Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Native Plant of the Month: Blueberry

Native plant from 2 Green Acres - Blueberry
Sneaking this one in on the last day of September....

Now is the time to think about planting bushes. Blueberries are a great bush that should be considered in every yard. They are beautiful and provide great berries to birds and humans. In addition to their berries, blueberries have nice white flowers in the spring, and also offer wonderful color in the fall.

In Noah's Garden, Sara Stein said it best when she said about blueberries,
"They have the common touch. They're chummy with evergreens, comfy among flowers, at ease in tall grass, as much at home in a foundation planting as a hedgerow. No one could ask for a less demanding friend. Blueberries are happy in full sun, relaxed in dappled shade, uncomplaining of drought, but just as pleased to grow in damp. No blueberry pal of mine has ever asked for pruning, wanted my protection from pests or weather, or even expressed the slightest appetite for food."
There are two main types of blueberries, high bush (vaccinium corymbosum) which can grow to 12 feet and low bush (vaccinum pallidum) which grow to about 2 feet.

Native Plant from 2 Green Acres - Blueberry

I want to plant a hedgerow in my yard, and high bush blueberries will figure prominently in my hedgerow. I was all ready to plant blueberries this fall. Unfortunately, I did not do my homework - I did not do my soil test. Blueberries need acidic (ph between 4-6.5) soil, and if you need to amend your soil, it takes some time. Based on other soil tests around my yard, I doubt I have the appropriate ph. So, no blueberries for me this fall. Instead, I will get my soil tested, modify as needed, and then plant in the spring.

A lot of native plant experts suggest that you test your soil, but not modify it – instead you should plant what works in your soil. In general, I agree with this advice. But I REALLY want some blueberries - so I will test and modify.

Don't miss the native plant sale at Herring Run Watershed Association. The dates are October 3 and October 18. Check it out!
Also take a look at last month's Native Plant of the Month.

Photo credits: Rockinfree and Photofarmer


  1. I came over to read your blueberry article, and I enjoyed it again, because I read it a while back. It's wonderful. The leaves on my blueberry bushes are a very bright red this year--gorgeous! I'm following you!

  2. Thanks for the nice comments. I can't wait to get my blueberry bushes planted - I am looking forward to their year round beauty.