Bluebelle blueberry is a southern rabbiteye adaptable and vigorous. Ripens early for its species with large light blue fruit. If you can wait after it turns blue, it increases in sweetness. Grows very well at the nursery in old wood chips applied annually. Plant in rows 5-6' apart in zone 7 or a 6' circle if planted alone. Zones 6-9
|Wet Soil Tolerance||Poor|
|Fresh for Kids||Excellent|
|Soil Type||High Organic Matter|
|This information is accurate to the best of our knowledge, comments/opinions are always welcome|
Due to import restrictions we are unable to ship Bluebelle Blueberry to CA...
Blueberries grow best in full sun, well drained, high organic matter. Bed preparation is a must. Give a 5 foot circle weed free and prepare the ground about 4 inches deep with @ 80% moist peat into your soil. Space several plants about 5 feet apart in a 5 foot wide bed. The best way to moisten a bag of peat is to move the bag to the planting site, make a small hole in the top of the bag, placing the end of a garden hose in it and filling as much water as the bag can hold. Leave the bag over night or longer to wet the peat.
Take the plant out of the pot, spreading the roots and integrating the roots with the newly prepared soil. Now water well and mulch with aged bark mulch 2 to 4 inches deep. Blueberries thrive on decaying cellulose and the mulch will become the blueberries top soil in time. Mulching annually is a good idea. No manure or vegetable compost in the blueberry bed, especially near the roots of the newly set plants. And even though clay can be acidic, blueberries will not thrive, usually won't grow in it. Some blueberry varieties are very soil specific. Our varieties belong to the group that have a high degree of adaptability. They will grow when others won't.
Ripening Order From early to late, @ 3 months of fresh blueberries is as follows. Reka , Legacy, O'Neal, Star, Sharpblue, Sunshine Blue, Northland, Climax, Premier, Columbus, Yadkin, Tifblue, Trentberry, Powderblue.
Container grown plants can be planted any time of the year, if you are willing to make sure to water them if they are dry. In winter the roots are not hardy if they dry out. If above ground temps are below 20 degrees, mulch or insulate pot to keep its temperature more like the soil temp, not like the air temperature. The pots soil can be mostly peat and aged bark chips. Soil should be well draining, healthy, and light. Fertilizers like Holly-tone, cottonseed meal are good and can be incorporated in the soil mix. Liquid fertilizers or time release can be used during the growing season. Sunshine blue is one of the best varieties for pot culture.
Average age of blueberries; Quart - 1 year, One Gallon - 1 to 2 years old (usually have some fruit 1st year), 3 Gallon - 2 to 3 years old (Usually has a lot of fruit 1st year), 5 Gallon and up - are usually older than 3 years.
Water is critical from time of planting to dormant stage. New plantings with lush growth in dry periods may require daily watering. If in doubt, dig into the bed a few inches to see if its dry.
Mulch will protect the roots, discourage weed growth and help retain moisture. Any of the following may be used; pine bark, pine chips and needles or pine sawdust.
Prune young plants by removing dead, diseased or damaged canes and twiggy growth each spring. As plants mature, open the center to allow sunlight and good air flow, keeping 8-10 canes arising from the crown by removing the oldest dark cane and remaining low growing, dead and diseased branches and small twigs. Usually 5 year old canes are removed.
Brown Leaves With or Without Some Green at the Base of the Leaf?
Water not getting into the root ball. Press finger into root ball, if dry, dig up plant and soak in water overnight, then gently break open the root ball and replant, getting roots in contact with soil and water thoroughly.
Whole Plant Dies With Leaves On and Bark Shriveled Up?
Was it a weed eater? White Grubs? Dig up, check around mulch line, down to end of roots for white grubs. They will eat all the bark off and some of the small fiber roots. You may find at the ground line that the plant has tried to heal itself before it perished. Scrape with fingernail to see if bark is missing. Grubs are really bad in old sod and under sawdust.
Red Leaves, No Growth?
Was plant planted deeper than in the pot? Dig up and replant at the proper depth. Is there enough organic matter? Roots need it to feed. Dig up and mix about 10 gallons of sphagnum peat moss in planting hole and replant. Is there a soil problem? Check for a high or low pH. Should be between 4.5 and 5.2. Test soil for iron and other trace elements. Follow recommendation of test laboratory. Has heavy sawdust mulch locked up the nitrogen? Try a water soluble fertilizer, such as Miracid, on foliage and to roots. Ground not well drained or heavy clay could cause a root rot problem. Move to another location or some plan of action for better drainage. Heavy clay can be helped with gypsum and organic matter incorporated into the soil.
Older Plants Look Good, but Not Growing?
Is there Scale on bark? Dormant spray oil? Grubs in soil? See above suggestion. Voles? Soil is soft. Similar to a mouse. Bait may work. Too many fruiting buds? Indicated by small twigs under 2", some plants will try to overbear. A good pruning will help. Root rot? Some soil will settle and hold more moisture. See above suggestion. Test soil to check general condition. These are not all of the problems that blueberries have, but this should help with the most common ones that you will run into. Lack of organic matter, too little or too much moisture and weed eaters.