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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Blueberry Facts
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image of a legacy blueberry cluster on the bush


  • are related to azaleas, camelias, heathers, and rhododendrons
  • are native to North America
  • The Native Americans used the fruit both fresh and dried
  • USDA breeding programs led by Frederick Coville began in the early 1900's
  • top 3 producing states are Michigan, New Jersey, and Oregon
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries has only 42 calories
  • have more antioxidants than most other fruits and vegetables
  • are becoming more popular than ever!

Growing Your Own

  • Blueberries are more productive if cross-pollinated, so plant more than one plant.
  • Plant in early spring in well-drained soil, in full sun.
  • Soil should have high organic content, add peat or compost to planting hole, pH of 4.5-5.0.
  • Mulch no deeper than 3" to prevent weeds.
  • Fertilize once plants have established themselves in late spring: 1st year 1oz. (30g) per plant, 2nd year 4oz. (120g), add 1oz. (30g) each year after initial planting. You can add 1/2 the yearly amount at bloom and the other half 4-6 weeks later.
  • Prune - 1st two years remove the flowers so plants develop a solid root system. Year 3 begin to remove older canes. Late winter/early spring are the best pruning times.


Last Modified: 8/12/2016
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