The blue berries simply taste delicious and they are always healthy! So the desire to cultivate one or more blueberry bushes in your own garden is understandable. In fact, under ideal site conditions, they could bring good harvests for decades. But these berry plants are demanding, their planting should be planned carefully. Check out our guide for the best time to plant blueberries and all the other details.

Check site conditions

Even the best instructions will be of no use to you if you cannot provide the blueberries with a suitable location in the garden. So start your planning with this point. It should be noted here that the cultivated varieties have different requirements than the wild native species.

  • they like it sunny
  • but at the same time protected from the wind

Shade reduces both the crop yield and the vitamin content of the berries. So look for a sunny corner of the garden, with a high fence or hedge nearby. They can slow down the wind, but must not cast any shadows. A place on the warm south wall of the house is also ideal.

Note: A sheltered place is important so that the wind does not dry out the soil excessively. If you cannot find a sheltered place, you must ensure a balanced water balance with the watering can if necessary.

Optimize soil conditions

If the site conditions are right, it can still be the case that the soil is not optimal. Clarify this before you get young plants. Because some soil improvement measures need time to develop their full effect. You may need to do a soil analysis beforehand to determine pH. This should be in the acidic range, between 3.5 and 4.5, because lime is poison for blueberries.

It is easiest if you dig up the soil in the planting area about 40 cm deep and replace it with rhododendron soil. The use of peat is not recommended for ecological reasons. Alternatively, use the following methods to lower the pH of the soil:

  • grape pomace
  • disadvantaged
  • oak leaf compost
  • iron sulfate
  • sulfur
Tip: If there is an excess of lime throughout the garden, you should also protect the improved soil area with a mound of earth. In this way, no lime washed out elsewhere can get to the roots of the blueberries via rainwater or irrigation water.

Ideal planting time for blueberries

Even if every frost-free day is mentioned as a possible planting day for container goods, the seasons of spring and autumn are best suited. The weather is neither extremely cold nor extremely hot, mild days allow for quick rooting. Bare-rooted plants, whose lower purchase price is a convincing selling point, are best planted in the bed in autumn. They should also be planted immediately, preferably on the day of purchase. Here are a few tips for planting blueberries:

  • choose a cloudy day
  • plant early in the fall
  • The shrub should be able to take root before the first frost
  • older plants are more suitable for autumn planting
  • plant in spring before new growth
  • however, as late as possible to avoid frosts


When the ideal planting time for the blueberries approaches, it is time to take care of other details of the planting. The necessary tools must be available in good time, and the blueberry varieties must be selected and ordered. Let’s take a look at these points below before we get to the planting instructions.

Get young plants

Only buy or propagate young plants at planting time so that they do not stand in your home for long. You have the choice between local wild blueberries, bot. Vaccinium myrtillus , and the cultivars derived from the American blueberry. Most of the latter can be found in our gardens, because their fruits are juicy, fruity and larger than on Vaccinium myrtillus. Above all, do not stain the mouth area blue!

Both Vaccinium myrtillus and hybrids of Vaccinium corybosum, the American blueberry, are self-pollinating. It is enough if you only cultivate one plant. However, it has been shown that the yield is higher when more varieties are planted. You can also extend the harvest period, as the individual varieties ripen at slightly different times. If you have decided against the wild Vaccinium myrtillus, you should also know that cultivated blueberries only provide decent yields from the fifth year of growth. It can be worthwhile to buy an older plant, even if the purchase price is higher.

Tip: Even if you can hardly wait for the first berries, consistently remove all flowers in the year of planting. The plant should use its energy reserves exclusively for rooting, so that this is successful.

provide tools

Spade, shovel, digging fork, wheelbarrow, all of these can be needed when it comes not only to planting but also to soil improvement. Make sure you have the tool available on time.

Maintain plant spacing

In contrast to Vaccinium myrtillus, the wild blueberries, cultivated blueberries take up more space. Since this berry plant ideally lives to be around 30 years old, you should not only take into account the current but also future space requirements when planting. The shallow roots must not get in each other’s way. You yourself have to be able to reach all the branches well in order to be able to harvest them. Therefore, measure the following planting distances:

  • between two rows about 2.5 m
  • between two plants in a row about 1.5 m

Instructions for planting

You have found a place in the garden that offers the best location conditions and everything you need is ready, then you can start:

  1. If still necessary, improve the soil as previously described.
  2. If necessary, measure planting distances.
  3. Dig the planting holes. Since blueberries root widely, you don’t have to loosen the soil deeply and the planting hole doesn’t have to be very deep.
  4. Lay a drainage layer to avoid waterlogging. Since we are dealing with lime aversion here, choose potsherds and not stones or gravel.
  5. Insert the plant, the root ball must stick out about 2 cm from the planting hole.
  6. Fill in the gaps with soil. Shake the plant from time to time so that the soil is evenly distributed. Don’t step on the bush!
  7. Water the freshly planted blueberries with rainwater. Tap water is too hard. You should keep watering with rainwater for the future or alternatively decalcify the tap water.
  8. Spread a thick layer of mulch at the root base. This keeps the soil moist and protects against frost in winter.

Avoid transplants

The importance of having ideal site conditions and optimal soil conditions right from the start is also illustrated by the fact that blueberry bushes do not like to be transplanted. If this cannot be avoided, for example because the soil is too calcareous, it should be done before the age of five years at the most.

  • Dig up the bush carefully
  • Shake out the soil completely
  • Water the root ball well
  • plant in a new location
  • remove flowers when transplanting in spring

Plant blueberries in a bucket

Short-growing varieties such as “Blue Sapphire”, “Brazel Berry”, “Lucky Berry” and “North Country” can also be cultivated well in a bucket. The best time to plant blueberries is in March or April. The bucket should have a volume of at least 30 liters and be at least 50 cm high. Nowadays, bog bed soil is commercially available that does not contain any peat at all. The “bottom” in the bucket consists of three layers:

  • at the bottom an approx. 10 cm high drainage layer
  • expanded clay, potsherds or wood chips
  • This is followed by peat-free peat soil from the trade
  • alternatively a mixture of sand, horn shavings and leaf compost
  • finally a 5-10 cm layer of bark mulch or bark compost

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