberry requires a pot that is at least 35 inches in diameter. It is imperative that the pot has at least one drainage hole so that excess rain and watering water can drain away.
There are pots made of different materials. The classic clay pot looks great, but unfortunately, depending on the exact material, it is susceptible to frost. Also, the blueberry roots in it can easily be damaged by frost. For pots made of plastic, you should go for recycled material. Be aware that black plastic pots can heat up in the sun and cause heat damage to the roots. There are also pots made from natural materials such as wood or bamboo.
In order for the soil in the pot to dry better after watering or a rain shower, it is advisable to spread a drainage layer at the bottom of the pot. For this you need, for example, expanded clay balls or coarse gravel.
You can feed your blueberry plant with mineral or organic fertilizers, but it generally needs rather little fertilizer. We clearly recommend organic fertilizers. These are better for the environment and also have a long-term effect. Unfortunately, compost is not good for blueberry because it raises the pH of the soil. However, it tolerates organic slow-release fertilizers very well because they release their nutrients slowly and the risk of overfertilization is very low.
Mineral fertilizer, for example liquid berry fertilizer, on the other hand, must be given regularly and can easily be overdosed.
Garden shears, watering can & Co.
Older blueberry branches eventually bear less or no fruit. However, this is only the case after a few years. In order to always be able to harvest many blueberries, these old shoots must be removed so that new ones can grow back. This works best with sharp secateurs.
Very practical is a watering can, with which you can regularly supply the blueberry plant in the pot with sufficient water. Outdoors, rain is usually sufficient, only in dry summers you need to water the berry bushes additionally.
If winter is just around the corner, we recommend that you use garden fleece, jute fabric, etc. to wrap the pot thickly for winter storage.
After the purchase: How to care for your blueberry plant
A newly purchased blueberry plant must either be planted out or repotted. It has usually been in the same soil for a while, which is low in nutrients, and its roots need more space. You can place the root ball in a bucket of water overnight. This will allow the roots to soak up water, making it easier to grow.
It is advisable to always protect a newly purchased blueberry from the blazing sun for a few days, as in many cases it is not yet used to it and sunburn will quickly occur on the leaves.
Blueberries love it when you mulch the soil around the plant. This protects the roots, which run shallowly under the soil, from frost in the winter and from drying out in the summer. Mulching works not only outdoors, but also for container plants.
The blueberry plant is a low grower and does not need large amounts of fertilizer to grow vigorously and bear fruit. When planting, you can give the blueberry an organic slow-release fertilizer. The blueberry is happy to receive a little dried coffee grounds from time to time.
Keep a close eye on your blueberry in the early days. You should look for warning signs of waterlogging and pest infestation. Moving always means some stress for a plant, which makes it more susceptible to pests.
Conclusion – Buying blueberry plant made easy
Now you know what matters when you want to buy a blueberry plant. Besides a suitable location, a slightly acidic soil and a sufficiently large pot are very important. We hope that we could give you all important information about the purchase of a blueberry plant.
If you would like to learn more about the blueberry, then take a look at our knowledge text!
I have 30 years of experience and i started this website to see if i could try and share my knowledge to help you.
With a degree a Horticulture BSc (Hons)
I have worked as a horticulture specialist lead gardener, garden landscaper, and of course i am a hobby gardener at home in my own garden.
Please if you have any questions leave them on the article and i will get back to you personally.