Okay, so there's this Blueberry...


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Recently, while grocery shopping at Meijer, with the kids, my daughter discovered they had some "baby" shrubs for sale. She is obsessed (OBSESSED!!!) with blueberries! So when I was looking at dog food near the stand with the "baby" plants; she decided to pick one up. Guess what it was?


A tiny, tortured stem, of an EarlyBlue Blueberry Bush....


I have a weakness for sick plants, and this little guy's leaves were already turning pink (sad face). So, I have it home....and its so weak and tiny, I'm scared to put it in the ground. Living in the burbs, we have squirrels and rabbits everywhere. And they compete with each other for the most gremlin award.
I've lost so many perennials and bulbs over the years, I might as well buy in bulk, if I'm to ever have any kind of outdoor garden!

Anyway, so, I have NEVER cared for a fruit before.

I don't know what kind of soil it'll like, I don't even know if the ground in my yard is good for fruit plants. I have no idea about fertilizing it.

And if the soil in my yard isn't good, is it possible to just buy a gigantic container and keep it in there? Do blueberries do alright in containers?


Haaaaaylp! Please and Thanks!
 
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Perhaps it is 'earliblue variety? I googled around a bit it yes it could be a patio thing (meaning large container when needed). Blueberries enjoy an acid soil so there would be considertions there. Getting it from inside source (store) I would get it used to full sun slowly.

If it survives it may eventually be up to 6 feet tall and 4 wide.
 
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I planted a couple of blueberry bushes in each side of a big old soap stone sink that got moved to the yard as a planter. I used good quality potting soil mixed 50/50 with small bark and a little peat. (Plain bark of course, no dyes or chemicals). Blueberries usually like acidic soil and grow on decayed trees in the wild. My blueberry bushes quatripled in size in short order. I moved them into the garden after two years. Looks like they will have a good set of berries this year. I have found the blueberries are very much like dwarf fruit trees. They can have significant root systems develop over time which is important for fruit production. Blueberry bushes live a long time. This bush I have had for over 30 years and was originally pulled from a blueberry farm turned into a subdivision.
image.jpg
 

JBtheExplorer

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I just bought a small blueberry bush at a garden center, one of those that are in a package and just a have a couple twigs sticking out, and I'm wondering what to expect since I know nothing about them. Will I get blueberries this year or will I have to wait years to see them?
 
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Thank you for all the advice! My next question would be, can I add household ingredients, (i.e. compost) to the potting soil to make it more acidic? If so, what items would you recommend? I read something about used coffee grounds, can I add them directly, or do they have to stew in a compost heap first? Or should I just buy a specialty bag of soil at a garden center, somewhere?

I'm not intentionally being dumb about this, I really am dumb about this. That's why all the questions.

Also, why are its leaves tinted reddish pink? It was like that in the store, and it hasn't gotten any better since we brought it home.
 
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I just bought a small blueberry bush at a garden center, one of those that are in a package and just a have a couple twigs sticking out, and I'm wondering what to expect since I know nothing about them. Will I get blueberries this year or will I have to wait years to see them?
Do not expect results very fast. Blooms produce fruit. When the blooms start the fruit will follow. Don't expect much the first year and only a few the second. Like fruit trees blueberry bushes take time to mature. If you want fast and plentiful plant strawberries or raspberries. Blueberries are my favorite and I believe well worth the wait.
 
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Thank you for all the advice! My next question would be, can I add household ingredients, (i.e. compost) to the potting soil to make it more acidic? If so, what items would you recommend? I read something about used coffee grounds, can I add them directly, or do they have to stew in a compost heap first? Or should I just buy a specialty bag of soil at a garden center, somewhere?

I'm not intentionally being dumb about this, I really am dumb about this. That's why all the questions.

Also, why are its leaves tinted reddish pink? It was like that in the store, and it hasn't gotten any better since we brought it home.
Blueberries are farmed in bog areas that are heavy with natural forming peat. Adding peat and bark to your quality potting soil will naturally make a more acidic soil (think forest floor with rotted fallen trees). Read above for general proportions.

Questioning is the smartest thing you can do! Hearing what other people's experiences have been is the best way to understand. With that said use your own experiences as your first and foremost guide. Every piece of dirt is different with multiple little microclimates that you will quickly become the expert of. Have fun with it and take joy in the successes. Every year I have tons of failures and enough successes and joys to keep me going. Careful gardening can be addictive.

