Blueberries are a group of perennial flowering plants with blue or purple berries. Blueberries are also chock full of antioxidants and phytoflavinoids. They are a rich source of potassium and vitamin C. While buying blueberries at the local store or picking them from the neighbor’s yard is all fine dandy, growing blueberries are a different matter. One of the many questions that first-time growers have regarding blueberries is when do blueberries bloom?
Blueberries (Vaccinium sp.) do not begin to bear fruit as soon as they are planted. Before the plant matures and produces a sustainable harvest, it must wait several years. The amount of months you must wait for an established shrub to produce berries during the year is determined by the type of bush you have planted. Of course, the climate also plays an important factor along with the plant hardiness zones you are located in. For instance, plant hardiness zones 3 through 8 are optimal for blueberry bushes, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
The time of year your blueberry bush yields fruit will be determined by the type of blueberry bush you planted. Most early-season types will be available to pick in June, but mid-season and late-season berries will take longer as in July or August. The best time to pick depends on where you live. Early season cultivators, for example, should be ready to harvest by May. Mid-season and late-season blueberries mature in the summer, with late-season harvests often occurring in July.
Of course, the amount of fruits or berries that the blueberry plant is able to produce depends on its level of maturity. Before a blueberry bush is grown and established enough to yield fruit, it must be three years old. You can also pull off any blooms that emerge on the bush during the first one or two growing seasons to encourage your blueberry plant to focus its growth on its leaves and root system.
It is important to note that because highbush blueberry varieties are self-fruitful, they do not require a second plant for pollination, but if you want many blueberries, planting a second variety is recommended. You may cross-pollinate your blueberry bushes by planting early and late-season varieties. This will result in two harvests. The early-season shrub will produce the first crop, while the late-season bush will produce the second. Plant ‘Early Blue’ or ‘Duke’ as early-season cross-pollinators, and ‘Late Blue’ or ‘Elliot’ as late-season cross-pollinators.
Blueberries are ready to pick from early summer to early fall after developing buds in the summer that blossom the next spring. Hormones that cause blueberry plants to become dormant are triggered by shorter fall days and chilly nights. However, it is possible for late winter or early spring frost to kill them if their buds blossomed in mild winter temperatures. Blueberries have evolved to safeguard their blossoms during winter. That being said, the development of blueberries and the time they take to ripen will be delayed if blueberry plants need additional chilly weather to bloom correctly.
Blueberry bushes require a cold rest or chill time with temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit to produce berries. The best blueberries should be chosen based on the length of time that your location experiences chilly winter temperatures. Keeping that in mind, Blueberry species from the southern highbush are best suited to warm Mediterranean conditions. However, there are several kinds of southern highbush, each with its own growth patterns and cold needs. The size and flavor all depend on the location of the blueberry bush and the amount of sunlight it is able to receive.
It is important to note that, in its first year, you can’t expect the plant to bear any fruit for obvious reasons. The bushes can start producing fruit as early as three years old, but most plants don’t start producing properly until year six. Some kinds mature more quickly than others. You might have to wait another two years to see fruit if you planted two-year-old bushes. You can’t force a young shrub to bear fruit.
Another reason why your blueberries are not blooming may be due to inadequate or improper water. The roots of blueberries are extremely sensitive to dampness. Both under- and over-watering can cause the plant to become stressed and stop producing fruit. The ideal soil for these shrubs is one that has good drainage. To keep the soil loose around the roots and offer an alkaline climate, always put enough peat moss into the planting hole. Plants may survive a hot and dry summer with regular watering and a covering of natural mulch.
Growing blueberries is just the same as growing any other type of berry-bearing plant. But, with the right method and technique, you can ensure that your blueberry bush is able to bloom quicker and bear large, juicy fruit.
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