Growing indoor fruit plants is a popular trend among garden hobbyists. It gives your interior space an exotic flavor and guarantees a steady flow of fresh fruit. Therefore, if you’ve been considering growing fruit indoors, we have an excellent suggestion: BLUEBERRIES!
Berries make a fantastic choice for container gardening. These plants may flourish practically everywhere and are simple to grow. Even small blueberry cultivars are available, which are simple to grow in an indoor planter.
You may easily grow blueberries inside if you can meet their requirements for growth. And in this regard, two things must be considered: enough chilling hours and direct sunshine. These plants would also require regular irrigation and well-drained and acidic soil.
Imagine how fun it would be to add some fresh berries to your yogurt every morning or afternoon!
So, read on for comprehensive tips and guidance on cultivating and maintaining blueberries in containers.
What are Blueberries?
Contrary to popular belief, fruit plants, blueberries are actually perennial flowering plants that yield blue or purple berries. This plant is a member of the Vaccinium genus that includes other berry-producing plants, cranberries, huckleberries, bilberries, and blueberries from Madeira.
Native to North America, commercial blueberries can be grown in both high and low bushes. Furthermore, if you attempt to trace its origins, you will be transported back to 13,000 years ago in the US. Blueberries have always been a classic US fruit.
Although tiny in size, blueberries are summer fruits that are full of antioxidants. It is definitely a healthy snack that can be used in sweet and savory dishes. And it is not just in the US where this fruit is available but also across Europe and Asia.
To learn more about the plant and its growing circumstances, we’ve put together this table that summarizes the fundamentals of blueberries.
|Botanical Name||Vaccinium spp.|
|Hardiness Zones||3–9 (USDA)|
|Plant Type||Fruit, perennial|
|Size||Up to 8 feet tallUp to 10 feet wide|
|Soil Needs||Sandy, well-drained, and acidic (4- 5.2)|
Do Blueberries Grow Well in Pots?
Yes, yes, yes!
Blueberry plants can be grown in pots or containers. Having said that, blueberries are a stunning plant. This plant creates a striking contrast in your indoor environment with its blue fruits and green leaves. And did we mention that this is one of the easiest summer fruits to grow? Yes, you heard it right. Blueberries will be more than happy to thrive in a container if you can meet their basic growing requirements.
But which varieties of blueberries are most suited for indoor container growing? Look at the types listed below to get the answer.
|Top Hat||Plant Size: Up to 24 inches
Fruit Size: Small
Chilling Hour: 1,000-1,200 hours
|Northblue||Plant Size: Up to 48 inches
Fruit Size: Medium
Chilling Hour:800-1,000 hours
|Northsky||Plant Size: Up to 18 inches
Fruit Size: Small
Chilling Hour: 800-1,000 hours
|Sunshine Blue||Plant Size: Up to 36 inches
Fruit Size: Medium
Chilling Hour: 150 hours
Tips to Grow & Care For Blueberries in Containers
After selecting the preferred cultivar, it’s time to learn about the essential ways to grow and care for blueberry plants. So, without delaying anymore, let’s jump into the crux of the matter.
Note: The blueberry plant comes in many different cultivars. Each cultivar has unique requirements for growth. Therefore, it is advised that you know what cultivar you have before putting any of our advice into practice. Also, what are its specific growing needs?
How to Grow Blueberries in Containers?
When is the best season to cultivate blueberries is the first question to cross our minds. The majority of gardeners advise planting blueberry plants in April and May. But if you live in a USDA zone 6 or higher, you can grow this plant in the (late) fall.
Blueberries prefer being in the full sun. So pick a location that gets enough sunshine all day but is protected from high winds. Therefore, if you are growing your plant in a container, always position it near a window or on a patio that gets direct sunlight. Nevertheless, protect the plant from the scorching afternoon sun. In order to prevent water stagnation, ensure that the container has adequate drainage holes. Use loamy soil, nevertheless, as it won’t retain water but will stay moist.
One blueberry plant per container should be planted. However, you should avoid crowding these plants since, depending on the kind, they can spread up to 10 feet wide.