I wouldn't worry about the leaf color. Given time they should turn green. They may have gotten a little stressed. In the fall blueberry leaves turn a bright red and are quite pretty before they are shed.
Here is a fall and winter photo of one of my blueberry bushes
image.jpg


image.jpg
 
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Here is the photo of a perfectly healthy blueberry bush. Leaves are quite pink this time of year. I'd forgotten what the new growth looks like at first
image.jpg
 
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Thanks Jewell! Your last photo is exactly what's going on with my little guy. I feel a lot better knowing that its probably normal.
I read that blueberries only do well in pairs or multiples. Is that true? Should I go back to Meijer and get another little twiggy for my blueberry? I don't mind, I just want to make sure I do right by these guys. I'm not a great gardener, but that's not the plants' fault.
 
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I have six plants which only produce about ten pounds so I buy berries from many pick your own in my area.

http://www.durgan.org/URL/?MKMOP 6 August 2013 Blueberry Harvest.
Nine pounds of blueberry were collected from six plants. The crop is later than last year, but about the same quality. The berries will be consumed fresh.

This was the 2012 Harvest for reference.
http://www.durgan.org/URL/?AHENZ 15 July 2012 Blueberry Harvest.
This is the first year of production. Six bushes, three Bluecrop and three Patriot were obtained as mature plants and placed in the garden in April 2011. The bushes are enclosed in a bird proof structure. Production per bush was (one lb 4 oz), (one lb 4 oz), (two lbs 8 oz), (one lb 8 oz), (one lb 8oz), and (two lbs) respectively. The total weight of the berries from the six plants was ten pounds.Some fruit was set aside for raw consumption and the remainder will be combined with gooseberry to make juice.
 
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ttp://www.durgan.org/URL/?SATFZ 27 July 2014 Blueberry Juice
Blueberries are in season in my area. There are many local U pick farms. Today 33 pounds of choice berries were picked at Kent Kreek Farm in Simcoe, ON. The berries were priced at $2.75 per pound. Twenty three liter jars of juice was produced. The berries were processed in two batches. Seven liters of water was added to the berries in the pot and the berries ere cooked until soft. The cooked berries were blended into a slurry. There is little gross fiber in blueberries and they may be canned at this point, but I strain the slurry to remove any coarse material, which is very little. The residue from the screening was put through a Champion Juicer (not shown), which produces a fine pudding or it may be mixed with the main juice. The product was then pressure canned in liter jars at 15 PSI for 15 minutes for long term storage at room temperature.
 
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This is how big my little guy is. I want to put him in the ground, but I'm having to wean him off indoor lighting first, considering he was purchased at a mid aisle booth inside Meijer. I want to have two eventually. I just haven't made the time to visit any nurseries yet. Glad to see that the bay window helped rid the pinkish tint from the leaves.
 
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I absolutely love blueberries. Gardening is something that I enjoy doing also. I would love to be able to grow every fruit possible to grow. My daughter has issues with low immunity. I give her these to help detoxify her body.
 
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Blueberries need acidic soil (they're native to the pine barrens, where they grow in pine and oak forests in sandy soil). They do need another blueberry bush of a different cultivar for pollination. I have several acres of wild blueberries and a few commercial blueberry bushes of different types. Your plant is pretty small, so it might take a couple of years to see fruit. I bought a couple of plants the size of yours a few years ago and this is the first year they set fruit...they spent their first couple of years just growing.
 
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Blueberries need acidic soil (they're native to the pine barrens, where they grow in pine and oak forests in sandy soil). They do need another blueberry bush of a different cultivar for pollination. I have several acres of wild blueberries and a few commercial blueberry bushes of different types. Your plant is pretty small, so it might take a couple of years to see fruit. I bought a couple of plants the size of yours a few years ago and this is the first year they set fruit...they spent their first couple of years just growing.
I don't need fruit from my little guy. I just don't want it to die! If it decides to thank me with some berries, I won't turn it down!

Its still in its pot but I gave it some fertilizer and its sprung a few new leaves, but it hasn't really grown the way I was hoping it would.
The area I live in has semi sandy soil, so maybe it'll do alright, where I plan to plant it, once its strong enough.
 
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