- Blueberry Plant Pruning: How To Prune Blueberries
- How Do I Prune Blueberry Bushes?
- When is the Best Time for Blueberry Plant Pruning?
- Pruning blueberries: Step-by-step instructions
- Reasons for pruning blueberries
- When to prune blueberries
- The different types of blueberries and their pruning needs
- Tips for pruning blueberries
- Pruning blueberries step-by-step
- Step 2:
- Step 3:
- Pruning blueberries is emotional
- Post-pruning fertilization
- Pruning Blueberry Plants
- In This Series
- How to Prune a Blueberry Bush for a Larger Harvest
- How to Prune Blueberries
- 4 Tips to identify which branches to prune off your blueberries
- Fall Planting
- Spring Planting
- Ongoing Care
Blueberry Plant Pruning: How To Prune Blueberries
Pruning blueberries is essential in order to maintain their size, shape, and productivity. When blueberry plants are not pruned, they can become overgrown masses of weak, leggy growth with small fruit. However, severe pruning can lead to larger berries but fewer in number. So now, the question you may be asking is, “How do I prune blueberry bushes enough but not too much?”
How Do I Prune Blueberry Bushes?
“How do I prune blueberry bushes” is one of the most commonly asked questions when growing blueberries. Knowing how to prune blueberries is important; proper pruning of blueberries can make the difference between an average crop and a plentiful one.
The type and amount of blueberry plant pruning, however, may depend on the type and size of the bush. For trimming blueberry bushes, you should remove any lower growth to prevent fruits from settling on the ground.
When pruning blueberries, you’ll want to allow light to penetrate the center of the plant. This means any criss-crossing branches should be removed to allow for more sunlight and better air circulation. Also, cut out any short, soft shoots developing from the base of the bush late in the season. Prune off canes and twigs that have been damaged by winter injury, diseases, insects, etc. In addition, prune out unproductive canes that have not produced any new growth.
Generally for blueberry plant pruning, you should remove the two oldest canes each winter. In the first two years, adequate pruning will help train blueberry bushes into the most desired shape for promoting maximum fruit production.
When is the Best Time for Blueberry Plant Pruning?
Pruning should be done annually, beginning at the time plants are set. The best time to prune blueberries is in late winter to early spring (January to early March) after all chance of severe weather has passed.
Young bushes generally do not require as much pruning; however, trimming blueberry bushes throughout the growing season may be necessary to maintain overall health and vigor. For instance, throughout the growing season, any weak or low-growing shoots should be removed as well as dead, diseased or insect-infested canes that may be found. Mature bushes, on the other hand, typically require more selective cuts to maintain a desired shape and productive fruiting.
Know that you know a little more about how to prune blueberries, you can have healthy and productive blueberry bush.
Pruning is essential to maintaining a productive planting of highbush blueberries over time. Yet many blueberry growers fail to prune in a timely fashion, while other growers, or their workers, prune the plants without fully understanding what they are trying to accomplish. The following information summarizes the why and how of blueberry pruning, adapted from articles by blueberry experts in the Northeast: Dr. Gary Pavlis of Rugters University and Dr. Marvin Pritts of Cornell University.
Why prune? Pruning maintains the vigor and yield of blueberry bushes, helps manage insects and diseases, promotes larger fruit of higher quality, and shapes bushes so they are easier to harvest. One reason that pruning is often overlooked is that its benefits are relatively long-term – you don’t see them right away. Another reason is that a plant may look like it’s been pruned pretty well, and it may produce a satisfactory crop – but it’s hard to know that better pruning would have improved yields if there is nothing to compare it to.
How blueberry plants grow and make fruit. In the beginning, a cane emerges from the base, or crown, of the plant. As the cane grows it produces two kinds of buds: vegetative buds that become new branches, or laterals, and fruit buds that become flowers. The flower buds are plump and rounded and they’re larger than the pointed vegetative buds. Flower buds are located near the end of new branches, while the vegetative buds are located further down the shoot. Both types of buds are only produced on new growth, so one-year old “wood” is the source of all fruit, as well as new lateral branches, on a bush.
As canes get older, they get thicker at their base and their buds are produced further and further away from the crown. Over the years the new laterals produced on a given cane decrease in diameter, and are prone to being “twiggy.” These old, weak branches produce fewer, smaller fruit than branches on younger canes. Older canes also compete with newer canes for space and light. So you can see that it’s important to remove older canes in order to maintain fruit production and quality as well as to allow new canes to develop for future production.
