Blueberries (Vaccinium) are among the healthiest fruits that can also be cultivated in the home garden. The right location is a prerequisite for vigorous growth and a rich harvest.

Cultivated blueberries vs. forest blueberries

In order to choose the ideal blueberry location, you need to know whether the plant is a cultivated blueberry or a forest blueberry. Although they are similar in many respects, there are some serious differences in terms of the ideal location.

Note: Blueberries are also known as blueberries or cranberries – depending on the region. But it is always the Vaccinium.

Waldheidelbeere (Vaccinium myrtillus)

The forest blueberry usually grows wild and is rarely offered as a plant for the garden. It prefers moist locations, which is why it feels very comfortable in high moor areas, between light coniferous trees and in heaths, where it reproduces wildly and lushly. In addition to the optimal lighting conditions, the biggest difference to the cultivated blueberry is the soil composition. The blueberry location for wild varieties should always meet the following conditions:

  • Light conditions: full sun to semi-shade
  • Soil type: sandy to loamy
  • pH: between 4.0 and 5.0
    • Calcareous soil
  • Watering: a lot of moisture (can even cope with waterlogging to a certain extent)
    • Withstand a few days of drought
  • Space required: width and height up to 50 centimeters each
  • Winter location: tolerates cold without special protection between minus 25 and 30 degrees Celsius

American bilberry (Vaccinium corymbosum)

The American blueberry is a fruit species that has been specially bred for decades, from which various North American varieties emerge that have different site requirements than the native wild growing forest blueberry. It is characterized by properties that allow it to thrive under completely different site conditions and enable high harvest yields. As a rule, it is the cultivated blueberries that are sold as plants in the garden trade and whose fruits are available in the supermarket. This is why German gardens usually have these instead of the forest blueberry, which has a more intense aroma but is not as sweet as the larger cultivated blueberries. The ideal blueberry location of the cultivars looks like this:

  • Light conditions: bright, full sun to sunny
  • Soil type: loose and poor in clay
  • pH: between 4.0 and 5.0
    • Calcareous soil
  • Watering: Evenly high soil moisture
    • but does not tolerate waterlogging and should not dry out
  • Space required: depending on the variety, width and height up to 200 centimeters each
  • Winter location: Some varieties are more sensitive to cold than others
    • then the location must have wind protection in winter
Tip: Acidic soil is rarely present in gardens. Here it is advisable to put special azalea and rhododendron soil in the planting hole or to use it as a substrate for pot cultivation.

plant neighbors

When choosing the blueberry location, special attention should be paid to the planting neighbors. Above all, the different demands on the soil and the respective root growth play a special role here, because otherwise they can hinder each other in healthy, strong growth. In the worst case, the blueberries or the neighboring plants die off as a result of careless neighboring planting. A few details should therefore be considered when choosing a location with regard to the direct neighboring plants:

  • Should prefer acidic, lime and nutrient-poor soil
  • The same moisture requirement should exist in the immediate vicinity
  • Planting several blueberry bushes: Maintain a planting distance of about 150 centimeters (about 70 centimeters for slow-growing specimens)
  • Row cultivation: ensure a row spacing of 250 centimetres
  • Pay attention to the spread of roots in the case of shallow-rooted neighboring plants (increase planting distance if necessary)

Suitable plant neighbor examples

  • Cranberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)
  • Moosbeeren/Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon)
  • Gooseberries (Ribes uva-crispa)
  • Currants (Ribes)
  • Rhododendrons (Rhododendron)

young plants

If you buy blueberries as young plants or grow them yourself, you should avoid planting outdoors in the first year. They are particularly sensitive to temperature fluctuations and wind, which is why they are better off in a greenhouse or in a bright, sunny place in the living area. If they can go out in the second year of life, they are slowly getting used to the conditions there. Ideally, they are released outdoors at progressively longer intervals over a period of about two weeks. Direct full sun should not hit them in the first few days. After the acclimatization phase, the young blueberry can be planted in the garden soil or placed in a bucket at a suitable location.


Like most plants and especially fruit bushes, the Vaccinium does not always tolerate a change of location. It is therefore advisable to determine a place from the start where it can remain in the long term. If a change of location is nevertheless necessary, blueberries should only be transplanted or repotted in late summer/early autumn after harvest. Any stress caused by the change of location then has no effect on subsequent fruit formation and there is sufficient time to recover before the plant shuts down its metabolism during the winter.

bucket location

In principle, the blueberry location should meet the same criteria for pot cultivation as for planting outdoors. However, blueberries in the bucket are more sensitive to cold, or the cold has a much more intense effect on the roots there. A wind-protected location is usually not sufficient here. A move in late autumn to a frost-free, bright winter quarters is the solution. Alternatively, the blueberry can also be placed in the garden soil with a bucket. In this way, the garden soil provides sufficient protection for the roots from the cold.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *