When selecting blueberry plants, choose half-high bush cultivars as they are hardier in Wisconsin, and are relatively short in stature. Step 1: … Sign up for our newsletter. Highbush blueberries would prefer to be planted in well-prepared soil in the ground but with proper … Make sure you follow the recommended rates described on the fertilizer label.Slow-release fertilizers will typically need to be supplemented periodically (usually every two weeks) with more fast-acting acidic liquid fertilizers (e.g., Miracid) when the blueberry plants are actively growing during the spring through mid-summer. Collected rainwater is ideal for watering, and typically is not as ‘hard’, nor has as high of a pH as well water. Soil should drain well. Vijai Pandian, UW-Extension Brown County and Rebecca Harbut, UW-Madison Horticulture Revised:  12/9/2010 Item number:  XHT1196. Then sprinkle a good layer of potting mix right on top of the seeds. You can plant blueberry bushes as close as 2 or 2.5 feet apart to form solid hedgerows, or space them up to 6 feet apart so they grow individually. Connect with your County Extension Office », Find an Extension employee in our staff directory », Get the latest news and updates on Extension's work around the state, Feedback, questions or accessibility issues: info@extension.wisc.edu | © 2020 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System Privacy Policy | Non-Discrimination Policy | Discrimination and Harassment Complaints | Disability Accommodation Requests | Civil Rights. Make sure to give your plant plenty of acid. Grow Blueberries In Containers Blueberries are a perfect berry choice for growing in containers. The placement of the blueberry slices will be on the top of the soil inside your container. Ensure the soil stays at pH of 5.5 or lower, to avoid problems. Growing blueberries in containers are so easy and effective that you may want to give it a try even if you have enough room for a garden in the soil for this antioxidant-rich fruit. If you live in a warmer climate but still want to grow delicious blueberries...you're in luck. Top Hat is a good choice since it only gets 2 feet tall. Harvest is bigger after 5 years. Blueberries need moist, fertile, well-drained soil that's decidedly on the acid side, around pH 4.5. As the plant matures, repot it in a larger container (e.g., a 16 or 20 inch pot) or in a barrel, once again filled with the acidic soilless growing medium of your choice. Container blueberry bushes can be grown outdoors or indoors in minimal space and … Dig the container back up in the spring. Alternatively, containers can be left buried in the soil as long as the containers have proper drainage holes and the site where the containers are buried is well drained and exposed to full sun. Plant your blueberry bush in a container no smaller than 2 gallons, preferably bigger. Frequent, light watering is ideal, with an occasional ‘drench’ to eliminate soil salts. Avoid using black containers for planting blueberries as such containers absorb heat leading to more rapid moisture loss. Therefore, attempting to lower soil pH may not be a viable option for backyard gardeners who have an elevated soil pH. Plant two or more varieties for successful pollination. Blueberries are notoriously fussy about soil pH. Plants in containers need more frequent watering than those in the ground. Contrast the blueberry’s warm, fall foliage color with spunky fall flowers like asters and mums. For comparison, blueberries require quite acidic soil around pH 4.5-5.5. Fill a five-gallon container with whichever mix you decide to use, and plant a single blueberry plant in the container. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! The hardest part of growing blueberries in Houston is managing the soil. When growing containerized blueberries, closely monitor growing medium moisture levels. Standard blueberry bushes can reach heights of 6 feet (1.8 meters), which is awfully tall for a container plant. Read on for more information about what to plant with blueberries. You can start with a slightly smaller container and allow the plant to grow until it fills it, then transplant the blueberry into a larger container. You just get more berries that way. They’re also great for growing potatoes, as I learned earlier this year. Quick facts about growing blueberries. Buried containers can be left in ground for over-wintering. The bushes are compact, the roots are shallow and the production is abundant under the right growing conditions. Position the containers in an area that receives full sun. Planting Blueberries in Containers. The container size also depends on the variety of blueberries you are growing. Since blueberries don’t like Houston soils (too alkaline and heavy), we highly recommend growing in containers or raised beds where you have total control