Blueberry bush care - planting and multiplying

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Blueberry bush

For years, blueberries have been among the most sought-after shrubs, which is no surprise when it comes to simple cultivation, care and reproduction. Yet, the blue berries only came into focus when their health value was (re) discovered. This made it interesting for plant production to sell blueberry shrubs to private home gardeners. In recent years, more and more new cultivar cultivars have come onto the market. Beautiful bushes, delicious blueberries, only in terms of health not so talented...

Profile of blueberry culture

  • Planting blueberry bushes does not cause much problems
  • You can even choose to plant in spring or autumn
  • Blueberries come from cold regions and will certainly do both
  • More headaches should make the ground preparation
  • Because it is often recommended to create a moorland for blueberries
  • The quick way out would be blueberries in the raised bed or in the bucket
  • Anyone who is "keen" on the healthy ingredients of blueberries, but must deal with the species anyway
  • Because the culture blueberries from the garden center are all derived from blueberry species from the US and the surrounding area
  • They have a few vitamins, as a remedy but only the native forest blueberry
  • If you cultivate it (try it), your garden soil may keep its healthy pH
The bilberry and the acid soil
When it comes to cultivating blueberries in a particular garden, you are repeatedly confronted with the claim that blueberries only grow on acid soil. For gardeners who are familiar with the soil in their garden, this is an exclusion criterion for the cultivation of blueberries. They have no acid soil in their gardens, but are happy that it has a normal healthy pH. But the soil for the blueberry cultivation needs to be differentiated:

1. Real blueberries

Blueberry plant

Our genuine blueberry, the blueberry (or blackberry, mulberry, wild berry, wild berry, raspberry, tangerine, cranberry, hayberry) from the forest, is a species of the genus of blueberries with the botanical name Vaccinium myrtillus, which actually grows on acidic soil.
ALSO on acidic soils - like other plants, which according to sales description "only in sour earth" are to flourish, they tolerate actually only deviations in the direction of "sour" better / more extensively than deviations in the direction of "basic". This refers to deviations from the normal pH, which in normal garden soil is in the neutral range (values ​​between 6 and 7 (6.3-6.8) allow normal plants the best nutrient uptake). Therefore, normal plants also prefer to grow in soil with such pH levels, and our blueberry is one of the normal plants, you can bet: even if someone knows single people who have never picked blueberries in the wild, he knows for sure a whole lot more people who have already done that, which implies logically that most people have picked blueberries in the wild - a plant that most of the 80 million Germans have already picked in the wild, probably does not belong to the exotics, which had to adapt to extreme locations.
The native blueberry sees the same way and grows not only in acid, but also in normal soil; the tolerated pH range should go from 5.6 to 7.5.
"Must not be an exclusion criterion", because this applies only to gardeners who use sources of information and sources outside the mass trade. Only these gardeners will be able to obtain native blueberries for their garden; about an organic nursery, an exchange and possibly also directly from the next blueberry stock in the wild. Then, of course, in the form of seeds or cuttings, because digging would be natural freedoms (and more than one, two cuttings must be approved by the forester).

2. Garden or cultivated blueberries

If you ask for a blueberry bush in the next garden center, you will get a so-called blueberry. These blueberry berries or shrub bilberries (no distinguishing feature, also V. myrtillus grows as a shrub, just as very small) have emerged on another continent; More specifically, they were bred in North America to grow in plantations. Mainly from the American blueberry Vaccinium corymbosum; and this blueberry is known for occupying very specific extreme locations in its development area: swampy meadows and moist forests on the east coast of the American continent, from Florida and Louisiana in the south to the Canadian Newfoundland.

Blueberry bush with fruits

Many garden blueberries are really only tolerated by acid soil. In the culture guides
Therefore, it is usually recommended to create a so-called moor-bed for them first. This happens like this:
  • Dig healthy garden soil up to about a hand's breadth under the root depth of the selected blueberry variety
  • Fill with peat soil and peat (for the environmentally conscious: peat substitute)
  • The pH of the soil should now have fallen sharply, target value between 4.5 and 5.5
  • Test strips from the garden trade provide information
  • Possibly. repair with also available in the garden trade acidulants
If a cultivar grown from Vaccinium corymbosum is placed in a soil with too high a pH, this should cause problems, e.g. Because the plants do not absorb enough iron in soils with high pH. A culture blueberry with iron-deficient chlorosis looks like this:; and in the following picture, the front row of blueberries in the soil with high pH values ​​is said to be completely waxed: (on closer inspection, however, they might just have been lacking in water).
There are gardeners who shy away from artificially acidifying a part of your garden soil (which the acid certainly will not keep, even in the raised bed because of drainage). These gardeners certainly do not want a moor-bed in their garden, but want to leave moor-soil and peat in the bog because the moors fulfill important climate-protection functions. Descriptions á la "acidic, humus-rich soil required... easy to produce with peat and aluminum sulphate..." with subtle reference to the house brand aluminum sulphate they ignore - and put their blueberry bushes either in buckets with acidified compost or try it with cultivated blueberries in whole normal earth (more on that in the next but one tip).

