Blueberry plants are a tasty, nutritious and gorgeous addition to the home garden. Whether mass implanted for creation or incorporated into an edible landscape, the vibrant red of autumn blueberry bushes makes those plants valuable because of their aesthetic appeal as well as fruit. Based on the cultivar, plants will prosper in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 3 through 8. Blueberry plants have both male and female flowers on each bush. Depending on the cultivar, they are moderately to highly self-fertile, but benefit greatly from being implanted with different cultivars to improve pollination. For plentiful summer berries, plant 2 bushes per berry-loving family member.
Blueberry Bush Anatomy
Since Orange plants produce both female and male flowers, they are technically self-pollinating plants. However, the anatomy of the flowers along with the reproductive structures are made more for insect pollination. Inverted blooms shield the reproductive structures from wind and rain, which inhibits self-pollination, since pollen is frequently spread by wind. Flowers exude a fragrant nectar, which attracts insects that help in pollination. Individual blooms are receptive to pollination for only a couple of days each; and when fruit is to form, the flowers must be pollinated in this time period.
“Sonicating” bees, including bumblebees, vibrate their wing muscles to shake sticky feces free from flower anthers. These mammals are crucial to full blueberry productivity. For optimum berry creation, you can encourage bee pollination using several straightforward procedures. Raising bees from the backyard is now a usual and low-maintenance way to boost garden crops organically. Wild mammals may be unreliable pollinators, depending on the calendar year, and raising bees is a great backup program. To keep bee activity high, avoid using pesticides in the backyard that may hurt residents. Another helpful measure is to remove neighboring blooming weedsthat compete for a bee’s attention.
What to Plant
When planting a new blueberry harvest, start looking for a couple of cultivars to plant collectively. This will encourage cross-pollination, which can improve the berry size and weight, and accelerate the ripening procedure. Because the plants must flower at exactly the same time, start looking for cultivars that bear fruit in precisely the same moment. Plant labels usually note whether the cultivar is an early season or late-season type, and might even specify which month. Early cultivars have more flowering periods than late season, so ancient and mid-season bushes have more overlap for pollination. To keep a constant supply of summer berries, plant a variety of cultivars including mid, mid- and late-season types.
Local nurseries typically inventory plant cultivars that are suitable to the area, but when purchasing plant inventory online the number of options can be daunting. Look for “Gulf Coast” and “Misty,” which are frequently grown together since they bloom at exactly the same time and so offer chance for cross-pollination. “Gulf Coast” bears prolific medium, firm berries with great taste. “Misty” is a heavy producer with excellent fruit quality. Recommended early season cultivars include “Jubilee,” a vigorous plant with smaller berries; along with “Revielle,” known for the business, light blue berries, which keep well in the freezer or preserved.