Growing Blueberries in Containers

best soil for blueberries

Good news! It's easy to grow blueberry bushes in containers on your deck or patio. That's a boon for small-space gardeners -- and it's fun to have the berries to pick at the outdoor breakfast table even when you have a blueberry hedge elsewhere in your yard. Blueberries are at the top of the health-boosting hit parade and they're popular with all ages. And species! Your dog may "pick" the ripe berries if you don't watch out.

Varieties that will live happily ever after in containers

Two blueberry varieties stay small and won't need extensive pruning to thrive in your containers: *  Northern Lowbush 'Top Hat' grows best in cold climates (USDA zones 3-7) *  Southern Highbush 'Sunshine Blue' also known as the Southern Patio Blueberry, it does well in warm climates (USDA hardiness zones 5-10) Blueberries have wide, shallow root systems. Place a bare root or a transplant into a 5-10 gallon container. After a couple of years, shift up to a wider container, such as a half wine barrel. All blueberries will grow well in a container, just make sure you select the varieties that are right for your growing zone. Northern Highbush varieties need plenty of cold weather and Southern Highbush varieties are great for mild winter areas. 

Acid soil is a snap in a container

Is your soil alkaline? Growing acid-loving plants in containers, with an acid potting soil mix or a 50-50 mix of peat (not the sphagnum peat moss) and potting soil, is a simple solution to that problem. In our video, Growing Blueberries, Tricia creates a container soil mix of half organic potting mix and half Coco Peat (a sustainable alternative to peat moss). You can also use the prepared acid soil mixes sold for rhododendrons, azaleas, and camellias, but do not use any mixes that contain redwood sawdust as an ingredient. It is not recommended for blueberries. Smart Pots are a great choice for planting containers, and if you get one with handles, it is easy to move as well. Blueberries must have acid soil, pH 5.0 to 5.5. You should monitor the soil pH throughout the year with a pH test kit. Use fertilizers that will gently increase soil acidity, such as cottonseed meal or other Acid Mixes. Add fertilizer in small amounts from early spring to late summer according to the feeding instructions on the label.

Watering blueberries in containers

Soil in containers dries out quickly. Blueberries want damp soil, so water regularly (increasing water during any heat waves) and add a thick layer of mulch, a few inches away from the stems of the bush.

Keep the birds away

When the berries first appear, wrap the bush in some unobtrusive black bird netting.

Site and long-term care

Blueberries need full sun, but if they're on a patio or deck in a hot climate you should place them where they don't get blasted with late afternoon sun. 'Top Hat' and 'Sunshine Blue' will thrive in containers for their lives. Every 3 to 4 years change out the soil and root prune the plants to keep them the right size for your containers.

More information about the amazing blueberry

We have posts on growing and caring for for blueberries. Check out how to prune blueberries, and our blueberry Growing Guide. Reliable, research-based help comes in Growing Blueberries in the Sacramento Region by Chuck Ingels, Sacramento County Farm Advisor.

GROW BLUEBERRIES AND MORE IN CONTAINERS Don't stop with the blueberries: grow all kinds of fruits and vegetables in containers!

Back to blog


Rose, you can add some soil sulfur. Follow the directions on the label as you don’t want to overshoot and get too acidic. Adding a little at a time is best and rechecking the pH after a few weeks.


I have 3 blueberries in 25 Gallon containers and the soil is canadian peat moss, soil conditioner and perlite but the ph still above 6 and I don’t want those plants to die in the next couple years so my question is what I can do to lower the ph. Am trying to grow organic . I read and watch so many videos and they’ll say different things there not clear what can we do as buyers of blueberries


Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Related Products

1 of 5
Carbon-neutral shipping with Shopify Planet
Carbon-neutral shipping on all orders
shipping emissions removed
That's like...
miles driven by an average gasoline-powered car
We fund innovations in...
Powered by Shopify Planet