Pruning young bushes. Highbush blueberry plants can live for many decades; but early in their life, they don’t need much pruning. For the first two years flower buds should be removed either by rubbing them off or by cutting off the tips of shoots. Starting in the third year, remove any twisted or low-growing canes, and if more than two new canes were produced the previous year, remove all but the two healthiest, down to the ground. In subsequent years continue to remove all but 2 or 3 of last season’s canes, so when the plant has reached full size and is about 8 years old, it should have 10 to 20 canes of all different ages. Since different varieties produce different numbers of canes they will also differ in how much pruning they require.
Pruning mature bushes. Older bushes should not have a lot of old canes, and that’s where growers often run into trouble – by leaving canes in place too long. Once canes get to be six to eight years old their productivity declines, and they need more leaves to support fruit growth than they did when they were young. They will also have branched many times over the years, so their new growth will be relatively thin and weak, as explained above. If you’re not sure of the ages of your canes, a rule of thumb is to remove canes larger than one inch in diameter; they’re usually gray with lichen growing on them. If you have fallen behind in your pruning you may need to remove several of these dinosaurs per plant to open up space for younger canes. In general, up to 20% of the older wood can be removed from a bush without adverse effects on yield. Berry numbers will be reduced, but larger fruit on younger canes will compensate for this. However, if pruning has been seriously neglected it may be necessary to remove quite a few old canes and suffer a short term yield reduction for the sake of future growth.
Which canes to remove? Start by removing any dead, injured or damaged canes. Canes with diseases or insects such as cankers and scales should be taken out. Then, I find it helpful to remove those old canes to get them out of the way so I can better see the shape of the plant as I continue to prune. The next step is to remove canes that are in the wrong place: they may be sticking out too far into the alley, or growing down too low to be harvested easily. If two canes are rubbing each other one of them should be removed. If the plant is very dense in the middle, take out a cane or two to open up the canopy so light and air can get in. When whole canes be sure to make the cut as close to the crown as possible. Do not leave stubs that can become a source of disease inoculum.
When to prune. Early spring is the best time to prune blueberries, while they are still dormant. That’s when you can identify winter-injury and remove it. Waiting until spring to prune, instead of doing it in the fall, also allows time for the plants to move carbohydrates that may be in the canes down into the roots and crowns.
How often to prune. Annual pruning is needed to achieve consistent fruit production and highest yields. If you only prune every few years that will encourage a flush of young canes to grow the year after pruning and these will age together, becoming unproductive at the same time. Irregular pruning promotes erratic yields from year to year, and it leads to tall bushes because having an excess number of canes causes them to “stretch” as they compete for light. Moderate pruning every year spreads out the age of canes, keeps their numbers in check, and allows bushes to fulfill their productive potential.
Summary. Proper pruning takes time and thus costs money, but it’s a worthwhile investment. By pruning every year the time and cost is spread evenly throughout the life of the planting. You could say pruning is expensive, but will cost you more if it isn’t done well.
An excellent short video with Dr. David Handley, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, shows you how to prune a blueberry bush and clearly explains what you are trying to accomplish when pruning, see: http://umaine.edu/gardening/videos/how-to-prune-blueberry-bushes/.
Pruning blueberries: Step-by-step instructions
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For backyard blueberry growers, winter means it’s time to break out the pruning shears and folding saw. Pruning blueberries is a task best performed yearly, when the plants are dormant. Closely tied to crop production, plant health, and fruit quality, pruning too aggressively – or not aggressively enough – impacts your blueberry’s performance.
Well-pruned blueberry bushes are healthy and productive.
Reasons for pruning blueberries
Pruning blueberries is an essential winter chore for several reasons.
- Proper pruning maintains an open growth habit, which improves air circulation, opens the center of the plant to sunlight, and reduces disease.
- Annual pruning maintains productivity by encouraging the growth of new fruit-producing stems.
- Pruning removes dead or damaged branches.
- Pruning increases fruit quality because the shrub is able to put more energy into producing the fruit, not more leaves.
The goal of good blueberry pruning is to remove enough old growth to encourage the production of new. And to do so without negatively impacting the berry production for the coming season.
Properly pruned blueberry bushes produce better quality fruit. The top berry is from an overgrown plant while the bottom four are from shrub that’s pruned annually.
