Blueberry is a flowering plant with indigo-colored berries. Berries are native to North American countries like Michigan, New Jersey, Washington and North Carolina. They vary in size from centimeters to meters.
Blueberries are grown for its commercial use. Leaves are broad and dark green colored. Flowers are bell-shaped with white or red. Berry fruit has flared crown at the end with reddish purple or dark purple colored and to a height of 5-20 mm. Berries produce sweet taste when matures.
Blueberries Nutrition: Fresh blueberries are the most popular summer treats and can be incorporated into your regular diet. Berry contains vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, and iron. 100 grams contains 57 calories with low proteins, fats and cholesterol free.
How to Grow Blueberries in Pots?
Blueberries are easy to grow in pots or containers. They are rich in healthy antioxidants, tastes good and looks beautiful in your garden. Start choosing a blueberry variety i.e. high bush or low bush to grow. Different varieties grow in different climatic conditions.
High bush variety is best for eating fresh and making desserts. Low bush varieties grow well in cool weather conditions and used in muffins & pancakes. Although they have both male and female organs they are not self-pollinated. Berries prefer rich fertile soil and thrive faster in moderate conditions. If you start growing from younger plants it takes years to develop fruits. So it’s better to choose berry plants that are 2-3 years old. If you plant it in spring you will see ripe fruits at the end of summer. Water the plant and place it in sunlight for healthy growth.
If your berries are slow growing then use a natural fertilizer to boosts the plants’ productivity. Harvesting time depends upon the climatic conditions. You can harvest berries only when they are ripe and eaten.
Can you Grow Blueberries from Seeds?
Selecting Seeds: Before starting you must know about blueberry seeds. Berry itself isn’t the seed, there are seeds inside the fruit and need little effort to separate them from fruit. You can use the seed from an existing bush, nursery or buy online.
Type of Soil: Berries thrive in acidic soil (pH between 4 & 5) when you add peat moss to the soil. Also check the soil pH, if the soil is acidic (>5) add compost to the soil and for alkaline nature (<5) add granular sulfur to lower the soil pH.
Water & sunlight: Water the plant regularly on daily basis. Adding excess amounts may result in root rot that completely damages the plant growth. Now, Place it in sunlight for a minimum of 6-8 hours a day to promote healthy growth.
Planting: The seeds may take 6 – 8 weeks to germinate when you maintain an optimum temperature of 75-80 F. When the plant matures it reaches to a height of 4 feet or more depending on variety. High bush variety grows up to 6 feet tall with regular pruning of stems.
Fertilizers: Plants may turn yellow and become weak due to the lack of nutrients. So we prefer organic fertilizers such as seed meals of soybean, cotton is added to the soil. You can also use ammonium sulfate, sulfur coated urea or N-P-K fertilizer in the ratio 10-10-10 and place water sufficiently after fertilizing.
Pests & diseases
|Pests||Birds, Scale, Mites, Aphids, Lybus Bugs, Blueberry Maggot|
|Diseases||Stem Borer, Leaf Roller, Powdery Mildew, Brown Rot|
Harvesting: Berries turn blue or pink color before they are ready for harvesting. You need to wait for 7-10 days to develop the fruit completely. Harvested berries should be covered with freezer bags and kept in the refrigerator for a week or so before eating.
Tips and Precautions
- Harvest only the fruits when ripe that tastes sweeter.
- Prune plants in winter or spring before establishing new growth.
- Cut short, weak, broken and dead leaves and stems from spoilage.
- You can fertilize the plant only when it reaches a height of 6-12 inches.
- Do not allow the bush to produce fruit for the 1st 2 years after planting from seeds.
- Though dogs love to eat berries, keep them away when you feed the plant with fertilizers or mulches.
Blueberry Health Benefits
- Blood pressure: Blueberries are naturally sodium free and contain calcium & magnesium to lower the blood pressure.
- Diabetes: Studies shows that people who consume high dietary fiber such as blueberries have low glucose levels in the blood.
- Skin: Skin color is a result of compounds like anthocyanin that acts as a barrier for skin and keeps firm. Vitamin C in blueberries is also responsible for the production of collagen.
- Cancer: Berries have powerful antioxidants that help to protect cells against free radical damage. It inhibits tumor growth, decrease body inflammation and reduces several cancers like lung, mouth, pancreatic, prostate and colon.
- Heart disease: Phytonutrient content in berries eliminates the cholesterol levels and supports heart health. According to the recent study eating berries can reduce the risk of heart attack b 32% in young and middle-aged women.
- Weight loss: Berries are low in calories and high in nutrients. The high content of berries increase satiety, reduce appetite, makes you feel fullness in stomach thereby lowering calorie intake and helps to reduce weight loss.
- Pregnant women: Pregnant women love to eat berries for its taste. They should wash thoroughly before eating. It strengthens the immune system, reduces stress and prevents premature delivery.
Eating too much of berries may result in…..
- Salicylate sensitivity and
- Increases the risk of bleeding
Start growing blueberries from seeds in a pot or large container that produces tasty fruits and monitors your health. If you have amazing ideas about growing blueberries in your home, please share your experience with us.