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Everything You Need To Know About Growing Blueberries

When do Blueberries Bloom

Blueberries are great on cheesecakes, but that’s not all they’re good for. They also make for a great garden addition as they’re a healthy crop packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

But growing blueberries is a bit more complex than 1-2-3. We’re here to tell you everything you need to know about making those blueberry bushes bloom and produce fruits for a bountiful harvest every year. 

When do blueberries bloom?

When do blueberries bloom
Image: BloominThyme

Blueberries bloom in the spring and early summer, typically from April to June. They produce white, pink, or purple flowers that ripen into blueberry fruits. 

Blueberries are perennial plants that can live for years and produce fruits yearly. They will start yielding fruits in two to three years from planting and reach full production and height in six to ten years. 

From June to August, about 6 to 8 weeks from blooming, the flowers usually turn dark green, which signals that the blueberries have already ripened and now have a sweet, juicy flavor.

Blueberry Growth Stages

Blueberry Growth Stages
Image: Pinterest

Here’s a table summarizing the growth stages of blueberries from flowering to fruiting. 

Growth StagePlant Part AffectedDescription
Dormant budFlower budBud scales are tightly closed 
Bud swellFlower budVisible swelling of flower buds
Outer bud scales separate at the tip, revealing paler interior bud scales
Early green tipLeaf budBud scales separate at leaf bud tips
Green leaf tissue emerges from the leaf bud tips
Leaves are tightly rolled
Bud burstFlower budFlower buds open, and individual flowers emerge between the bud scales
Late green tipLeaf budLeaves unfold
Green leaf tissues become more visible
Tight clusterFlowerIndividual flowers separate from the flower cluster 
Shoot expansionShootMultiple leaves emerge from the vegetative buds
Leaves grow, and shoot growth begins
Early pink budFlowerFlowers expand
Pink petals are short and closed
Late pink budFlowerFlowers fully develop
Corollas are white but closed
Early bloomFlowerSome of the corollas open 
Most flowers remain closed
Full bloomFlowerMost of the flowers open
Petal fallFlower Corolla tubes fall off the flowers
Early green fruitFlowerSmall green berries start expanding
Late green fruitFruitFruit becomes pale green. 
Shoot tip setShootShoot tips die and shoot growth stops
Fruit coloringFruitOldest, the cluster’s largest fruit, changes from green to pink to blue
Berries begin to soften
Fruit bud setShootShoot growth begins 
Fall colorShootLeaves change color 
Source: Michigan State University

When does a blueberry bush bear fruit?

When does a blueberry bush bear fruit
Image: PlatHillNursery

A blueberry bush typically produces fruit between June and August. It will begin producing berries within two to three years and reach full production and maximum height within six to ten years after planting.

Blueberry fruiting is also affected by its variety. Some can bear fruit as early as June, while others only in late August.  

Fruiting time likewise differs because of climate. Those in warm climates produce fruit between July and August; in temperate climates, between August and September; and in cool climates, between September and October. 

Do blueberry bushes produce fruit every year?

Do blueberry bushes produce fruit every year
Image: Garden Geo

Blueberry bushes do not produce fruit every year. It will take two to three years to mature to produce fruits. 

When you see your blueberry growing flower buds before the two-year mark, it’s best to pinch them off during the first years. This will make the blueberry bush focus on growing strong roots and branches. 

Why did my blueberries not bloom this year?

Why did my blueberries not bloom this year
Image: Plant Village

A blueberry bush may fail to produce fruits due to poor soil conditions, lack of sunlight and pollination, pest infestation and improper pruning. 

Let’s discuss how each of these factors prevents blueberry bushes from fruiting. 

1. Poor Soil Condition

Poor Soil Condition
Image: Plant Let

Poor soil condition prevents blueberry bushes from fruiting due to poor drainage, low pH level and nutrient deficiency. 

For instance, if the soil is too wet, then the roots of the plant are prone to rot, which will, in turn, prevent the bush from fruiting. If the soil is too heavy, it can also restrict its roots from absorbing the water and nutrients it needs for fruit production. 

On the other hand, blueberries love acidic soil with a pH level of 4.5 to 5.5. If it becomes too alkaline, the plant will have difficulty absorbing nutrients from the ground. 