When to prune blueberries
As with most other fruit-producing trees and shrubs, blueberry pruning takes place in mid to late winter. It’s easy to see the structure of the plant more clearly then and discern which branches are to be removed. In winter, the old branches look very different from the new in color and texture (see photos below). Plus, dormant-season pruning causes the plant less stress. The bush is not in an active state of growth, and no carbohydrate-producing foliage is being removed.
It’s easy to discern an old blueberry branch from a new one. The newer branches are pliable and dark in color, while the old branches are rough-barked and lighter in color.
The regions where blueberries grow well are those with a dormant season of December through early March. Blueberry shrubs are extremely hardy. Some varieties survive down to -35 degrees F. In fact, blueberries need a set number of hours below 45 degrees F (called chill hours) in order for their flower buds to open and produce berries. Without ample cold weather, blueberries do not produce fruit.
Each blueberry type and variety has a slightly different number of required chill hours. Low-chill blueberry varieties require 200-800 chill hours and are best for southern regions. High-chill selections need 800-1000 hours and are ideal for the north. When buying blueberry plants, select a variety that’s suitable to your region.
Late winter is the best time to prune blueberries. Remember, these are very hardy shrubs that do best in cold climates. This plant is badly in need of pruning.
Pruning blueberries can take place as early as late December. However, I recommend waiting until late February or very early March for this task. You’ll be able to prune off any stems that suffered winter injury or breakage due to heavy snows. Plus, the chance of winter injury has largely passed.
The different types of blueberries and their pruning needs
There are many different types of blueberries, including high-bush, low-bush, rabbit-eye, and lots of assorted hybrids. In the north, ‘half-high’ varieties are among the most popular. They are the result of the hybridization of high-bush and low-bush types, and are a great fit for most backyards. They grow 3 to 4 feet in both height and girth, and bear plenty of fruits. Southern gardeners should opt for ‘Rabbit eye’ blueberries as they are more heat tolerant and need fewer chill hours.
Don’t forget that you’ll need at least two different varieties of blueberries to get fruit. Most varieties require a cross-pollination partner. (Those listed in the article linked here, however, are self fertile.) Blueberries are primarily pollinated by our native bumblebees because the vibrations these large bees generate are required for loosening and transferring the pollen in the bell-shaped flowers of blueberries.
Regardless of which type of blueberries you grow, the task of pruning blueberries is the same.
Soon enough, these blueberry flowers will be open and ready to be cross-pollinated with another variety. Bumble bees are the pollinators for this job.
Tips for pruning blueberries
How to prune blueberries depends on whether the plant is new and relatively young or old and overgrown. Below you’ll find step-by-step blueberry pruning instructions for both situations. However, I’d like to share a few key points about pruning blueberries first.
- Never shear back blueberries and turn them into the shape of a meatball. Their fruiting buds are located in the outermost 2-3 inches of stem growth. Shearing back the plants removes all the flower buds.
- If you don’t properly prune your blueberry bushes, the existing branches will age, but new, fruit-producing branches will not be formed. Older, unpruned blueberry bushes tend to produce more leaves than berries, and any berries that are produced are small and produced only on the outermost stems.
- Be sure to use clean, sharp pruning equipment. To avoid the spread of disease, disinfect all pruning equipment before moving from one bush to another. I use a special spray pruning disinfectant that doesn’t gum up or rust your equipment, but you can also dip your tools in a 10% bleach solution or use Lysol spray.
- Blueberries produce their flowers on old wood, meaning that the buds for each year’s berry crop are formed during the summer and autumn of the previous season. Protect your blueberry bushes from deer in the winter or they may strip all the buds off the stems.
Blueberry fruiting buds are on the outermost 2-3 inches of the stems. Don’t ever shear blueberry plants or you’ll be cutting off the flowers.
Pruning blueberries step-by-step
Stand back and evaluate your blueberry bushes one at a time. Begin by cutting off any dead or damaged branches. Cut these stems off all the way back to where they join a thicker branch. Do not leave a stump behind as it serves as an entryway for disease. If the entire branch is dead, cut if off back to the ground.
First, prune off any dead or damaged branches. Be sure to use a clean, sharp pair of pruners.
After any damaged stems are removed, cut out any crossed branches, particularly those that rub against each other. After pruning is complete, you want an open structure with no crossed branches. Cut crossed branches off all the way down to the base of the plant.
