Blueberries in containers: What mix do you use?

prestons_garden(9B SZ 22 HZ 6 SoCal)March 31, 2011

Since the day I started gardening for a hobby, Blueberries was on the top of my list to learn how to grow them.

I can remember the first blueberry I got dried up and died, so everyone gathered around and payed their respects. Although not an enormous crowd, I couldn't help but feel guilty. I soon wanted another shot at the Blueberries.

I use a mix of pumice, peat moss, mulch, elemental sulfur and organic fertilizer. So far, this combination has worked very well for me as long as the Ph is in the 4.5-5.8 range.

Here is a pic of my favorite Blueberry, a "Sharpblue Blueberry".

If you care to help others, please let us know what has or has not worked for you growing Blueberries.



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When I started my container blueberries last year, I put them in a simple mixture of Miracle Grow and Peat Moss, 50-50. They've grown very well, and are already flowering again this year. Had good harvests all summer long last year. They're almost big enough for me to put out in the yard now (maybe next year).

Generally I find that the less I do when messing around with soils, the better my results. Most I plan on doing to them this year is mix up some liquid fruit/veggie food for them.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 10:44AM
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I would have thought the 511 without the lime would work well with blueberries. As Al suggested, a bit of calcium sulphate would be a good addition to the mix.

I would like to know though, what nutrients should I use? At my local garden centre I saw nutrients designed for ericaceous plants and it makes me wonder, do I need to use these special ericaceous nutrients on my blueberries? Can't I just use my organic fish emulsion fertilizer?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 5:02PM
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25% azalea soil
75% peat moss
and top off with pine bark mulch

what's pumice??

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 5:29PM
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prestons_garden(9B SZ 22 HZ 6 SoCal)


Pumice is a volcanic rock which has many different uses.

Here is a link that will tell you more about pumice. Visit Pumice

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 9:06PM
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I have a potted blueberry that is doing great! I potted it last year in Miracle Gro potting soil and fertilized it throughout the growing season with the liquid feed Miracle Gro that attaches to the hose. I grew very nicely and is budding up and starting to leaf out for me this year. I am a newbie at container gardening, especially with fruits. Do I need to get a second blueberry bush in order to get berries this year?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 12:03PM
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What kind of miracle grow? Just regular potting soil?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 7:24PM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

We grow three (all southern highbush = low-chill varieties) in 5-gallon plastic pots filled with a mix of shredded bark (very small pieces) a lot of peat (I can't remember the ratio), and some perlite. One (Sunshine Blue) was rescued from our alkaline soil and potted last year, and the others (Bountiful Blue) were planted this spring. All seem to be doing very well, producing lots of berries and healthy foliage.

I would like to re-pot them next spring into large half-barrels with a wider space for them to grow.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 9:47AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I've done well with a mix of course wood shavings and spaghum peat moss. Here's a picture of the mix.

Plants just starting.

Here's the best blueberry I've ever grown by a huge margin, Sweetcrisp. Picture is one year after prior picture.

Here's a 7 year old Star that yielded more than 15 lbs this year and has never been repotted. It's been in a 15 gal pot 7 years.

My best advice is get a Sweetcrisp. It's like a whole different fruit. Very sweet and amazingly crisp. All other blueberries I've tried, about 30 cultivars, are like mush by comparison.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 10:37AM
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I was going to start my own post, but decided to just reply here. Hope you guys can help!

So I bought this legacy blueberry plant at Whole Foods, it was the last one, and just needed a little "TLC" they said.

Here are my questions:

Does this look right, as a blueberry plant should look? The stems seem a little weak.

Do I need to stake it to get it growing upright?

Should I cut anything back to get it growing right?

Oye, any help is appreciated!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 2:10PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


I won't cut anything back but it won't be wrong to do so. Do pinch out the tips of any new growth after about 6 new leaves. This will cause 2-3 branches where there was one and help stiffen the plant.

If you fertilize regularly in small amounts, strong new shoots will arise from the crown of the plant. Pinch these back also to encourage branching. Fruit next year will be near the ends of this years final growth. You don't want that so floppy that the fruit hangs on the ground.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 3:42PM
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Fruitnut ~
What kind of wood is in the course wood shavings? Pine bark?

Thanks in advance

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 8:15PM
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iloveoolong(z7 NC)

FruitNut, what do you use to feed your blueberries? I can't even believe the growth you achieved in only one year. I'm new to blueberries. I'm going to grow some in pots after having unsuccessfully grown in my yard. Is the wood shavings something you can buy in the gardening area of home improvement stores? I've never seen it. What's the ratio of peat moss to wood shavings? And is there nothing else in the mixture like soil or potting mix? Thanks!!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 3:26AM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

You 'might' get faster answer from FruitNut over on the Fruits forum. Here's a link to a thread that has more about the feeding.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 1:24PM
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prestons_garden(9B SZ 22 HZ 6 SoCal)

Here's another pic that should be on the first post, but no edit option.

Sharblue with my number 1 helper.

This post was edited by prestons_garden on Wed, Mar 20, 13 at 0:55

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 10:02PM
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