Growing Blueberries in Pots
Growing Blueberry Plants in Pots and Containers
Blueberry plants dislike (to be polite) alkaline ground; these are typically those soils that lie over chalk or where sandstone is prevalent. If this describes your garden (any garden centre will sell a Ph testing kit if you are not sure: anything over pH 7.0 is too high) then grow your plants in containers.
Blueberries are good specimens to grow in pots and tubs for, as well as fruit, their flowers are abundant and pretty and their leaves colour beautifully in the autumn. Plant them in barrels, tubs or pots that are big enough to give them room to grow (don't forget a blueberry plant in open ground can easily be 6 feet tall). Pot them up, one plant to a container and always use an ericaceous compost (which is acidic). They will also do well in pure moss peat. There is no "correct" pot size: they bigger the pot, the bigger your plant will grow and the longer it will take to dry out. Small pots give small plants that need constant watering.
Water the plants with rainwater if possible, as it is more acidic than tapwater, but the most important thing is to not allow them to dry out. The best mistake here is to water too much! In a really hot summer, if your plants are in full sun, you may need to water them twice a day. Having a saucer under the pot will make your life much easier: it will also reduce the amount of nutrients that get flushed away. In winter, however, you should remove the saucer to stop the pot getting waterlogged.
When pot grown blueberries are in full growth, you can feed them with an ericaceous (i.e. acidic i.e. lime free!) plant feed every 3 weeks or so.
As your blueberries grow larger, they may need potting on into bigger containers. This is best done at the end of autumn or in early spring.
Even in pots, do not forget to net your plants as soon as the flowers start to fade otherwise the birds will get the fruit first. And then, starting in June, you can eat the most healthy fruit there is; fresh blueberries freshly picked from your own garden.
To see our plants go to our Blueberries page