Be sure to remove any crossed branches as well, or those that rub against each other, cutting them all the way back to the ground.
For young blueberry bushes or those that have been properly pruned in the past: Cut one-third of the remaining branches all the way down to the ground, choosing the oldest and thickest ones for removal. This encourages new, productive canes to emerge from the roots. Yes, that means cut 1 out of every 3 branches clear to the ground to stimulate new stems to emerge from the roots. Do this every winter and you’ll always have excellent blueberry production.
Remove one-third of the stems from each blueberry plant every year, choosing the oldest branches for removal. This encourages new, productive growth to emerge from the base.
For mature blueberry plants that are unpruned and overgrown: Perform a careful renewal pruning to encourage new stem production by cutting half of branches back all the way down to the ground. Always cut off the oldest, thickest ones. This forces new canes to grow from the roots. When a branch is seven or eight years old, production is greatly reduced. If you don’t remove old branches, the plant fails to generate new, more productive stems.
Over the following two to three years, remove the remainder of the oldest branches a few at a time until only newly produced ones remain. The plant continues to produce a moderate crop while the bush is being slowly rejuvenated. Heavily pruned, overgrown bushes take a few years to rebound, but your efforts pay off in the long run with many years of terrific production after the plants are regularly pruned.
Rejuvenating old, overgrown blueberries means cutting the oldest branches all the way back down to the ground. This initiates new shoots from the root.
Pruning blueberries is emotional
There’s no doubt that pruning blueberries is an emotionally taxing job. It’s particularly difficult to see all the buds being cutting off. But, don’t feel guilty about removing branches with potential fruit. If your goal is to increase your blueberry’s long-term productivity and grow larger fruits, then pruning properly is a must. Just have some wine on-hand for after the job is complete!
Blueberry pruning is an annual chore. Mark your calendar so you don’t forget!
After pruning, blueberry bushes have an open habit and fewer old, woody stems..
When spring arrives, fertilize pruned blueberry bushes with an acid-specific organic granular fertilizer, such as HollyTone. Follow the label instructions for the proper amount to use. Then, mulch the bushes with one to two inches of pine straw, shredded hardwood bark, or shredded leaves. Do not over-mulch. Blueberries have shallow, fibrous root systems that resent thick layers of mulch.
By following these blueberry pruning instructions, you’ll have productive plants for years to come!
For more on growing backyard fruit, check out these articles:
- Organic apple growing using fruit bagging
- Berries in containers: How to grow a small-space fruit garden
- Growing kiwi fruit: It’s easier than you think
- How to grow citrus in pots using 8 simple steps
- 5 mini melons for small gardens and containers
Do you grow blueberries? Which varieties are your favorites?
Pruning Blueberry Plants
Pruning is an important part of proper edible plant care, but many people find the task overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be! Keep these things in mind:
- You can have confidence in knowing that not everyone will prune the exact same way (even the experts).
- It is best for your plant to do some pruning versus no pruning.
- There are several reasons to prune: maintain the size and shape of the plant, stimulate for strong growth and overall fruit quality.
NOTE: This is part 8 in a series of 11 articles. For a complete background on how to grow blueberry plants, we recommend starting from the beginning.
Blueberries should be pruned during the winter while the bushes are dormant. In winter, flower buds are easily visible on one-year-old wood and their numbers can be adjusted by pruning to regulate the crop load for the coming year. Blueberries do not need to be pruned in the first year. Pruning should be moderately heavy in the second year.
Training Young Plants (1 to 3 years of age)
If vigorous, well-rooted two-year-old plants are set, they do not need cutting back the first year except to remove fruit buds shortly after planting. Pruning should be moderately heavy in the second year to stimulate strong new growth on selected canes. Do not permit plants younger than three years of age to bear more than a cluster or two of fruit, or the onset of the commercially productive period will be delayed. A large bearing area should be established in the shortest possible time.
Pruning Bearing Plants (over 3-4 years of age)
Make large “shaping cuts” — remove all low-spreading branches and the oldest canes if they are weak, particularly if in the center of the plant. “Head back” the upright “bull shoots” to the desired height to keep the bush from growing too tall. Essentially, you have then automatically selected the remaining, more upright canes to bear your crop next season and the following season.
On the remaining canes, systematically “thin out” the shorter, thinner shoots, leaving enough of the thick shoots to bear the crop and make new growth. Only experience can tell you how many shoots a particular variety of a particular age can carry and still perform well. It is probably better in most instances to prune too lightly than too heavily. Lighter pruning is usually practiced, as the plant grows older because it can carry more “wood” successfully due to a larger root system.
