- USDA hardiness zones:
Highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) is a deciduous shrub that is native to eastern North America where it typically grows in moist woods, bogs, swamps and low areas. ëBluejay is a variety that usually grows to 5-7 tall, but may be pruned shorter. Dainty, waxy, bell-shaped, white flowers appear in May. Flowers are followed by medium-sized, light blue blueberries that ripen in mid season (June). Ovate, medium green leaves (to 3.5î long) turn attractive shades of yellow-orange to red and purple in fall. Reddish stems can be attractive in winter.
- Full sun to part shade
- Medium to wet
Best grown in acidic (pH of 4.8 to 5.2), organically rich, medium to wet, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Shallow, fibrous roots need constant moisture and good drainage. Plants appreciate a good organic mulch. Although blueberries are self-fertile, cross-pollination produces the best fruit crop (larger berries and larger yields). Therefore, it is best to plant more than one variety that will bloom at the same time. In addition, blueberry season can be extended by planting early, mid-season and late varieties which will collective ripen from early June well into July (St. Louis area). Best to remove flowers from plants in the year of planting and in the following year so as to prevent fruit set and to encourage new vegetative growth. Prune as needed in late winter beginning in the third year after planting.
Size and growth:
- 5.0 to 7.0 feet
- 5.0 to 7.0 feet
Bloom / flowers:
Good in the fall, Edible fruit, Showy flowers, Hedge, Showy fruit, Birds, White, and Butterflies
Useful for ornamental purposes (flowers, fruit, quality summer foliage and fall color) as well as for fruit production (mid season blueberries). It is effective in shrub borders or as part of less formal shrub plantings in areas such as native plant gardens or open woodlands. Particularly effective in conjunction with rhododendrons and azaleas which share similar acidic soil requirements. Also makes an excellent hedge with the added benefits of summer fruit which can be harvested or left for the birds.
No serious insect or disease problems. Birds love the fruit, so plants may need to be covered with netting as the fruit begins to ripen in order to protect the crop. Chlorosis (yellowing of leaves) may occur in high pH soils. Potential but infrequent disease problems include stem blight, root rot, anthracnose, cane cankers, mildew and botrytis.