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Dwarf Blueberry Varieties Good for Container Gardening

by Fern on August 14, 2008

in Fruits & Vegetables

Keeping with the dwarf fruit and vegetable theme started Tuesday, I came across an article in the Seattle Times about dwarf blueberry varieties well suited to being grown in containers.

The first variety mentioned is ‘Sunshine Blue’ and grows up to 4 feet tall and produced 10 pounds (!) of fruit when mature. In May it produces a profusion of hot pink flowers, and is followed by ripe fruit in July and August.

Even smaller than Sunshine Blue is a variety called ‘Top Hat,’ which grows to be only 18 inches high, and is covered in fruit all summer long.

Blueberries are sold bare root in the Spring and some mail order nurseries will also ship them in the fall.

Most varieties need to be near another blueberry plant to cross-pollinate in order to do their absolute best. They also like acidic soil with actively decomposing matter, so an Azalea potting mix with a little bit of wood mulch mixed in would be perfect. Do not use fertilizer with nitrate in it, as it is deadly to blueberries. For more complete blueberry care instructions, click here.

Here are more balcony-sized plants:

Photo by Shelly & Dave

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

liz August 14, 2008 at 7:24 am

Great tip– I had no idea blueberries could be container plants. (though I’m not sure I could successfully keep container watered in rain-free L.A….)

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Fern August 14, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Liz–Many varieties of blueberries actually do better in pots than in the ground!

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jen August 14, 2008 at 5:01 pm

I am looking for those varieties. It will be great to have fresh blueberries in the summer.
Jen

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Eric Bronson August 14, 2008 at 6:08 pm

I wish I could grow them here!

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Fern August 14, 2008 at 6:37 pm

Eric–There are varieties of Blueberries that were specifically bred to be grown in the South. I remember reading about them when I was researching this post. If I remember correctly, they have been bred to withstand hot, humid summers and don’t need as cold a chilling period as most Blueberries.

Hold on…let me google for a sec, I bet I can find them again…

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Fern August 14, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Okay, according to this article from the University of Florida, two varieties of blueberries are well suited to Florida, Southern Highbush (interspecific hybrids of V. darrowi, V. ashei and V. corymbosum)and Rabbiteye (Vaccinium ashei). The article says that the best time to plant them in your region is mid-December to February, so I bet good local nurseries would carry cultivars well suited to your location during that time.

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jgh August 15, 2008 at 9:53 am

Thanks for the azalea mix tip! We planted some bare roots in our school garden in May and they’re still really puny. I probably didn’t help with the fertilizer that I just learned they don’t like! Oh well, there’s always next year :-)

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raymond darrigan March 18, 2010 at 12:13 pm

i live in oregon and bought a couple of dwarf blueberry plants from a local market,,boy coolest plant i ever got,,,only stood 4 feet tall and is awesome at any entrence and door.made me now invest in other dwarf fruit trees and plants out there ..im gonna have a killer fruit and veg garden cause i can put many varieties of fruit in a little back yard like mine..fresh strawberries and blueberries are such a turn on to my freinds!!how fun

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Susan April 8, 2011 at 1:52 am

Funny you have a UF article about blueberries in Florida. I went to UF and there’s a big blueberry U-Pick in Gainesville that’s such a strange secret place. I went one summer with a friend who was in the know and it appeared to be just a family’s house out in the woods with about a half-acre of blueberry bushes (well these were more like trees) in a clearing between the pines. Such a pleasant surprise to be able to make fresh blueberry pie and eat them by the bucket fulls in Florida. But I expect that those plants were probably some professor’s side project. Additionally, the sandy soil of North Florida is supposed to be quite good for them.

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Dechoe August 25, 2011 at 9:21 pm

What are some blueberries that would grow in California in a pot?

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Wayne Oehlerking May 20, 2013 at 10:14 am

What small blueberry bush that grows well in pots in central florida zone 9 or 10

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Wayne Oehlerking May 20, 2013 at 10:17 am

What fertilizer is good for blueberries in pots in central florida and how offen should the be fed

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