Blueberry Bushes for Warm Climates

Blueberry bushes are the surprise addition to your edible landscape Edible landscaping is the hot garden topic. What does that mean for you? Anything from cranking up the design in your kitchen garden, to tearing out your front lawn and replacing it with great-looking edible plants. Two of the cardinal rules of edible gardening (whether you're planning a Peter-Rabbit-style vegetable patch or an eye-popping display in the front yard): 1) Grow what you like to eat 2) Grow produce that costs a lot to buy at the farmers' market or grocery store We're guessing that near the top of your list will be -- blueberries! Choose from the Southern Highbush blueberry varieties, which are happy in warm areas. They're self-pollinating but you'll get even more fruit if you plant different varieties together.

Health benefits

Blueberries are insanely good for you. They're full of antioxidants, Vitamin C, and fiber. New studies show blueberries clean up toxic brain debris, lower blood pressure, and even reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease.

Landscaping with blueberries

Blueberry bushes enhance landscapes as hedges (a row of different varieties will display a range of fall color, from burgundy to orange to blue-green) or in a group of perennials. Use smaller varieties (like 'Sunshine Blue') as container plants to create edible accents flanking your front door, or on your patio.

Blueberry culture

Blueberries need acid, well-drained soil. You'll probably have to amend your soil with compost, peat or grow in containers. For full details on warm-weather blueberry culture and soil preparation, see "Growing Blueberries in the Sacramento Region" by the Cooperative Extension in Sacramento County.

Pick a blueberry bush, or two or three

Some favorite varieties in warm areas are 'Misty', 'Sunshine Blue', 'O'Neal', and 'Southmoon'. Try 'Sunshine Blue' as one of your varieties. It's a mid-season blueberry bush and will extend your harvest beyond the other early-season bushes. Although blueberries are self-fertile you will get a heavier fruit set and larger berries if you plant more than one variety together.

15 comments

  • Sabrina, once you know your chill hours in your area, you will be able to make the choice of which blueberry to grow. Northern Highbush blueberries needs lots of cold temps to put on a good crop. Southern highbush have lower chill hour requirements. To get the heaviest yields of berries, you should plant at least two varieties to get good cross pollination, make sure your soil pH is between 4.5-5.5.

    Suzanne
  • Danielle, you should choose Southern Highbush varieties to grow in Florida. Choose those with the lowest chill hours, since you probably do not get that many days/nights below 45F.

    Suzanne
  • Hello,
    I live in Miami, Florida and I would like to grow blueberries. What type would well in my area?
    It’s now February!

    Danielle
  • In Mauritius will it be convenient to grow blueberries? We have temperatures that can reach 35°C and the raining season starts as from November until end of april

    Sabrina
  • Kimberly, I really can’t advise on what to grow in Nigeria, but with the temps you have given, I don’t think they would do well there, even the southern highbush. This is due to the fact your temps in the winter never get below 50 degrees. Most need some chill hours (below 45 and over 32) in the dormant season.d

    Suzanne
  • I’m considering to try to grow some in Nigeria.. Is there a particular variety that you would recommend for a tropical climate? We have 2 main periods of heavy rain, with a dry season where the temperature can cool to about 50˚, before a month or so of very hot temperatures. Otherwise the temperate remains fairly consistent at approximately 70-80˚..

    Kimberly
  • Trudy, we do not sell the Rabbit Eye blueberries.

    Suzanne
  • do you sell rabbit eye blueberries. i was told by Texas A & M Agrilife extension, that rabbit eye blueberries grow best in our hot summer texas?
    i am in the Waco, tx area.

    trudy porterfield
  • Bill, you are in zone 9a, you probably are better off with Southern Highbush. I am not sure how many chill hours you get in your area, but that would guide you to which variety to choose.

    Suzanne
  • Bill, you are in zone 9a, you probably are better off with Southern Highbush. I am not sure how many chill hours you get in your area, but that would guide you to which variety to choose.

    Suzanne
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