People can’t get enough of blueberries. It’s one of the most loved fruits because it blends well with almost any beverage or food. However, not all areas can plant these. If your area is fortunate enough to grow this plant, this article is for you.
If you’re growing azaleas or rhododendrons in your garden, planting blueberries will make it more practical for you because you can use the same fertilizer since these are the berry’s relatives. If you’re looking for the best fertilizer for blueberries, here are some choices to consider.
Top 10 Best Fertilizers for Blueberries Reviewed
- Water Soluble Plant Food by Miracle-Gro – Best Overall
- HT18 Holly Tone by Espoma – Best Value
- 703P Organic 4 Acid Fertilizer by Dr. Earth – Editor’s Choice
- 09727 Berry Granular Plant Food by Jobe's Organics
- 6-Pound Acid Mix by Down to Earth
- Jacks Classic No.1.5 by JR Peters
- Organic Gardening Berry Plant Food by EcoScraps
- 6-Pound Cottonseed Meal by Down to Earth
- Organics Berry Granular Fertilizer by Winchester Gardens
- UL30 Organic Soil Acidifier Fertilizer by Espoma
- 1 #1. Water Soluble Plant Food by Miracle-Gro – Best Overall
- 2 #2. HT18 Holly Tone by Espoma – Best Value
- 3 #3. 703P Organic 4 Acid Fertilizer by Dr. Earth – Editor’s Choice
- 4 #4. 09727 Berry Granular Plant Food by Jobe's Organics
- 5 #5. 6-Pound Acid Mix by Down to Earth
- 6 #6. Jacks Classic No.1.5 by JR Peters
- 7 #7. Organic Gardening Berry Plant Food by EcoScraps
- 8 #8. 6-Pound Cottonseed Meal by Down to Earth
- 9 #9. Organics Berry Granular Fertilizer by Winchester Gardens
- 10 #10. UL30 Organic Soil Acidifier Fertilizer by Espoma
- 11 Type of Fertilizer to Buy
- 12 Releasing Time of Fertilizers
- 13 Exploring Different Types of Blueberries: What to Plant?
- 14 Knowing the Best Time to Plant Blueberry Bushes
- 15 Can Blueberries Grow Inside Containers?
- 16 Some Blueberry Varieties That Are Best in Containers
- 17 Some Diseases and Pests You Might Encounter
- 18 Beginner’s Tips in Taking Care of Blueberry Bushes
- 19 Pruning Blueberry Plants: Handy Tips for Newbies
- 20 Do blueberries grow in Asian countries?
- 21 Can I use a strawberry fertilizer in growing blueberries?
- 22 What’s the ideal temperature needed in growing blueberries?
- 23 Can I use natural fertilizers in planting blueberries, like coffee grounds?
- 24 Related posts:
#1. Water Soluble Plant Food by Miracle-Gro – Best Overall
- Fertilizer Type: Powdered
- Formulation: 30-30-10
- Weight: 1.5 pounds or 5 pounds
When it comes to planting blueberries, looking for the best fertilizer will make it more favorable for you to grow it healthier, and Miracle-Gro’s Water Soluble Plant Food is what you should consider buying.
It’s a particular fertilizer for acid-loving plants, including orchids, magnolias, dogwoods, and camellias. You can assure that it will provide the nutrients your blueberry-plant needs, thanks to its formulation.
With the exceptional blend of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, your plant will grow better. It’s also effective because it delivers these nutrients quickly from the roots, leading to more desirable results.
Applying it on your farm bed is not a hassle because you can mix it with water in your watering can. You can even use your sprayer feeder if you’re going to apply it to a bigger area. All it needs is one tablespoon in a gallon of water, if you’re applying it on outdoor plants, while indoors only need a half of a tablespoon.
|Ideal for both indoors and outdoors||Packaging needs improvement
|Effective on acid-loving plants||Not ideal for a reservoir|
#2. HT18 Holly Tone by Espoma – Best Value
- Fertilizer Type: Granules
- Formulation: 4-3-4
- Weight: 18 pounds
Another bestselling fertilizer that you can consider for your blueberry-plant is the HT18 Holly Tone by Espoma. The best thing about it is how it enhances the soil, promoting acidity to grow healthier and delicious berries.
Its versatility is also impressive because you can use it on other plants, aside from blueberries. If you’re planting flowers, such as hydrangeas and camellias, to make your garden more appealing, you can also count on this fertilizer.
As you apply this fertilizer, all you need to do to the topsoil is add a liberal layer for two inches. Mix it with your soil with a trowel to distribute it. Lastly, make sure to water it thoroughly to let the fertilizer you added seep into your blueberry plant’s base.
|Has bio-tone beneficial microbes||Poor quality of packaging|
|Uses organic ingredients||Better for outdoor plants
#3. 703P Organic 4 Acid Fertilizer by Dr. Earth – Editor’s Choice
- Fertilizer Type: Granules
- Formulation: 4-5-4
- Weight: 4 pounds
The 703P Organic 4 Acid Fertilizer by Dr. Earth is one of the bestselling fertilizers for blueberries because it can make your blueberry plant very resistant to drought damage. As you apply it to your soil, you can assure that your plant will grow delicious berries, which you can use for your beverages or food.
