Blueberries are an delicious, juicy and nutritious fruit. And they’re loaded with antioxidants and vitamins, which means that eating them can help to keep you fit and healthy.
The best part is that blueberries grow well in containers making them an ideal choice if you have a garden that has no room for planting or other small outdoor space such as a balcony or patio.
With some guidelines you’ll be easily able to grow blueberries in containers.
Select a pot that is at least 12 inches deep and wide. Remember the container should have drainage holes on the bottom. Position your container in a sunny aspect so that it receives plenty of sun exposure for at least 6 hours per day (including morning). It’s important to give your blueberry plant as much direct light as possible. Water your plants at least once every week and more if the weather is hot and dry.
Where to get your blueberry plant for your container
Most gardeners will buy a young blueberry bush from a garden center or other retailer and the bush may arrive in a pot or bare rooted.
Bare rooted plants should be potted as soon as they arrive to prevent them from drying out, potted bushes can stay in their pots unless they are root bound.
You can often find good quality blueberry plants for sale online but they do sell out quickly and can be seasonal.
What is the best potting mix for blueberries?
Blueberries need acidic soil and will not do well in any other type.
Any compost that is suitable for acid loving plants, such as azaleas, will be suitable for a blueberry bush.
A camellia/azalea potting compost, mixed with some coarse medium ( such as bark ) will provide a good home for your blueberry plant.
- Thrives in USDA Zones 7-10
- Mature size 48-72” W x 60-72” H
- Light Needs: Full sun
- Deciduous – foliage loss in winter and new growth in spring
- Ships dormant (no foliage) winter through early spring
Planting a blueberry bush in a container
Your blueberry plant will need a suitable pot to live in and this should be around 12 inches wide and a similar depth.
Fill the pot with a good quality compost, preferably one that has slightly acidic qualities as blueberries prefer a Ph of 5.5 or lower.
Plant the bush up to the existing soil mark and give it a good watering.
Place it in a light, sheltered position to give it the chance to settle in and water regularly but do not allow the soil to become waterlogged.
Will blueberries grow well in pots?
Blueberries are well suited to growing in containers providing that you meet their basic needs.
Unlike a plant growing in the ground, a pot grown plant can dry out quickly and has limited access to nutrients, which can become depleted in the potting soil.
Blueberries love acidic soil and one of the advantages of using containers is that you can control the quality and Ph of the soil that you use.
Pruning your blueberry bush
One of the best things about growing blueberries in containers is that you do not have to prune them.
Once they are established and mature, most container grown plants do not need pruning although some may like to top cut down the bush to keep it small and manageable.
Do this in early spring or late winter when the plant is dormant.
Fertilizing container grown blueberries
Container plants need to be fed regularly. You should use a small quantity of slow release fertilizer in early spring, this will give the plant a good boost for growth through summer and into fall.
But if growing your plant indoors make sure that you do not over feed it.
Do I need two blueberry bushes to get fruit?
No, blueberry bushes are self fertile.
However, if you get another plant that is a different variety of blueberry, then you will get more fruit and larger berries which is a result of the plants cross pollinating with each other.
Harvesting container grown blueberries
Blueberries will begin to ripen from the mid summer onwards.
The berries will turn from a green color to the classic dark blue when they’ll be ready to pick.
The amount of berries that ripen at the same time will vary across plants and you’ll need to check daily to harvest the ripened fruit.
How do you overwinter container blueberries?
Your plant will need to rest and should stay outdoors in it’s pot.
Try to provide it with some shelter away from the worst of the weather, out of cold winds and, preferably in an area where the pot will not become waterlogged.
If the winter becomes really cold, you can transfer the pot to a sheltered location indoors or you can cover them with mulch or fine netting for protection.
Above all you should not let the containers freeze, if the roots of your blueberry become frozen then it is unlikely that your plant will survive.
Final words on growing blueberries
Blueberries are easy to grow, but they do require a lot of attention and need regular watering.
They can look attractive planted in a container or alternatively you could use them as part of an informal hedge in your yard.
Growing blueberries in containers is a fun and rewarding experience that can be enjoyed by all and, if well looked after, they will produce fruit for up to 20 years.