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Best expert advice on growing blueberries

Blueberries in basket

Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, not to mention delicious in everything from porridge to pancakes. Buying these nutrient-packed berries from a shop can be expensive, but it’s surprisingly easy to grow your own. And to help you achieve the best results, here are some articles, videos and tips from our favourite independent gardening bloggers!

Browse our entire range of blueberry plants to find the perfect varieties for your garden.


Best expert advice on planting blueberries in containers

Closeup of group of blueberry berries
Blueberry ‘Duke’ from Suttons is well suited to growing in containers
©Branded Garden Products

Blueberries require acidic soil to thrive, but don’t worry if your garden is too alkaline – you can grow your blueberry bushes in large pots filled with ericaceous compost. Our gardening experts here at Suttons recommend growing your blueberries in a sheltered spot in full or part sun. Check out our guide to growing blueberries for more planting tips.

Sally of All That Grows has planted two different blueberry varieties in neighbouring containers to encourage bumper crops through cross-pollination. She recommends planting in wooden or terracotta pots rather than plastic. This helps to keep the soil moist and the temperature stable, as well as protecting the plants over winter.

Did you know that you can take softwood cuttings from blueberry bushes to create new plants? Watch Rachel’s helpful video at Don’t Crop Me Now as she demonstrates how to take cuttings from their container-grown blueberry plants. Before potting them up, she patiently removes all but the top few leaves to reduce the rate of transpiration.

Best expert advice on planting blueberries in the ground

White blueberry flowers
Blueberry plants produce delicate, bell-shaped flowers and striking autumn foliage
Image: Blueberry (Vaccinium) ‘Spartan’ from Suttons

If you’re going to grow blueberries in the ground, it’s important to maintain a soil pH level of 5.5 or lower, says John of Pyracantha. Digging in some ericaceous compost or “mulch made from pine needles and bark” will give your soil the acidity level that blueberries love. John also recommends watering with captured rainwater, as tap water “can change the pH balance which can cause your blueberries to throw a bit of a tantrum”. Read his full post for more helpful advice.

The team behind Cambridge Garden Services recommends lowering the pH level of your soil by incorporating “sulphur chips or dust” three weeks before planting your blueberries in the ground. Mulching with “chipped up pine tree or pine needles” after planting and again each spring also helps to maintain soil acidity. And if you’re looking for further advice on how to grow the plumpest, most flavoursome fruit, this is a great place to start!

There’s more than just one reason to grow your own blueberries! As Instagrammer Michael points out, blueberry plants have “stunning” foliage, with the leaves turning a gorgeous shade of red in the autumn. Check out his spectacular blueberry bush image, and follow his account @tallgardener2900 for more beautiful examples of nature throughout the seasons.

Best expert advice on pruning and caring for blueberries

Ripe and unripe blueberries
Blueberry bushes crop profusely when cared for correctly
Image: Blueberry Collection from Suttons

Over on YouTube, West London Gardener Zena documents her efforts to rescue a sickly blueberry plant. Relocating it from the ground to a pot gave her greater control over the nature of the soil. Interestingly, applying a vinegar-water solution also produced excellent results by boosting the acidity of the soil and returning the plant to its former glory. Check out her video – the ‘before and after’ photos are quite dramatic!

There are many good reasons to prune your blueberry plants, says guest writer Helen on GrowVeg, but chief among them is fruit production. Regular pruning leads to consistently good crops year after year, and Helen recommends waiting until March to prune as “it’s easier to distinguish flower buds (fatter and rounder) from leaf buds (thinner and pointier).” Read Helen’s comprehensive guide to pruning blueberry bushes for everything you need to know.

Over at Nick’s Allotment Diary, Nick prefers to prune his blueberry plants in winter. His blueberry-pruning video helpfully shows you how to differentiate between leaf buds and flower buds so you’ll know exactly where to cut. While his goal is to increase fruit production, he also offers tips for keeping your plants free from disease. Watch his video to learn more.

Best expert advice on blueberry varieties to try

Pink blueberries surrounded by greenery
There are many blueberry varieties to choose from, including some that are pink!
Image: Blueberry (Vaccinium) ‘Pink Lemonade’ from Suttons

Although calling himself a “blueberry novice”, Pete of Real Men Sow really did his research before deciding which blueberry plants to grow. Among the varieties he considered were the early-fruiting ‘Duke’, recommended for its “prolific June cropping”, and the later-fruiting ‘Darrow’, “which produces large fruits that are difficult for the blackbirds to nick”. In the end, he plumped for early-cropping ‘Patriot’, which also scores decorative points for its “attractive scented white flowers in spring and fiery red autumn foliage”. Check out his article for more great advice.

Over on Instagram, @that.vegetablist Ann Marie Hendry explores the relative merits of blueberry varieties ‘Chandler’ and ‘Duke’. Aside from the obvious difference in size, she says that one produces much sweeter berries, while the other is a heavier cropper. See her post to find out which is which!

Who says blueberries have to be blue? Len of @the_happypotterer patiently cared for her blueberry bush and it responded by producing blushing pink blueberries in abundance. Arriving “as a little twiggy thing”, this glorious image certainly proves that perseverance wins out! The variety in question, ‘Pink Lemonade’, might not crop as heavily as the classic blue, but Len thinks that the fruits are much sweeter. Give this Instagram gardener a follow to see what else she’s growing!

Now that you know how simple it is to grow your own blueberries, we hope you’ve been inspired to give it a go. Browse our wide selection of soft fruit plants and don’t forget your ericaceous compost!

Image: Blueberry ‘Bluecrop’ (organic) from Suttons

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