If you are interested in growing blueberries in containers, it will be a difficult task with the usual varieties of blueberries. These varieties grow rather big and require large spaces in order to develop healthily. Hence, if you want to know how to grow blueberries in containers, look at the dwarf variety that has been developed by horticulturists.
The dwarf variety of blueberries can be grown without any problem in containers. Check with your local nursery to see whether they have this variety. The plant that you buy will be with bare roots. Hence, you should plant them immediately.
Use a large container, like a planter box made from wood which is used to grow small trees. The container should have good drainage and also be able to offer support to the roots, so that the blueberry bush can stand erect. Ensure that the minimum size of the container is 2 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet.
Fill half of the container with soil that drains well, but at the same time has the ability to retain moisture. You can get potting mix from the local nursery. Ask for the mix that used for camellias, rhododendrons or azaleas. This mix should suffice. In case the nursery does not have this mix, ask for an acidic soil that is replete with organic matter, such as sphagnum moss and peat moss.
Select a location to place the container before planting the blueberry bush, as once you introduce the soil and the bush, the container will be too heavy to move around.
Remove the container that the nursery has supplied. Check the roots carefully; they should not be compacted. If they appear so, gently pry them apart with damaging them. Place the roots around four inches below the rim of the container and then add more potting soil into it. Add some mulch on the surface of the soil to ensure that the soil has the ability to retain moisture. Use pine needles or moss as mulch.
While blueberries require constant moisture, ensure that the soil is not water logged. Water the container regularly or when you notice that the soil is drying up. Do not wait for the soil to dry completely. In summer months, ensure that you water your blueberry bush every day. In winter, protect the plant from the cold by wrapping up the container in bubble wrap. This will protect the roots and prevent the bush from succumbing to the cold.
Fertilize the soil every month during spring to spur growth and thereafter do not fertilize until the following spring. Use a fertilizer that is used for azaleas and camellias. Once the bush matures, prune it lightly. This should be done when the plant is 3 years old. Do the pruning every spring by cutting off the oldest branches and the ones that appear weak. Thereafter, prune the remaining branches as this will encourage new growth and berries.
If you live in the southern part of the United States, opt for Sunshine Blue variety to grow in a container. This bush reaches a height of about 3 feet and can thrive in any type of soil. It produces large berries, which are ready for eating in the month of July.
If you live in extremely cold locale, opt for Northsky. This blueberry bush attains a height of 18 inches and you will get ripe berries in mid-summer.
Bluecrop is best for drought prone areas or arid climates. This variety of blueberry is also great for people who do not have the time to water plants regularly. Bluecrop produces large berries, which are perfect for consumption in the month of July.
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Container Gardening Tips: Growing Blueberries In Containers