You can test your soil and amend it with the missing nutrients to improve soil condition. You can also add organic matter like compost or manure to improve soil drainage and aeration. 

2. Lack of Sunlight

Lack of Sunlight
Image: European Scientist

Blueberry bush thrives in full sun, and without adequate sunlight, it will disrupt photosynthesis and its fruit production process. 

Photosynthesis is the plant’s food-making process, where it uses sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water to oxygen and sugar, and sugar is the primary energy plants use to produce fruits. 

Even if a blueberry bush can survive in shaded or low-light conditions, the fruit will also be smaller and less flavorful than those grown under full sun. 

So, maximize your blueberry bushes’ sun exposure by planting them in an area where they get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. You can also thin the surrounding trees and shrubs so your blueberries can get more sunlight during the day.

3. Lack of Pollination

Lack of Pollination
Image: Tallahassee

Blueberries still need pollen from another blueberry plant to produce fruits. Cross-pollination occurs when the pollen from one plant is transferred to the female part of the flower in another, thereby fertilizing the ovary and signaling fruit production.

It’s best to plant blueberry bushes in groups or in twos to ensure pollination. You can plant them within 100 feet of each other to encourage more bees and increase the chances of pollination and producing larger and more flavorful berries.

4. Pest Infestation

Pest Infestation
Image: Plant Village

Pest infestations can lead to damaged leaves, flowers and fruits. They also compete with water and nutrients with the plant, which reduces its energy for developing fruits. 

For instance, pests like aphids can suck the sap from leaves and stunt plant growth and fruit production. Japanese beetles also feed on leaves, reducing fruit yield on blueberry bushes. 

To control and prevent pest infestation, you can add natural predators like ladybugs to get rid of aphids on your blueberries or regularly apply pesticides to eradicate pests.

5. Improper Pruning

Improper Pruning
Image: Agnet West

Improper pruning can prevent the blueberry bush from fruiting as it can remove fruit-producing wood. This is especially true for one-year-old blueberries because, without this wood part, there will be no branch left for fruit to grow. 

Improper pruning can also encourage excessive growth for the blueberry bush. It will grow new leaves and stems, leaving little to no energy for fruit production. 

It can also make the blueberry bush susceptible to pests, infestation and diseases. Large cuts can expose open wounds to bacteria, fungi and viruses that can easily enter the plant’s vascular system. 

To prevent pruning tragedies, we recommend that you prune your blueberry bushes during late winter or early spring before the buds have broken. You can also remove suckers at the base of the plant so it can divert its energy for fruit production. 

What kind of blueberries should I plant?

What kind of blueberries should I plant
Image:Backyard Berry Plants

Here are some blueberry varieties you can add to your garden.

Avocado VarietyUSDA Hardiness ZoneRipening Month/sHeight
Patriot Blueberry Zones 3 to 7June3 to 5 feet
Pink Lemonade BlueberryZones 4 to 8Late July to early August4 to 5 feet
Bushel and Berry Peach Sorbet BlueberryZones 5 to 10Mid-July1 to 2 feet
Chandler BlueberryZones 4 to 7July4 to 5 feet
Darrow BlueberryZones 5 to 7August4 to 6 feet
Earliblue BlueberryZones 5 to 7June4 to 6 feet
Elliott BlueberryZones 4 to 7August4 to 6 feet
Jubilee BlueberryZones 5 to 9June4 to 6 feet 
Bluecrop BlueberryZones 4 to 7July4 to 6 feet

FAQs on When Do Blueberries Bloom

How long do blueberry bushes live?

Given the proper care, blueberry bushes can live for 40 to 50 years but will reach full size within ten years.

How much fruit does a blueberry bush produce?

A blueberry bush can yield five to ten pounds of blueberries every year, depending on the variety, climate, age, health and care and maintenance it receives. 

What is the best month for blueberries?

The best month to harvest blueberries is between late July and mid-August, when they have ripened in a purplish blue color.

What color do blueberries bloom?

Blueberry flowers range from white to pink and bloom profusely during spring for as long as two weeks.

How long do blueberries last?

Ripe blueberries can last up to two weeks when stored in the refrigerator and up to 10 months in the freezer.

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