It uses organic ingredients, which is an added point about this plant. Plus, it’s very effective because it doesn’t only make the plant healthier, but it also produces more yield.
When it comes to safety, you don’t have to worry because it’s child-friendly. You bet your blueberries will attract kids. With this fertilizer, you don’t have to tell them to get away from the plant because it’s very safe, even for pets.
Aside from that, this fertilizer has a stable releasing time. You only need to apply it once, which can last for many months. It’s why it’s very potent, yet it doesn’t compromise your plant’s health.
|Child-friendly||Not suitable for indoor plants|
- Fertilizer Type: Granules
- Formulation: 4-4-3
- Weight: 4 pounds
If you’re decided to plant blueberries in your backyard, you’ll need an effective fertilizer that will keep it healthy. The 09727 Berry Granular Plant Food by Jobe’s Organics is an exceptional choice because of its formulation, and it’s suitable for acid-loving plants, including raspberries and strawberries.
Farmers admire it because it provides an exceptional effect on berry-plants and produces more berries for harvesting. Thanks to its microbe Biozome, nutrients break down quickly in the soil, which also keeps it healthy during your plant’s growth.
Aside from being an effect, it doesn’t have any harmful chemical ingredients. It’s environment-friendly and pet-friendly. Also, you can assure no damages to your plant, especially burned leaves.
You can also use it on your vegetables and roses, especially on citrus plants. All you need to keep in mind is to apply it every four weeks for better plant growth.
|Doesn’t contain harmful ingredients||Can cause fungus on indoor plants
|Best for seedlings||Unpleasant odor|
- Fertilizer Type: Granules
- Formulation: 4-3-6
- Weight: 6 pounds
Down to Earth never fails to meet every farmer’s expectations regarding planting blueberries as it offers a particular fertilizer for this fruit. You’ll undoubtedly love the 6-Pound Acid Mix because it can assure you exceptional growth.
It comes with safe ingredients, like rock phosphate, cottonseed, and kelp meal. These natural ingredients supply the nutrients that your blueberry-plant needs. Also, its formulation of N-P-K blends well with these nutrients for a healthier plant and more yield.
It’s best to mix this fertilizer before planting when your plant is still immature. This fertilizer will act as a head-start for your plant to grow healthier and more vibrant. If you’re dealing with mature plants, you can apply it around your plant’s base for a slower release since it’s more effective.
|Doesn’t contain harmful chemicals||Not for vegans due to the fish bone meal-content|
|Eco-friendly packaging||The packaging is not sturdy enough
- Fertilizer Type: Powder
- Formulation: 17-6-6
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
JR Peters is also a popular brand for blueberry fertilizers, and if you need a fertilizer for your plant, you can never go wrong with Jacks Classic No.1.5.
This fertilizer may come in smaller packaging-sizes, yet it doesn’t compromise its effectiveness when it comes to cultivating this plant. It comes with helpful nutrients that will keep your plant in its best condition as it grows and produces berries. Aside from the phosphorus and nitrogen, it also comes with manganese and zinc.
As it keeps the soil healthy, you can guarantee that your blueberries will grow the way you want it to be. You need to put a tablespoon in one gallon of water and use it every 10 to 15 days for outdoor plants. On the other hand, indoor plants only need one-fourth teaspoon per one gallon.
|Can boost your soil’s acidity||Only available in a small size
|Cost-effective||Not ideal for flowers|
- Fertilizer Type: Granules
- Formulation: 4-5-4
- Weight: 4 pounds
The Organic Gardening Berry Plant Food by EcoScraps is also a part of the bestselling fertilizers for blueberries. Its formula is suitable for any berry-plant, including strawberries, and raspberries.
You can assure zero-unpleasant odor because there’s no manure added to it. It also uses natural ingredients, which helps a lot in keeping the plant healthier as it grows. Plus, it has the right nitrogen and potassium-content to ensure that your plant will produce delicious berries after the harvest.
Another reason farmers recommend it is because it reduces landfill-wastes, thanks to the ingredients it uses.
|Specialized for berry-plants||Can grow some maggots|
|Easy to apply||Can cause white molds
- Fertilizer Type: Granules
- Formulation: 6-2-1
- Weight: 6 pounds
Another fertilizer to add to your list is the 6-Pound Cottonseed Meal by Down to Earth. It’s one of the most recommended by many blueberry farmers because of its formulation. Thanks to the right amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, it will keep your plant in its best condition as it grows berries.
If your soil is struggling because of a high pH level, this fertilizer will help you grown exceptional berries, along with other acid-loving shrubs. Plus, it doesn’t contain harmful ingredients that can damage your plants.