When blueberries are about 8 to 10 years old, they are at their productive peak— but renewal growth has reached a minimum, and production will begin to decline from year to year. To prolong your plant’s productivity, renewal pruning is needed. Some provision must be made to revitalize the plant to prolong its productive period.
- Weak or badly diseased canes should be removed entirely. These canes can be identified by generally poor vigor and low fruit bud production. However, in eastern NC, many varieties do not sprout new canes readily from the crown. It may be necessary to either cut the cane back to a strong lateral which is properly located, or to cut the cane severely (“dehorn”) back to within 2 to 3 ft of the ground. By the latter method, it is hoped that new lateral branches can be forced from below the cut.
- Either method may result in a 1- to 3-year crop reduction, but the plants should then bear several more good crops. However, when rejuvenation becomes necessary, it is time to start considering newer and better varieties to which your acreage may be systematically replanted in the near future.
A good reference book, such as Pruning Made Easy, can answer questions and guide you through the pruning process.
In This Series
- Soil Preparation
Care & Maintenance
- Pest & Disease Control
How to Prune a Blueberry Bush for a Larger Harvest
How to prune a blueberry bush for a larger harvest, because come on, why wouldn’t anyone want the best and largest amount of blueberries possible from their bushes. Because is there anything better than a ripe sweet blueberry you picked right outside your own door?
It seems so contradictory to cut off branches in order to get more fruit, but that’s exactly what we need to do with our fruit trees, especially blueberry plants. Pruning blueberries is slightly different than pruning fruit trees, though some of the principals remain the same.
I can’t help but think of this verse every time I prune any of our plants. I’m always amazed at how gardening brings to mind so many of the scriptures.
He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. John 15:2
Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits. They’re sweet and juicy on the tongue, freeze better than any other berry, dehydrate well, and can even be grown in a container or pot. Plus, they turn things purple (one of my high school’s colors), what’s not to love?
Almost anyone can grow blueberries, even if all you have is a patio or yard, because blueberries can be kept compact and one mature bush will produce a good amount of berries. Blueberries make a gorgeous addition to your flower beds as they have dainty white blossoms in spring and in the fall, their leaves turn a pretty red before falling.
Blueberries are a fairly slow growing plant. If your plant is only a year or two year old, I wouldn’t prune it yet, just let it grow and establish its root system. Our bushes are going on five years old and in need of some pruning.
Update: watch this video to learn how to prune older or mature blueberry plants, including restoring old blueberry bushes that might have missed a few prunings.
The best time of year to prune blueberries is in late winter or early spring. You want to prune them when the fruit buds are showing. If you’re like us, the answer for when to prune blueberries in Washington would be mid-January through the first part of March. I also was out for a run and happened upon my wonderful neighbor pruning her blueberries. She’s an organic farmer who has served on the board for Organic Tilth, making her my go to when I have gardening questions. She gave me a quick pruning lesson and I’m passing it along to you guys, cuz us homesteading peeps have to stick together.
The first thing you want to do is take off all of the dead branches. Wear gloves and you probably won’t even need pruning shears for this part. Simply break off any dead branch tips.
If you’re pruning blueberries first year, you’ll stop here and only remove any dead or diseased branches, you don’t need to prune anymore than that on first or second-year-old blueberry plants.
4 Tips to identify which branches to prune off your blueberries
Next, look at the bush. You want the middle of the bush to have good circulation and if it’s too compact the berries in the center won’t receive much light and won’t ripen well. Look for branches in the middle that don’t have any or very much new growth. Those will be the ones you want to remove. Be sure and cut the branch off down to the very base of the bush. This will encourage healthy new growth.
Next, look for branches that don’t have any new fruit buds. There’s no point in keeping branches that aren’t going to be producing any fruit. Each fruit bud will produce a good handful of berries, so if a branch has several, that’s a decent amount of berries.
Look at branches that grow long and leggy with no branches until the end. It’s best to cut these as they’re not producing fruit along the length of the branch, just the end. Your goal is to keep the branches with lots of new red growth and fruit buds.
As your blueberry bush grows, you’ll also want to cut off any small shoots coming up at the very base of the plant to encourage upright growth. It’s not much fun to hunch over the whole time you’re picking berries. Or maybe that’s a sign I’m starting to get old… nah.
