IMPORTANT: Please note that your plants have been shipped bare root in
a dormant state, and are not likely to be in leaf upon arrival. It is easier for plants to
establish the vigorous root systems required for good growth when they are planted in cool
weather in a dormant state.
Plant your blueberries as soon as possible after you receive them. If you cannot plant
them right away, set the plants in their shipping wrappers in a cool, dark location. If the
plants must be held longer than a few days, unwrap packing material, moisten roots thoroughly
with warm water and rewrap. Roots must never dry out—keep them moist until they are covered
Blueberries can also be “heeled in” for several weeks or held over the winter by burying
them in a shallow trench, leaving plant tops at about a 45° angle, until you can plant them in
their permanent locations.
How to Plant Your Blueberry Plants
Blueberries thrive in a sunny to partially shaded location, and a well drained, very acidic
soil, with a pH of 4.2-5.2. Prepare soil before planting. If your pH is higher, add iron
sulfate according to package directions. Do not change the pH of your soil more than 1/2 of a
point each year.
Plant at least two different varieties for cross pollination. Set plants 4-8 feet apart (3
feet apart for hedges).
Dig each hole twice the size of the root mass. Set the plant 2 inches deeper than it was
growing in the nursery, keeping the crown above the soil level. Fill the hole with the soil
mixture, firm around roots and water deeply. Mulch with 3-4 inches of compost or pine needles
to retain moisture and inhibit weed growth.
Do not fertilize newly planted bushes until they have leafed out. Work 10-10-10 or 5-10-10
fertilizer 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.
Blueberries are remarkably disease resistant. Cover bushes with netting as fruit ripens to
deter birds. Pick fruit promptly to discourage insects. Check with your local Cooperative
Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area. Pruning 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. Remove flowers the first
year to strengthen plants.