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Blueberry, Top Hat

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Short Description

A one-of-a kind blueberry developed at Michigan State University.

Full Description

Hats off to a perfectly delectable and beauteous blueberry. Give this ornamental blueberry a prime spot on your patio. Come spring it produces beautiful white blossoms; in fall, the foliage turns a pretty glowing orange. Top Hat is a compact 2-ft plant that produces firm, dusky blue fruit that ripens in late season and is ideal for baking. Hardy to zone 5-7.
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Item # Product
Item#: 19898
Order: 1 Plant
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Product properties

Zone This refers to the USDA hardiness zone assigned to each part of the country, based on the minimum winter temperature that a region typically experiences. Hardiness zone ranges are provided for all perennial plants and you should always choose plants that fall within your range.


Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

24 inches

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

24 inches

Food Use Ways in which this product may be used as food.

Edible Fruit, Pie

Genus The first part of the botanical name of the product referring to the genus of the plant.


Plant Shipping Information

Plants begin shipping on:

Sep 12, 2016


Item 19898 cannot ship to: AA, AE, AK, AP, AS, CA, CN, FM, GA, GU, HI, MH, MP, OR, PR, PW, VI, WA
See all Burpee plant shipping restrictions for your state

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Fall Planted Fruits
Fall is an ideal time to plant fruit plants. Plants will establish strong root systems and get a jump on spring growth.
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Blueberry: Bare Root or Potted Fruit Plant

How to Plant

  • Blueberries may be planted as bare root or potted plants.
  • Blueberries thrive in a sunny to partially shaded location, in well drained, very acidic soil, with a pH of 4.2-5.2. If your pH is higher, add garden sulfur according to package directions. Do not change the pH of your soil more than ½ of a point each year.
  • Plant at least two varieties that bloom at the same time for cross pollination and better yield.
  • Set plants 4-8 feet apart (3 feet apart for hedges). Dwarf varieties may be planted in containers.

Planting Bare Root Plants:

  • Dig each hole twice the size of the root mass.
  • Keep the crowns above the soil level. Plant into the hole and back fill with loose soil. Gently press soil in around the root ball. Transplants need good root-to-soil contact. Do not press too hard because that can cause soil compaction and root damage.
  • Gently water around the root ball to settle the soil and drive out air pockets.
  • After planting be sure to mark the plants with plant labels so you know where they are and what varieties they are.
  • Mulch with 2-3 inches of compost of pine needles to retain moisture and prohibit weed growth.

Planting Potted Plants:

  • Set the plant in the hole at the same depth as it was growing in the pot.
  • Backfill the hole and press firmly around the base of the planting.
  • Water deeply. The water will seal off any air pockets around the root ball.
  • After planting be sure to mark the plants with plant labels so you know where they are and what varieties they are.
  • Mulch with 2-3 inches of compost of pine needles to retain moisture and prohibit weed growth.


How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients. Control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
  • Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2 inches of rain per week during the growing season. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Do not fertilize newly planted bushes until they have leafed out. Work a fertilizer designed for acid-loving plants into the top 3 inches of soil around each plant. Apply again 4-6 weeks later. After the first year, fertilize in spring as new growth begins, and again 4-6 weeks later. Apply fertilizer to the soil beneath each bush, keeping it 5-6 inches away from the main stem.
  • Remove flowers the first year to strengthen plants.
  • Prune in late winter or early spring while the bushes are dormant. The first three years, remove small lateral shoots and thin out excessive bushy growth. After the third year, annually remove 1/4 - 1/3 of the old wood, any dead or injured branches, and those close to the ground.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Blueberries are remarkably disease resistant. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
  • Pick fruit promptly to discourage insects.
  • Do not water as frequently after early September unless the soil is very dry.
  • Mulch after the ground freezes in fall to prevent root damage from alternating freezing and thawing.


Harvest and Preserving Tips

  • Cover bushes with bird netting as fruit ripens. Netting should not touch blueberries.
  • Blueberry fruits turn blue before they are fully ripe. The acid level will continue to fall for three to seven days after the fruit turns blue. The underside of the berry will turn from pink to full blue when it is fully ripe.
  • Harvest only when the weather is dry and avoid over handling to preserve the whitish, waxy surface of the berry, which protects it from fruit molds.
  • Pick promptly to avoid insects.
  • Harvest the berries only.
  • Cool fruit promptly after harvesting and store between 32 - 40 degrees F.
  • Blueberries freeze well for later use. Freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and when they are frozen you can keep them frozen in zip lock bags.


Full Sun
24 inches
24 inches
Food Use
Edible Fruit, Pie
Ornamental Use
Borders, Container
Harvest Season
Blueberry, Top Hat is rated 3.125 out of 5 by 8.
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Terrible Quality! I purchased four of these to put in a new raised berry bed. They came in and looked terrible! The leaves were yellowing and falling off and one of the plants barely had any foliage at all. I have had them in our greenhouse for the past few weeks after transplanting into a larger container and fertilizing them and they still look similar. I have never had plants look this bad from Burpee.
Date published: 2016-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Little Blueberry Bush The first year my Top Hat grew well in a large pot on our deck. It did not bloom, however, I did not expect it to the first year. I decided in the Fall to plant it in the ground for protection from the cold. The next Spring it bloomed and was beautiful! Those blooms turned to tasty little blueberries in the Summer.
Date published: 2016-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Berry Happy I bought two of these plants last spring, and planted them in containers, as directed. I stored them in my greenhouse for the winter, brought them out in the spring and now, they are loaded with fat, juicy, delicious berries. I couldn't stop be more pleased. I'm ordering more plants!
Date published: 2015-07-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Top Hat BB is Garbage Third year and third attempt at this blueberry. Failed 1st 2 years, and like another poster the roots never went anywhere. Better off getting the junk from the grocery store.
Date published: 2015-06-10
Rated 1 out of 5 by from No good for zone 5 I bought two of thise Top Hat blueberries a couple years ago. We have a small garden space and I liked that they could be in planters. I promptly planted them per directions in two barrel containers. The remainder of that season, they grew fine. They survived the first winter with a bit of winter kill although they were kept in a protected area out of direct north wind. They grew fairly well in their planters and I had many new leaves. This year is the second spring and they are dead as a doornail. I went to take them out of the planters and discovered that, even though I loosened the rootball a bit, they hadn't even gotten their roots out of the original planting space. I am very disappointed in the performance of these plants. I have not gotten so much as a single flower from either of them even though I've gone above and beyond in taking care to protect them from the winter cold with mulch and styrofoam rose covers.
Date published: 2015-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Zone 9-10 - Definitely Not I didn't even get to plant it. It died on day 2 after delivery due to South Florida heat. I am on the West coast/Gulf coast. It says zone 5-7, but I have had luck with other plants. This poor baby never had a chance =(
Date published: 2015-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Zone 8 OK Just a slight correction to the above review. I'm also in z8, but in the Pacific Northwest, and Top Hat does just fine here. Zones are assigned by the average minimum temperature. That's why they are plant hardiness zones...they tell you what's the coldest the plant can survive at (hardy), not the warmest. Just looking at zone's not sufficient; take into account warmer temps also. For warmer zones, I've heard good things about the Sunshine Blue variety's heat tolerance.
Date published: 2013-03-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Zone 8 forget it Just a heads up the plant arrived fine. Packaged well and healthy. However if you live in zone 8 this plant will not work for you. The temps are just too much here even in the shade.
Date published: 2012-07-25
  • 2016-08-26T06:46CST
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