After you’ve went through and pruned your blueberry plant, you’ll want to add some new mulch and fertilizer. Blueberries are one of the most acid loving plants around. In fact, our soils is about a 5.5 on the ph scale and it’s not quite acidic enough for the blueberries. My neighbor adds sulfur to her soil.
I’ve found various reports on the acidity of used coffee grounds. Some articles say it’s only about a 5 while others say it’s more. Regardless of how acidic it is, it’s excellent food for your bush and something most of us have on hand. I put a good layer of this around the base of my blueberry bushes, making sure to mix it up so it doesn’t grow mold. Here is my article on 4 tips for using coffee grounds in the garden.
Next goes on a good layer of manure. Because this layer is going on top of last year’s layer of mulch, I don’t worry if it’s a little bit hot because it won’t be hitting the roots right away. After I’ve added my manure I put on a 5 to 6 inch layer of sawdust. Cedar is a good choice for blueberries (but not all plants), fir, maple, and pine will work as well. Whatever you can get your hands on basically.
The reason we mulch so heavily here is threefold.
Why to mulch your blueberry plants
- Prevent new weeds from growing.
- Help keep in the moisture come our drier summer months (though in the Pacific Northwest that’s usually not until after July 4th)
- To prevent mummy berry fungus. If you’re in a wetter climate like me, you’ve probably heard of the dreaded mummy berry disease. It’s a fungus that infects first the branch of the of the disease and then the blossoms. The berry starts to develop, but then stops about halfway through and instead of ripening, turns into a shriveled mauve colored berry that resembles mummification. If the infection gets bad, you’ll eventually end up with no berry harvest.
The fungus comes from a tiny mushroom that comes up the first part of spring (which develops where the mummified berry falls). If you put down a thick enough mulch, the fungus can’t grow and therefore can’t spread.
Do you have blueberries or plan on putting some in?
Here’s some books for further reading and growing fruit.
Check out our how to prune raspberries video!
Bilberry, a variety of blueberry.
Blueberries are native to temperate climates, and their growth habits are strongly seasonal. Depending on the variety of bush you choose and the region in which you live, blueberries can be planted in the fall or spring:
It is possible to plant blueberries in the fall, however, most experts recommend late winger or early spring as the preferred planting time. If you do choose to plant blueberries in the fall, it should be done in late September or early October. The roots of these bushes will continue to grow until the soil reaches temperatures below 45 F.
An advantage to planting in the fall is that your blueberries are already in place when the spring rains arrive. Wet weather can often delay spring planting while blueberries planted in the fall are already established and can enjoy the burst of spring growth that can make a difference for the season.
When planting blueberries in the fall, the bushes must be in the ground and mulched before the onset of winter especially in areas that experience heavy frost. First frost dates by zone are as follows:
- Zone 1: July 15th
- Zone 2; August 15th
- Zone 3: September 15th
- Zone 4: September 15th
- Zone 5: October 15th
- Zone 6: October 15th
- Zone 7: October 15th
- Zone 8: November 15th
- Zone 9: December 15th
- Zone 10: December 15th
- Zone 11: No frost.
Planting your blueberry bushes in the spring allows plants to begin growth in keeping with natural seasonal patterns. Wait until the ground has thawed and there is no longer any danger of a freeze. Blueberries planted at this time will have the best chance of establishing themselves before winter, but be aware that spring planting can often be delayed due to rain. Time is of the essence. Plant as soon as the danger of frost has passed. This differs from one zone to another.Last frost dates by zone are as follows:
- Zone 1: June 15th
- Zone 2: May 15th
- Zone 3: May 15th
- Zone 4: May 15th
- Zone 5: April 15th
- Zone 6: April 15th
- Zone 7: April 15th
- Zone 8: March 15th
- Zone 9: February 15th
- Zone 10: January 31st (may be earlier)
- Zone 11: No frost.
Once you’ve planted your blueberry bushes, apply a thick layer of mulch to help control weeds and to hold moisture in the soil. Keep the bushes well water after planting. Check the soil regularly to be sure it is moist as it will help promote root growth.When do you plant blueberry bushes? It depends on the risk you want to take. In the fall you risk an early frost killing your bushes before they are established and in the spring the rains may delay planting. Whenever you decide to plant, the effort and time will be worth it Care for your blueberry bushes and they can last for up to 50 years.