Tuesday, 09 July 2013 21:58

How do Blueberries grow?

See how a blueberry begins as a flower...

  • Latin Name:

    Vaccinium cyanococcos

  • Growth:

    How do blueberries grow?

    Blueberries grow on deciduous or evergreen bushes from 3 1/2’ (lowbush) to 10’ (highbush) in Hardiness Zones 3 to 10. Click here for USDA Hardiness Zone map.

    Blueberries begin to fruit within 3 years of planting and produce optimally after 6.

    Winter:Dormancy

    Spring: Bushes flower then develop into pale green, then reddish-purple, then dark blue berries.

    Summer: Berries ripen from May to August depending on variety.

    Fall: Leaves on bushes turn red and fall or remain evergreen depending on variety.

    Blueberry bushes live and fruit up to 50 years.

     

  • Propagation:

    How are blueberries propagated?

    Blueberries are usually grown from cuttings but may be grown from seed. In order to have a productive crop, two or more bushes of different varieties must be planted together for purposes of cross-pollination and hardiness.

     

     

     

  • Harvest:

    When are blueberries harvested?

    Blueberries are harvested May through late summer depending on region and variety.

    Hand-picking is common; commercial growers use shakers to harvest the fruit.
    Blueberries have a shelf life of less than 2 weeks after harvest when refrigerated. 

     

  • Storage:

    How are blueberries stored?

    Blueberries are best stored dry and packaged in the refrigerator, or frozen.

     

  • History:

    Where do blueberries come from?

    Blueberries are native to North America and were introduced to Europe in the 1930s. They are now grown throughout the world.

  • Top Producers:

    Which countries produce the most blueberries?

    United States (Maine and Michigan top producing states), Canada, Chile, Australia, Europe

    Florida Blueberry Production

     

  • Varieties:

    How many varieties of blueberries are there?

    There are hundreds of varieties of blueberries, wild and commercial.

     

  • Products:

    How are blueberries used?

    Blueberries are sold fresh or frozen. They lose none of their nutritional value when frozen.

  • Top Health Benefits:

    Are blueberries healthy?

    • Blueberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants.
    • A couple of studies have shown a positive impact on blood pressure, blood sugar regulation and lowered cholesterol.
    • A study of older adults, with an average age of 72, showed improved cognitive function and memory after 12 weeks of eating 2 cups of blueberries a day.