Plant blueberries

Apart from the soil, the best location for the blueberry shrubs should have the following characteristics:
  • Partial shade until sunny
  • Happy in the protection of deciduous and coniferous trees
  • In any case, protected from cold winds
  • Distance depending on variety and maximum height (cultivated blueberries can grow up to 2 m)
  • Make about 1 square meter per bilberry, so that the shrub can develop freely
  • The humus content should be rather high for a garden floor
  • In addition, the soil should have a good water storage capacity
  • The ancestor of the breeding blueberry grew partly in swamps, it always needs enough moisture
  • For very hard soils this may mean that the soil has to be loosened up before planting

Vaccinium corymbosum

Ecologically, the native V. myrtillus is so interesting for native small game and insects that it should rather be settled in the backyard to give the wildlife undisturbed access. The green shoots are an important food source for many smaller wildlife in winter (foxes, capercaillie and songbirds), and the dwarf shrub provides shelter and food to the caterpillars of many endangered butterfly species.
The North American blueberry shrubs are when visited by the omnivores among the insects (fruit ripeness: birds), which are not endangered anyway. They are therefore ecologically less interesting (not "species rescuers") and can be settled without loss to wildlife in garden areas where "constantly what's going on". This is probably also the best location for the harvest because these not very aromatic blueberries are consumed predominantly as "berries".
For setting the bushes are otherwise no specifics to report; if you put a tree for the first time, you will find z. For example, in the article "Planting raspberries - this is how you put raspberry plants" detailed instructions. It is important, especially in the time of rooting a sufficient supply of moisture. For this, it is especially recommended to mulch each free piece of soil under the blueberries; in case of prolonged dryness but then additional irrigation is required.
Culture blueberries and native blueberries also differ in their ingredients: only the native Vaccinium myrtillus is effective in terms of health; Only their leaves and berries are dried as "Myrtilli folium" and "Myrtilli fructus" in the European Pharmacopoeia. Only it contains throughout the berry the blue plant dye anthocyanin, which i.a. antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. In the descendants of the American Vaccinium corymbosum and other New World Vaccinium species, the dyes are only in the shell; they have little to do with human health other than a few vitamins.

Multiply blueberry bush

Blueberries need little care and are overall so pleasant plants that buyers of blueberries usually want to settle even more blueberries in their garden. The easiest and cheapest works through propagation; Whether you need to be active depends on the type:
  • Bilberry shrubs from North American species have mostly lost the ability for natural self-propagation
  • Occasionally, every bilberry makes a cut well (for details, see the article "Blueberries cut - Instructions")
  • Then the truncated shoots of the culture blueberries can be used as cuttings for propagation
  • It is best to root cut cuttings after harvesting the fruits
  • 10 to 15 cm long shoots stuck in lime-free substrate
  • Keep evenly moist, cover cultivation pots, after 6-8 weeks the young plants come
  • On the spot is increased by lowering
  • Fix branch on the ground, at the latest in the following season you can separate young plants from the mother plant
  • Until the first harvest, it takes some patience, offshoots usually provide full yield only in the fourth year
  • Sowing blueberries also works, but brings joy to relaxed gardeners: the late bloomers take 7-9 years to deliver full yields

Vaccinium corymbosum

If you could settle native Vaccinium myrtillus in your garden, you also have no work with the propagation; it does the forest blueberry berry as in the open nature by Wurzelausläufer and natural sinkers themselves.

The cultivars of the blueberry bushes

As already mentioned, the American blueberry Vaccinium corymbosum is usually used as a starting plant for breeding; a blueberry with strong growth and a maximum height of up to 2 m, whose larger berries yield higher harvests overall. In addition, there are also cultivar varieties, which are due to crosses of V. corymbosum with the North American-Canadian V. angustifolium or other Vaccinium species; the many varieties have been produced because of the fact that blueberries have been bred in America, New Zealand and Australia since the beginning of the 20th century.
In the article about the crop of blueberries, you will find a list of the most well-known cultivars of blueberries, because you need to know how to prune the variety that is already in your garden. When it comes to selecting blueberries, a list would be meaningless at the moment or no more than a snapshot. For the following reason: The blueberry farming (whose results are only incidentally marketed to hobby gardeners) comes from the commercial cultivation, where very different aspects than taste and healthy ingredients are in the foreground.
However, as German consumers are already sensitized to our apple varieties by the fatal effects of "trade-optimized breeding" (more on this, for example, in the article "Goldparmäne Apple - Care Instructions and Experiences"), the low taste of American cultivars is noticeable here, Here are a few pages of experience on "blueberries without taste":,27,620016/Heidelbeeren-ohne-Geschmack-kann-man-trotz-Fuchsbandwurm-welche-in-der-Natur-Raum- Koeln-pick-or in the garden-plant-Welche.html.
Nurseries that have more in mind than fast plant production are reacting to this. At the moment there is a lot of movement in the field of blueberry breeding for German-speaking countries and the supply is constantly changing.
The National Conservation Service of the US Department of Agriculture believes that both the original V. corymbosum ( and the art. V. angustifolium (Lowbush blueberry, also under the synonym V myrtilloides tolerate pH levels between 4.7 and 7.5. If breeding selection does not have the side effect of making a cultivar to thrive only in (acidic) extreme soils, its progeny would actually have to thrive in normal, healthy garden soils. Known for tolerance in terms of pH are z. B. the varieties 'Blueroma' and 'Sunshine Blue'.
However, the local blueberry breeding is not limited to attempts to breathe new life into foreign guests, but also deals intensively with the culture of the truly healthy original. Thus, the original Vaccinium myrtillus is now propagated in several nurseries and sold as a seedling, and with the Vaccinium myrtillus 'Sylvana' is now also the first variety of wild blueberry on sale (should have originated in genuine, selective breeding without artificial interference and up to standardization / Increase in yield did not change much).

Video Board: 2015 How To Root Blueberry Plant Cuttings.

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