Growing Blueberries in Pots on Your Balcony or Patio
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As most blueberry bushes can grow very large, growing blueberries in pots can be tricky. The best option for a patio or other urban garden is to plant a dwarf variety.
Blueberry bushes begin producing after about three years, so you’ll have berries in a more timely manner if you buy a plant that is a couple years old as opposed to starting from seed. We recommend the dwarf ‘Tophat‘ variety, or any of the interesting varieties produced by Bushel and Berry, such as ‘Jellybean’ or ‘Peach Sorbet’— both perfect for containers.
Dwarf blueberries prefer an acidic soil with pH between 4.0 and 5.5. You can buy test kits from your local nursery to test your soil pH. If your soil pH is too high, you can add peat moss to bring it down; if your soil pH is too low, you can add a little bit of dolomite lime to the soil. You can also buy acidic soil from nurseries if you would prefer.
Grow blueberries in a large pot as they need the space to grow well. 12″-16″ in diameter should suffice.
To eliminate the guesswork in selecting the right size containers for your plants, we’ve put together a list of commonly grown herbs, veggies, fruit and flowers along with the minimum pot sizes required by each.
Starting a container garden? Grab my free guide on choosing the best sized pots for each veggie, fruit, and herb in your container garden – Veggie Garden Potting Guide
Keep well watered, and ensure your container has good drainage. In warm weather, this usually means watering every day.
Fertilize twice every spring, once at the beginning of the season and once late season. Blueberries prefer an acidic fertilizer such as those labelled for rhododendrons or azaleas. Either granular or liquid work equally well.
Where Can I Grow It?
Growing blueberries in pots works best outdoors in a sunny, sheltered location.
Some varieties are self-pollinating, meaning you only need one plant to produce fruit. However, there are also plenty of varieties that require you to have more than one in order for proper pollination and fruit production to occur. Keep an eye out for this when you are buying your starter plants, especially if you only have room for one!
Tips for Growing Blueberries in Pots
Dwarf blueberry bushes reach a full size of 12-36″ tall, much smaller than the 5 to 6 feet of the full-sized versions.
Depending on the age of the plant when you get it, blueberries may take a year or two to establish themselves before bearing any fruit.
Coffee grounds can be used as an inexpensive blueberry fertilizer that helps to acidify the soil. Occasionally scatter your used coffee grounds on the soil around your blueberry plants to give them a boost.
Growing blueberries in pots can be combined together with strawberries, as long as you’ve got them planted in a large enough pot. The strawberries provide ground cover to keep the soil cool and damp (just how blueberries like it!).
Avoid planting blueberries along with tomato plants.
Want to grow more fruit in your small space? Check out my articles on how to grow columnar apple trees in containers and how to grow raspberries on your patio or balcony.
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