of the soil mix. Most varieties of blueberries will want the pH level of the soil to be 4.5 to 5.5. Most blueberry cultivars are self-fruitful and do not require another cultivar for cross pollination (‘St. Therefore, try to maintain a moist, but not wet/soggy, growing medium. Raspberries in pots require slightly acidic (pH 6.0-6.2), nutrient-retaining, well-draining soil. Don’t allow it to dry out between waterings. Blueberry bushes need very acidic soil, with a pH between 4.5 and 5. Raised beds or patio containers are good options for areas where the soil is not ideal. You can build the soil from scratch to provide good drainage and the proper pH. Whether you’re gardening on a patio, rooftop, or balcony, following these universal tips will mean that you to have healthy, bountiful plants year after year. In fact, in a lot of areas, growing blueberries in containers is preferable to growing them in the ground. Caring for blueberries, raspberries and blackberries in containers over winter is easy. When your soil is not suitable for growing blueberries, growing in containers is your best option! Preferred soil: The acidic soil that helps these blueberries thrive is mostly found in East Texas. You’ll need to pick blueberry plant companions that share a blueberry’s love for acidic soil. Blueberries are relatively easy to look after. During early to mid-spring, remove containers from the ground and place them in full sun. Berries planted in the ground need less care; just add a two to three inch blanket of mulch to keep them warm. How do I properly fertilize my blueberry plants? If you want to learn how to grow blueberries in containers properly, there are a few things you need to remember. If you can’t find the right product, mix a fertilizer for acid-loving plants into the potting mix. One of the most critical factors for successful blueberry production is providing an ideal soil pH in the range of 4.5 to 5.0. Blueberries are popular in home gardens because they can grow in a small space, even in containers. Top Hat and Northsky are two common varieties that grow to only 18 inches (.5 meters). Later in the autumn, but before the snow, mulch with 4-8 inches (10-20 cm) of straw and cover the plant with a burlap bag. Keep the compost or soil moist, but not soaking wet. How do I overwinter my blueberry plants? As mentioned earlier, blueberries thrive well in acidic soils. Plants can thrive and bear fruit in containers in any area that receives full sunlight. If water stands within the location you’re planting for two days, don’t plant a … Keep reading to learn about how to grow blueberries in pots. First off, blueberries are acid-loving plants and it’s easier to monitor the soil pH in a pot. Make sure to give your plant plenty of acid. When selecting the variety of blueberry you’re going to grow, it’s important to pick a dwarf or half-high variety. I recommend growing the Northern Low Bush Top Hat Variety as well as the Southern Highbrush Sunshine Blue variety in containers. Plant your blueberry bush in a container no smaller than 2 gallons, preferably bigger. Use a brand name potting mix (not top soil or garden soil). Mix all ingredients well. Large pots, between 16-22 inches deep, are going to be perfect for growing blueberries. In general however, growing more than one blueberry cultivar will improve pollination and enhance yield and berry size. Some popular half-high cultivars recommended for Wisconsin (i.e., hardy in zones 3 though 5) are ‘Northblue’, ‘Northsky’, ‘St. Water occasionally. Growing blueberries in containers is a relatively easy process, but there are some things to keep in mind beforehand to ensure your success. How do I prepare the growing medium? Acidic soil is a must. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Water quality is as important for growing blueberries as the composition of the growing medium. For more information on growing blueberries in containers: Contact your county Extension agent. Immediately water the pot thoroughly to settle the soil and eliminate any air gaps around … Because containers do not provide adequate insulation from the cold, be sure to protect container-grown blueberries during the winter to prevent root damage. Alternatively, store it in an unheated building, like a barn or garage, with occasional watering. You can also go for wine or whiskey barrels, buckets, and large tubs. Standard blueberry bushes can reach heights of 6 feet (1.8 meters), which is awfully tall for a container plant. How much water will my blueberry plants need? You can also select low bush blueberry cultivars such as ‘Top Hat’ (hardy to zone 5) for container production. What cultivar of blueberry should I use? With a little care, … Blueberry shrubs grow happily in small groups and also work well in a hedge row. Spacing and planting blueberries. Prevent