So your blueberry stays healthy and happy for a long time
Blueberries or blueberries are very hardy and do not require as much care as other berry bushes. A little fertilizer, only a little work with pruning – perfect. We give you 5 valuable blueberry care tips.
regularly repot your blueberry in a pot.
If your blueberry is growing in a pot, it will need new soil regularly as well as more room for its roots. In a pot, the soil is eventually depleted and contains hardly any nutrients. The first time you repot your blueberry is right after you buy it. After that, you can wait two years before repotting. Younger shrubs should be repotted every 2 – 3 years, older ones less often, as they do not grow as much.
Provide the blueberry with fresh soil each time. This must be slightly acidic. This means that its pH should be around 4 – 5. Normal planting soil has a higher pH and needs to be made more acidic, for example by adding bark humus or compost.
Once planted outdoors, the soil cannot be renewed as easily as in a pot. Fortunately, this is not necessary, as the plants benefit in the best case from a good garden soil with an active soil life. When planting, the blueberry must be provided with a decent amount of suitable soil. This can also be reapplied and worked in around the plant from time to time instead of repotting. A thick layer of mulch is also a good idea for blueberries outdoors. Mulch, for example, with oak leaves, bark mulch or, in winter, fir branches for frost protection.
The perfect blueberry care: which soil?
Blueberries love soil that is sandy, but preferably somewhat boggy and rich in humus. Humus is the term used to describe decomposed organic material. If the pH of the soil is too high, the blueberry can no longer absorb important nutrients and shows symptoms of deficiency. Therefore, you should still mix normal planting soil with a large proportion of acidic soil. Rhododendron soil is already slightly acidic and is also well suited for blueberries. Make sure that you always buy peat-free soil.
If you have a garden and oak leaves available, you can create a leaf compost with them. The resulting humus is great for feeding blueberries with. Other composts, however, raise the pH of the soil and are only suitable in moderation.
Outdoor tip: You can buy inexpensive test strips with which you can check the pH value of your garden soil.
give your blueberry a suitable location.
Cultivated blueberries love sunny places, but can also tolerate some partial shade. Therefore, do not choose a shady location for your plant. Potted plants have the advantage of being mobile. You can place them in the cold half of the year a little shadier, but more protected, for example near a house wall.
Outdoors, you must make sure that the blueberry gets enough sun all year round. Leafless trees in spring can hide how shady it gets under them in summer.
The perfect blueberry care: garden, balcony or terrace as location?
Blueberries thrive both outdoors and in large containers. So, of course, they are also suitable for balconies and terraces. However, make sure to plant them in a pot that is large enough. 30 liters of soil should hold the pot for most blueberry varieties, only special dwarf varieties need less space.
The planting distance outdoors should be at least 1.5 meters, 2 meters is even better. Again, dwarf varieties need less space.
3) Water and fertilize your blueberry sufficiently.
Blueberry plants do not like it when the soil dries out too much. However, this should not tempt you to water too much with potted plants, because blueberries do not like soil that is too wet either. The pot must therefore have drainage holes so that excess water and rainwater can run off. Always check that the soil is still moist before watering.
If you can only water with tap water, you need to pay attention to how hard the water is in your area. Very hard water contains a lot of lime, which can raise the pH of the soil in the long run. Not only in this case, small applications of fertilizer in the form of coffee grounds are useful: the coffee acidifies the soil and also contains many nutrients for the blueberry.
The perfect blueberry care: fertilizing in moderation
In general, however, the blueberry does not need much fertilizer. It’s important that you don’t fertilize them with regular compost, as this also raises the pH of the soil. Oak leaf or conifer or bark compost, on the other hand, will slightly acidify the soil and is well suited.
Organic slow-release fertilizers are advisable when feeding blueberries, as they release their nutrients slowly. Overfertilization is thus as good as impossible. They are available in pellet form, such as our Bloomify fertilizer.
keep your blueberry healthy and beautiful by pruning it.
After buying your blueberry and planting it, you can sit back for now: The shrubs grow quite slowly, so no pruning is necessary in the first few years. You can only cut off dead branches.
At some point you will notice that the older shoots bear less fruit and not so many new shoots grow from the ground. Then it’s time to motivate the plant to grow again by pruning. Usually this is necessary only after about 3 – 4 years after planting. Only a few old shoots are ever cut off, as the blueberry does not like radical pruning. At least six old shoots should remain. You should only cut off the younger shoots if they are very weak or too dense. Blueberries bear the most fruit on two- to three-year-old shoots.
your blueberry must winter well.
Blueberry is hardy and copes well with very low temperatures. But it has one weak point: its roots. These are more sensitive than the above-ground part of the plant. This is especially important for tub plants.
Blueberries and other berry bushes do not usually need to be protected from frost outdoors. However, berries are shallow rooted, which means that their roots tend to run shallowly underground. Therefore, if low temperatures or permafrost are announced, the plants will appreciate a thick, protective layer of mulch. Your outdoor blueberries don’t even need more protection to get through the winter well.
The perfect blueberry care: winter in a pot
In the pot, the roots are unprotected against frost. It reaches them effortlessly through the pot and soil. It is therefore very important to pack the planters sufficiently thick to protect the roots.
It is very effective if you place the pot on a wooden or polystyrene plate. In this way, the blueberry is protected from ground frost. In addition, you can protect the entire pot with materials such as jute or special garden fleece. From above you can protect the soil with a layer of mulch, just as you would do in the open ground.
In mild winters, it is sometimes not necessary to wrap the pot of blueberries extra. However, we think it’s better to have a little too much winter protection than frostbitten plants.
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.
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