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Selecting the Right Blueberry Bush for Your Garden

I want you to close your eyes and picture yourself on a summer morning. The sun is warm, the air dewy and you’ve
stepped outside to pick a bowl of blueberries to mak muffins or pancakes or sprinkle over your oatmeal. Imagine
that – picking blueberries for breakfast in your PJs and bare feet! What a wonderful way to start to the day.

The good news is that it isn’t hard to make this a reality. Blueberry shrubs ar easy to grow and there is a type
suitable for about any climate or garden space. In fact, you don’t even need a garden because there are dwarf
varieties that will thrive i containers.

When selecting a blueberry shrub for your garden there are a few characteristics to consider.

Pollination and Blueberries

Some blueberries require a companion blueberry for pollination to produce berries. This means you need to plant two
of the same type-Highbush, Rabbiteye or Lowbush. Other blueberries are self pollinating so you can plant one shrub
and expect a good amount of berries.

Mature Size of Blueberry Shrubs

Blueberry in Container

Blueberries come in all shapes and sizes from 6 foot bushes to 2 foot groundcovers. If you have a small garden you
don’t want to plant a shrub that takes up too much space nor do you want to plant a petite grower in a large garden
that will be dwarfed by the surrounding landscape.

Chilling Time for Blueberries

Blueberries require a certain amount of “chilling time” to produce fruits. Northern Highbush, Half-High and Lowbush
blueberries are best suited for climates where winters are long and cold. Rabbiteye blueberries hail from the
southeastern U.S. so will thrive in zones 7-9. Southern Highbush blueberries need even less chilling time and will
thrive as far south as zone 10.

Name Hardiness Zones Suitable for Warm Climates Height Self-Pollinating
Top Hat (Lowbush) 3-7 Yes 16-24 inches Yes
Sunshine Blue* (Southern Highbush) 5-10 Yes 36-48 inches Yes, but performs better
with a pollinator.
Duke* (Northern Highbush) 4-7 No 48-72 inches No
Bluecrop* (Northern Highbush) 4-7 No 48-72 inches No
Jersey* 3-8 Yes 48-72 inches No
O’Neal* 5-9 Yes 48-72 inches No
Misty Blue* (Southern Highbush) 5-10 Yes 48-72 inches No
Northsky (Half-high) 3-7 No 12-16 inches No