4. Container Size
For young blueberry plants, a smaller container might be used initially. Repotting will be necessary as your plant develops and flourishes, though. Having said that, a fully developed blueberry plant requires a container that is 24 inches deep and up to 30 inches wide to flourish.
Note: Repotting should be done in the late summer or early fall to allow the roots a good chance to develop before winter.
5. Chill Hours
Blueberries in containers, as well as in gardens, need sufficient chill hours. The hours, however, differ depending on the cultivar type.
The period a plant spends between 32 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit is known as the chill hours.
For blueberries to bloom and bear fruit, they require these cool hours. Consider setting the planter outside in the early morning or late evening if the temperature inside your home is high.
Taking Care of Blueberries
Growing blueberries in containers is simple if you can provide the plants with the proper care. Here are some tips for taking care of your blueberry bush.
For blueberries to grow and bear fruit, they require full sun. So, leave your planter in the sun for 6 to 8 hours. However, avoid placing your plant in the sweltering midday sun because the heat can destroy it.
Deep watering is essential at least once a week. That said, these plants require a couple of inches of water every week for their shallow roots. Don’t overwater your plant, as this leads to water stagnation, haring the roots.
The best soil for blueberry plants is sandy soil. Additionally, ensure the soil’s pH is acidic, falling between 4.4 and 5.2.
Furthermore, always use a 50/50 mixture of potting soil and peat moss as the growing medium when planting in a container. Before filling the container, remember to moisten the soil carefully. And to ensure the proper drainage of water, select a container with the right drainage hole(s).
Different blueberry cultivars would require various temperatures in order to grow and prosper. However, no matter which cultivar you select, shield your plant from severe winds. Additionally, blueberries need the chill hours discussed in the section above.
Don’t fertilize your blueberries during the first few years of growth. When they are older than a year old, you can feed them twice: during the blooming period and again when the berries begin to form.
Ammonium sulfate-based fertilizers are typically beneficial for blueberry bushes. In addition, you can use any fertilizer suitable for plants that thrive in acid. Having stated that, avoid using nitrate or chloride content fertilizers on your blueberries. Compost and dung tea are two examples of organic fertilizers that can be used.
Self-pollination occurs in blueberries. But to encourage cross-pollination, growing two to three kinds of blueberries is advantageous. Choose kinds that bloom at precisely the same time so that bees may readily cross-pollinate them, and place the containers at least 2-3 feet apart.
It’s crucial to overwinter your blueberries in containers. It can be done by transferring it to a protected area protected from winter winds. Be careful to bring your container inside if you keep it on the patio or veranda.
Managing Pests and Diseases
Blueberries are susceptible to fungus and pest issues despite being a fairly resilient plant. For instance, the spotted wing drosophila and the Japanese beetle can harm blueberries. These insects feed on ripe fruit, harming the berries and the foliage as they do so. Occasionally, cherry fruit worms and blueberry maggots can also be a problem.
Yes, it is very straightforward to grow blueberries in containers indoors. If you want to learn more, read the post above.
Although blueberries are self-pollinating, it is better to grow 2-3 varieties together when growing in containers. Doing so would aid in cross-pollination.
Many blueberry cultivars can withstand freezing temperatures. Actually, blueberry bushes require a specific number of chill hours. But moving your blueberry containers indoors, in a location protected from blustery winter winds, is an excellent idea.
To grow blueberries, it is a good idea to use a 50/50 mixture of potting soil and peat moss as the growing medium.
Yes, blueberries yield fruit each year if their growing requirements are satisfied. However, the first two to three years will be fruitless for them. Therefore, you must maintain your patience!
The following are the main ideas about cultivating and caring for blueberries in containers.
- Blueberries need acidic soil.
- Full sun exposure is essential.
- Offer your plant the needed chill hours.
- Get a container with proper drainage holes
- Water the plants once a week
- Grow 2-3 varieties for cross-pollination.
We have come to the end of this post with the key points. We sincerely hope our advice on cultivating and caring for blueberries in containers has sparked your curiosity. If you have grown this berry plant in pots, please share your experience with us in the comments below.