roots from freezing and cold winds from drying out the plant’s branches with just a … Mulch the soil surface with two inches of pine bark or chipped hardwood bark to conserve moisture. While most garden plants prefer a neutral or slightly alkaline soil, blueberries like acidic soil. Cloud’ and ‘Polaris’ are exceptions). Growing Blueberries In Containers To start growing blueberries in containers, you’ll need a variety of blueberry bush that stays small. Sunshine Blue gets 3 feet tall and has bright pink flowers; a very popular variety. Containers: Blueberries have roots that spread about three to four feet wide. Give your plant frequent light waterings or invest in a drip irrigation system. This is a challenge in many parts of Wisconsin where soils are typically too alkaline (i.e., the soil pH is too high – above 7.0) for blueberries. Container blueberry bushes can be grown outdoors or indoors in minimal space and will put on quite a colorful show from spring through fall. A main benefit of container gardening is the ability to control soil type and nutrients. The blueberry is a wonderful fruit rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, and vitamin E. Due to its popularity, there is a growing interest among gardeners to plant blueberries in backyard gardens. In order to thrive, Blueberries require low pH and actively decomposing soil. Blueberries require acidic soil. Top Hat and Northsky are two common varieties that grow to only 18 inches (.5 meters). Put a little of your growing medium in the base, then place your bare root or pot grown blueberries in your new pots or containers, taking care to keep the plants upright and at the centre of the container. Leave the soil level an inch or so down from the lip of the container. A fun way to go, is to plant in the largest container your space and pocketbook allows, and fill in around the blueberry with annual flowers for a classic container look. As the plant matures, repot it in a larger container (e.g., a 16 or 20 inch pot) or in a barrel, once again filled with the acidic soilless growing medium of your choice. Sphagnum Moss Vs. 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A combination of supplemental liquid and slow-release acid fertilizers is recommended. The bushes are compact, the roots are shallow and the production is abundant under the right growing conditions. To prepare an acidic soilless growing medium, use a mix of one part sphagnum peat moss and one part shredded pine bark. Avoid overapplying fertilizers, as blueberry roots are sensitive to fertilizer salt injury. To be successful growing blueberries in containers, choose a variety that has smaller bushes. Check the pH of the soil in spring and add sulphur chips if it needs lowering. Just follow these simple steps and you can harvest handfuls of super-sweet berries from your own container-grown blueberry plant. An EEO/AA employer, University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension provides equal opportunities in employment and programming, including Title VI, Title IX, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act requirements. We teach, learn, lead and serve, connecting people with the University of Wisconsin, and engaging with them in transforming lives and communities. Another good mix is 50/50 sphagnum peat moss and shredded pine bark. You can start blueberry plants in five-gallon containers, but after a year or two, you may want to move your blueberry plants to 20-inch pots. Growing blueberries in pots. Can I grow blueberries in a pot? In fact, they are one of the easiest berries to grow in containers. This is important because blueberries need acidic soil. Blueberries are a perfect berry choice for growing in containers. Low bush cultivars have a dwarf (i.e., maximum 12 inch height) and spreading growth habit and typically produce smaller fruit. Just make sure that they have sufficient drainage holes. These berry plants get about three feet high and almost as wide. Growing any plant in a container makes it more vulnerable to the cold of winter; instead of being deep underground, the roots are separated from the cold air by just a thin wall. If using drip irrigation, place two emitters in each pot on either side of a plant. Some good varieties for containers include: 'Dwarf Northblue', a mid-season bush that grows 20 to 24 inches Know that growing blueberries in pots […] … Another way to reduce heat stress and water loss is to bury containers in the ground. In mid- to late October, bury containers in the ground at a site where snow is likely to accumulate and where plants will be protected from cold winter winds. Because of this, you should subtract one number from your local hardiness zone when considering buying a container grown blueberry. Apply slow-release acid fertilizers (e.g., elemental sulfur) four