United States Edition

Vaccinium

Vaccinium

Vaccinium is part of the Vaccinium genus. Its scientific name is Vaccinium.

Blueberries grow on a shrubs that can grow anywhere from 18" to 10’ high, depending on variety.

There are 4 main types of blueberry:
Highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum)
These are the typical large bushes which grow to 6-feet in height and bear large fruit. Hardy from Zones 4 through 11.

Lowbush blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium)
Usually grow only to 18" in height, they form low mats of plants. The first year is the growth year and the second year is the fruiting year. Commonly known as ‘Wild Blueberries’. Fruit are sweet and small. Hardy in Zones 3 through 6.

Half-high blueberries (V. corymbosum x V. angustifolium)
Hybrid between lowbush and highbush cultivars. Grown in the same way as highbush berries, but shrubs are not as tall. Half-high blueberries are especially suited to northern growing, as they are able to withstand snow and cold to Zone 3.

Rabbiteye blueberries (Vaccinium ashei)
Native to the Southeastern United States, can grow up to 10 feet. Berries have thick skins and are suited to southern heat. Hardy Zones 7-9.

It is a flowering fruit and is treated mainly as a perennial, so it grows best over a period of time (3 years and greater). Normally reaching to a mature height of 4.95 feet (1.52 metres). Popular varieties of Vaccinium with home gardeners are Northblue, Duke, Northcountry, Climax and Reka.

Vaccinium needs a moderate amount of maintenance, so some level of previous experience comes in handy when growing this plant. Ensure that you are aware of the soil, sun, ph and water requirements for this plant and keep an eye out for pests.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Vaccinium have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Vaccinium

  • Full Sun

    +
  • Medium

Water 2.5cm (1") per week, with rain water if possible. Avoid softened water and hard tap water. 2-4" of organic mulch will help retain moisture. Using wood chips, sawdust, oak leaves or shredded bark will also help maintain soil acidity.

Some gardeners suggest removing the blossoms the first year to get the plants established and strong enough to support the heavy yields in years to come. Sometimes they won’t blossom in the first year anyhow.

Avoid fertilizers that make soil alkaline. Soybean, cottonseed meal ammonium sulfate or any azalea/rhododedron fertilizer is ideal.

Tall types of blueberry bushes need an annual pruning. As stems age, their production decreases. Lop old growth off at ground level when stems are over an inch in diameter. Also, remove crowded areas from the centers of your bushes to keep the plants from self-shading.

SPRING
Fertilize when the leaves have emerged fully. (Northern Hemisphere: April) Usually approximately 50g rhododendron fertilizer for young plants, increasing slightly over the years)

SUMMER
Repeat feeding the plant at the beginning of summer (NH: June) to support second stage of growth in late summer. Cover with bird netting as fruit start to change colour. Pinch out growing tips to encourage a bushy plant.

AUTUMN
Mulch to conserve moisture.

Position in a full sun location and remember to water moderately. Zone 3 to 7 are typically the USDA Hardiness Zones that are appropriate for this plant (although this can vary based on your microclimate). Vaccinium needs a loamy, chalky and clay soil with a ph of 4.5 to 6.5 (moderately acidic soil - weakly acidic soil). Keep in mind when planting that Vaccinium is thought of as very hardy, so this plant will tend to survive through freezing conditions.

Growing Vaccinium from seed

Transplanting Vaccinium

All types of blueberries grow best in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade (with a decrease in production). Blueberries shallow root systems make them and poor competitors against trees, other shrubs, and weeds that compete for water and nutrients.

Soil
Blueberries grow best in loose, well drained humus-rich soil with a ph of 4.0-5.0.

Although many blueberries self-pollinate, planting two or more varieties within a type will increase yield.

Plant blueberries in spring after all danger of frost passes.
Standard spacing for Highbush, half-high & rabbiteye is 5-6 feet and 1-3 feet for lowbush varieties.

Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Vaccinium is a very hardy plant.

Harvesting Vaccinium

Tickle the clusters and fully ripe berries easily fall into your hands.

Companion plants for Vaccinium

These plants have been known to grow well alongside Vaccinium so consider planting:

  • Vaccinium Groundnut

    likes similar conditions and fixes nitrogen

Repellent plants for Vaccinium

These plants will not grow well with Vaccinium so avoid planting these within close proximity:

Common Vaccinium problems

These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Vaccinium plants:

Relatively disease free with proper pruning.

Birds are the biggest pest to blueberries. A bird net over the bush, or better a bird net draped over a light frame will exclude birds. Rabbits and other small rodents may eat young branches in winter. Insects are generally not a problem.

Vaccinium Etymology

Angustifolium is Latin for “narrow leaves”or “a narrow snout”.1

Other names for Vaccinium

Blueberry

Misspellings: blueberried, blueberries

Latest Vaccinium Reviews

See all Vaccinium reviews and experiences »

Vaccinium care instructions

How long does Vaccinium take to grow?

These estimates for how long Vaccinium takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world. Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Footnotes

Vaccinium Forums

  • Blueberry Growers

    This is a place to discuss growing techniques, varieties… anything blueberry related!

    37 members / 5 topics

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