Growing Blueberries

Blueberries are a delicious and nutritious snack but planting them right is the key to success.

Even though blueberries are great to use in the garden or the landscape, what is even better is that the fruit tastes good and is good for you!  The antioxidant rich properties and beneficial anthocyanins of the fruit are well known as blueberries are a powerful weapon to slow down our aging process.


Blueberries are a member of the ericaceous plant group that includes Rhododendron and Azaleas that require a somewhat acidic soil containing generous amounts of organic matter.  Excellent drainage is essential in a moist, friable soil.  We recommend supplementing with pre-moistened peat moss during planting.


A site with full sun is best although blueberries will thrive nicely in partial shade as long as there is no interference from tree roots or building overhangs.  Northern high bush and half-high varieties are deciduous which enables them to be more tolerant of cold winter winds than their evergreen rhododendron relatives.  Note: for more detailed information on blueberry planting, refer to our Rhododendron & Azalea Page.  Do NOT follow the pest and disease control on this reference as it does not take into account edible crops like blueberries.


While blueberries have few insect pests, an organic insecticide such as Neem Oil an or insecticidal soap is fine to use if problems occur.  Birds just love ripening blueberries so that bird netting will be required when fruit begins to ripen if you plan to harvest any berries.


An application of Holly-tone as directed in early spring and fall is all that is required although a 1-2” layer of mulch of Sweet Peet will provide additional organic slow-release nutrients, keep roots cool from the hot summer sun, and help to conserve moisture as the plants are shallow rooted.

Dayton’s Annual Blueberry Festival

Held on 2nd or 3rd Saturday in July. See calendar.

Celebrating everything blueberry!

Blueberry Pies & Baked Goods
Kids Activities
Live Music
Local Food Vendors
Samples in the Market


Decide if you want a low growing half-high for the foundation planting or a larger Northern highbush for the garden or a spot in the landscape where a larger bush is desired.

Depending on the variety, blueberries bear from early July through September in northern Ohio. Select varieties that will provide a continuous bounty of fruit through the whole season and remember that it is better to plant two varieties for the best pollination.

Our chart (below) gives and indication of each varieties berry size and taste.  The size of berry will depend on your desired use which might be large berries for pies, jams, jellies or fresh eating, while smaller berries would be better for blueberry muffins and pancakes

Other selection considerations are fall color desired which range from red, orange to yellow and the color of the woody stems from burgundy, red to yellow.  Although most flower colors are white, some varieties have colorful hot pink flowers that fade to white