weeks after planting in the first year and then top dress the growing medium surface lightly the following spring. Growing acid-loving blueberries in containers, with an acid potting soil mix or a 50-50 mix of peat and potting soil, is a simple solution to that problem. Blueberries are ideal for containers - they need an acid soil and you can provide for this more easily if you grow them in a pot rather than in the open ground. Blueberry plants grow slowly and reach full size in 8 to 10 years. Avoid dark plastic containers, as this can overheat the roots. Take care to keep the plants at the same depth as they were previously planted. Plant the Blueberries. Water plants with rainwater, not tap water, unless you have no alternative in a drought. Absolutely! Even if they say you don’t need a pollinator, grow at least 2. One way around this is to grow your blueberries in containers. Highly alkaline soils that are clay or high in organic matter can be amended by adding large amounts of sulfur to lower the pH, but will require repeated amendments over time to maintain an ideal pH. Plants won't have much fruit the first 2 to 3 years. With these tips, you’ll get the best fruits possible. Mix all ingredients well. The best way to overwinter your blueberry plant is to bury the container in the ground in mid-autumn in a spot that’s out of the wind and likely to experience a buildup of snow. A 50/50 mix of potting soil and sphagnum peat moss should provide enough acidity. Cloud’, ‘Polaris’, ‘Chippewa’, ‘Northland’, and ‘North Country’. But if you think this means you have to plant a huge orchard or bramble patch, guess again. In our video, Growing Blueberries, Tricia creates a container soil mix of half organic potting soil and half Coco Peat (a sustainable alternative to peat moss). All you need is a trusty pot, a spot in full sun, and plenty of water to grow delicious berries for smoothies, desserts, and more. You can use Nature’s Way Blueberry Soil or you can mix your own. Make sure the containers have drainage holes. Tap water will raise the pH level and blueberries like acidic conditions. Fertilize in spring using an acid-forming azalea/camellia fertilizer at the rate specified on the label. With just a little effort, home gardeners can successfully grow blueberries in containers. This is your planting depth. Prevent rabbit damage by placing chicken wire fencing or hardware cloth around the bushes. Avoid dark plastic containers, as this can overheat the roots. Fill a five-gallon container with whichever mix you decide to use, and plant a single blueberry plant in the container. Feedback, questions or accessibility issues: © 2020 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. How to grow blueberries in containers. Peat moss works well as a planting-mix additive to maximize growth. Use about a half of an inch 0.5″ or 1.27cm centimeters of potting mix to cover your blueberry seeds. An alternate option for producing blueberries is to grow them in a container filled with an acidic soilless growing medium. Blueberries are ideal for growing in containers. Plant the blueberries into the containers at the same level they were in their nursery containers. Blueberries do not like to have ‘wet feet’, but insufficient moisture can also be a problem. Another growing medium  that works well is a mix of two parts coir (shredded coconut husks used in the greenhouse industry), two parts sphagnum peat moss and one part perlite. Blueberries need full sun. You can be successful planting blueberries in pots, as long as you have a sunny location and use acidic potting soil. What to Plant with Blueberries. Blueberry roots are small and shallow, and while they need lots of moisture, they don’t like sitting in water. You can always start small by growing berries in containers, which is simpler than it may sound. Growing blueberries in containers is a great way to harvest fresh, tasty blueberries at home, even if you don’t have space for a garden. Soil Requirements. Dave Wilson Nursery recommends this method for growing blueberries in the home garden. Rather than treating your soil to lower its pH, as many gardeners would have to do, it’s a lot easier to plant your blueberry bushes in containers whose pH you can set from the beginning. Smart Pots are made in the USA and are BPA and lead free, which is important when you’re growing food. Mulch the soil surface with four to eight inches of straw in mid-November or cover the bushes with burlap. The best containers for growing blueberries are Smart Pots, which are durable fabric planters that are weather-resistant, UV resistant, and extremely durable. You can plant in containers with a low-pH, soilless planting mix. Blue gets 3 feet tall earlier this year or hardware cloth around the bushes compact... 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