Blueberry bushes as landscaping shrubs?

canokieApril 26, 2012

Hello,

Has anyone here incorporated blueberry bushes into their landscape (front yard) and if so, how did it work out? Two cultivars that I am particularly interested in are Sunshine Blue and Bountiful Blue, both smaller southern highbush that are often recommended for landscaping. Both of these varieties are supposed to get about 3'x3', have more blue green leaves, and tend to be evergreen in warmer climates. Does anybody have pictures they can share, or details on how they incorporated these shrubs into their landscape?

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designoline6(Z6)

A my friend in Z7,told me his Blueberry work well.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 8:37PM
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gardengal48

Input about the use of specific plants in the landscape will generally get more and better responses if you post the questions in the appropriate plant-related forum(s).

Blueberries are highly ornamental plants and can be easily incorporated into the landscape - you can use them just as you would any other type of shrub....they just have the bonus of producing edible fruit. Personally, I prefer the traditional deciduous types as the fall color can be stunning. Both Sunshine and Bountiful Blue tend not to develop much fall color and despite being touted as "evergreen", don't look all that great in winter. Great for containers though, as they are very compact plants and heavy berry producers.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 3:06PM
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stolenidentity

We have two blueberry shrubs that were already part of our landscape when we bought our home. I do not like them at all. First, I can't even eat blueberries LOL! Second the shrubs are just ugly (unless they have berries on them and then the critters and neighbors LOVE them). They are really ugly once the winter comes around. These are not in the "front" yard so I just let them be. I would take them out if they weren't such a delightful source of food for others :)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 11:06PM
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canokie

Thank you for the responses. Even though various edible landscaping type books recommend blueberry bushes for landscaping, I am having a hard time finding pictures/examples online or anywhere, which is why I'm wondering how many people actually use them this way. I'll repost this over in another more plant specific forum (can't find one dedicated to blueberries but there are others that might be a better fit).

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 11:47AM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

To a certain extent it is going to be a regional thing. You have to live somewhere that blueberries are going to be fairly happy without a lot of extra fuss. So I have seen them used instead of burning bush in places azaleas are dead easy, but unless you know what they are, the imitation is good enough that the casual passer-by will just think they are more burning bush.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 12:27PM
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marymd7

They work great as ornamentals in many places, but I have my doubts in OK. They are ericaceous and DEMAND acidic soil to thrive. Can you provide that? If not, find something else -- many viburnums give a similar effect and aren't as fussy about ph.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 9:08AM
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oceandweller(8B)

I would look into getting three different varieties, a early mid and late season that way you can enjoy them for 3-4 months, and if one does not produce well there is a much better shot that at least one of the three varities will. Personally I like the staples, Tifblue and Climax, while Austin is my favorite.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 2:59PM
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pbl_ge(5/6)

I'll cast a pro-blueberry vote myself. We put them along the house in the fall. They're not the prettiest of shrubs (viburnum is indisputably prettier), but do you know they give you BLUEBERRIES?! We're about to harvest our first crop this year, and it looks great.

A couple of things: if you want to eat the fruit, you'll need to use some sort of bird netting or other barrier. You'll want to consider this as you plan your garden. If you're okay with your blueberries feeding the wildlife, then this isn't a concern.

Also, they say that blueberries produce more when you have two different varieties planted together.

Since you wanted to see photos, this is what we've done with ours. We dug this space out, and amended heavily to bring down the ph. The daffodil leaves haven't died back. We just put in coreopsis moonbeam and planted some nasturtium seeds earlier this year (can't see either in this photo), so we'll see how this develops. The sticks will hold the netting hubby is putting out later today. Obviously a work in progress.

Go for it!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 5:39PM
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canokie

Thanks - I appreciate the info and especially the photo. I'm going to give this a shot.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 6:23PM
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Fori is not pleased

Mine were pretty and the fall color was wonderful, but I don't know what they do in your climate (I was in zone 6 at the time).

I think they're worth trying. Plus, you get blueberries! :)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 7:24PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

They are reliably evergreen here in coastal northern california, and are attractive landscape shrubs for the garden. Not much in the way of fall color with our USDA zone 9 conditions.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 11:53PM
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shaxhome

There are a couple of pics here that may show what you're looking for...

Never grown them myself, but they may do OK up where I am. Must look into it!

Regards,
Shax

Here is a link that might be useful: Ornamental Blueberries

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:05AM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

I have a few as part of a border at the end of the drive where it opens up from the woods to the mowed area around the house. I have the northern kind, so they aren't evergreen, but do have nice fall color, fruit, and in the winter mine have reddish twigs. I have naturally acidic soil, though, and blueberries grow wild here, so they are an easy and decorative shrub for me.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 6:31AM
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