Growing blueberries in containers is a perfect way to grow some of your own food right in your backyard even if you don’t have a large Garden area today word they were going to talk about some of the basic requirements in order to get a large blueberry Harvest blueberries are actually the first fruit that we started with on our Homestead and have only added more and more bushes as the years go on.
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Benefits of Growing Blueberries in Containers
Before we jump into the specifics of growing blueberries in pots let’s talk about some of the benefits:
- Easy to move during a storm
- Less pressure from deer and rabbits
- Easy to transplant to a new location
- Easy to keep weed and grass free
- Easier to protect with netting from birds
What size Container or Pot
Blueberries have shallow roots therefore they don’t need a deep pot but rather a wide one. When selecting a pot for your blueberries pick one that is at least 20 inches wide and about 2 feet deep.
What Varieties Grow Best in Pots
What variety of blueberries you should grow is going to depend on your zone. You can figure this out by doing a quick google search. But that being said you have a little flexibility since you can easily move your blueberry bush until you find the proper microclimate on your property. You also have the ability to move your blueberry bush to protect it from harsh weather.
No matter what you pick be sure to consider the height and spread of your blueberry bush at maturity. Also, note that you will want to grow two different varieties in order to get the most blueberries (blueberry bushes need to be cross-pollinated to get a bigger harvest).
Requirements for Growing Blueberries in Pots
When picking a spot for your blueberry bush pick one that gets full sun. Full sun is considered to be 6 hours of sun per day.
Blueberries also prefer acidic soil that is well-drained and full of nutrients. We recommend creating a mixture that is ½ peat moss and ½ good potting soil. Make sure you mix it together very, very thoroughly.
Plant one blueberry bush per pot.
Put it into its container, burying it as deep as it was in its nursery pot.
Top with additional soil, leaving the top inch or so of the container empty.
Water the pot thoroughly to settle the soil and eliminate any air gaps.
Mulch the top with some pine needles or wood chips to conserve soil moisture.
The peat will be enough acid for the first year. After that, fertilize with fertilizer made for blueberries.
Learn More About Blueberry Fertilizers HERE.
How Long Before Blueberry Plants Produce Fruit
Blueberry bushes are considered mature at 5 years old. The first year you will get a couple of handfuls of blueberries, but every year after that you will get more and more.
At maturity, your average harvest will be around 5 pints per plant.
Not sure what to do with ALL of your blueberries? Make Jam, get the recipe HERE
How Long Do They Live?
Blueberry bushes are considered long-lived plants, they can live up to 30 years. To encourage new fruiting canes remove the old really woody canes as they mature. The woody canes will not produce any more berries. But be sure to do this before your bushes bloom, ideally late winter.
Winter cold can be a limiting factor when it comes to having success with growing blueberries in pots or containers. This is because blueberry bushes don’t like to have their root systems completely frozen.
To prevent this it is critical to have good drainage to avoid ice building up in the pot/container during freezing winter weather.
If you are worried that your pots will freeze you can move them to an unheated garage in late fall. You will need to water them periodically over the winter, maybe two or three times.
Do Blueberries Grow Better in Pots or In the Ground?
It really depends on your growing conditions and what you have available to you. Blueberries love acidic soil and they need moist and well-drained growing medium. A big benefit of growing them in containers is that you can easily control each of these soil conditions.
That being said when growing blueberry bushes in pots you are limited by the size of the pot/container. If your blueberry bush is planted in the ground you have more growing space and therefore will get a bigger blueberry harvest.
It really comes down to the space and the growing conditions that you have available.
So, if you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious addition to your garden or are just starting out in gardening, blueberries are a great choice. And if you don’t have the space for a traditional garden, growing them in containers is a perfect option. Download our Backyard Blueberries Guide to learn even more about growing blueberries – from soil preparation and choosing the right variety to pests and diseases and harvesting your bounty. With a little bit of effort, you can be enjoying homegrown blueberries all summer long!