Another reason why you should consider buying it is because of its slow-release advantage. It’s perfect for your blueberries, and it’s more favorable because you don’t have to apply it from time to time. Apply once during spring, and apply the next one during the fall.
|Also suitable for bonsais||Not practical for start-up agribusinesses
|Consistency||Very low potassium-content|
- Fertilizer Type: Granules
- Formulation: 2-3-4
- Weight: 3 pounds
Winchester Gardens never fail in meeting the expectations of gardeners, especially if you’re planning to cultivate blueberries. One of the bestsellers is the Organics Berry Granular Fertilizer. It may come in smaller bags, yet it’s effective enough to keep your plants growing healthily.
You’ll love using this fertilizer more because it’s stand-alone. It has organic ingredients, yet you can also expect added N-P-K nutrients despite its natural ingredients. It provides the right amount of phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen to produce more yield and bluer berries.
You can mix this fertilizer with the soil before you start planting. It’s very effective when you apply it above the ground. Plus, the best thing about it is that it waters down immediately for instant-effect.
|Comes with a measuring spoon||Lower nitrogen-content
|Ideal for indoor plants||Produces small berries|
- Fertilizer Type: Granules
- Formulation: Sulfur (30%)
- Weight: 30 pounds
The UL30 Organic Soil Acidifier Fertilizer by Espoma is also an exceptional fertilizer for your blueberries because it boosts the soil’s acidity by lowering the pH level. Also, it can turn your blueberries bluer as they grow. Plus, you can also use this fertilizer on hydrangeas.
You can assure its safety as it comes with aluminum sulfate. You can guarantee that there’s reduced toxicity-risk, which is a plus factor for gardeners.
You will not have any hassle in applying this fertilizer because it comes in pellets. Applying it is more comfortable, yet it’s best to wear gloves as you apply this fertilizer. After the initial application, apply it every 60 days. When your berries are getting the right color, you’ll know that your fertilizer is working fine.
|Can decrease pH level to the optimum range||More effective in growing flowers than berries|
|Turns hydrangeas and blueberries bluer||Not effective on alkaline soil in other areas
Top Pick – Best Fertilizer for Blueberries
As you search for the best fertilizer for blueberries, many gardeners consider the Water Soluble Plant Food top pick.
This fertilizer by Miracle-Gro is one of the most effective fertilizers for berries because of the nutrients it provides to any acid-loving plant, such as blueberries. Many gardeners admire its formulation because it comes with high nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium contents, compared to other fertilizers in the market.
Aside from that, you can assure that your blueberry-plant will grow healthily, along with more yield of blueberries, because it sends nutrients to the roots immediately. You’ll have enough blueberries to preserve if you’re thinking of making jams.
Another reason why it’s a top pick is that it’s convenient to apply. You can use your watering can or put it in your sprayer feeder as you apply it. Regardless if you’re going to use it for indoor or outdoor plants, you can count on this fertilizer.
Buying the Best Fertilizer for Blueberries
Fertilizers are very handy when it comes to planting acid-loving plants. If you want to plant blueberries in your garden, you should know the crucial factors to consider in buying fertilizer for your plant. Here’s a guide for you to consider:
Type of Fertilizer to Buy
Out of many fertilizers available in the market, the most typical types are the following:
This type of fertilizer is becoming trendier these days. You have many ways on how to apply it, such as through foliar or ground. However, the effect is not as effective as dry fertilizers because nutrients are short-lived, which will result in a frequent application.
This type comes with higher concentration compared to liquid and granules. Many farmers consider buying this type because it’s cost-efficient, and you have control over what you apply. You can easily dissolve in water, and you can also use your watering to apply it to your plant and water it simultaneously. However, the shelf life is not long-lasting.
Most fertilizers in the market are granules, yet it doesn’t fail in providing the right nutrients to plants after application. These are cheaper than powdered and liquid, and it’s easier to store because it doesn’t salt out during the cold weather or settle out. In applying it, you can mix it with the soil before planting.
Nutrient Content of Your Fertilizer
As you look for fertilizers in the market, you’ll notice a formulation on the packaging, like 10-10-4. Those numbers are the content of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, respectively, in the fertilizer.
The first number is the nitrogen content, and it’s responsible for the formation of your plant’s branches and stem, along with the leaves. Leafy vegetables or grasses need it more, yet it’s also crucial in growing acid-loving plants.
You can immediately notice a plant with nitrogen deficiency when the stems are weak, and leaves are starting to turn yellow.
The second number is phosphorus content. It’s for root development and seed germination, which is why young plants need it more. If you’re growing blueberries, you’ll also find this nutrient helpful in your plant’s growth.
The third number is potassium content. It promotes the production of fruits and flowers, and it’s also crucial in helping plants from getting diseases.
When there’s a potassium deficiency, you’ll find scorching leaves, along with poor yield of crops.
Releasing Time of Fertilizers
Another crucial factor to consider in buying fertilizers is the releasing time. Every fertilizer has its release period, yet fertilizers for blueberries need a slower releasing period. Some have a slow-release advantage.
In searching for the best fertilizer for your blueberry plant, it doesn’t matter whether you’re using liquid, powdered, or granules. The nutrients it can supply to your plant and the slow-release time are more important for effective results.
Quick Overview on Blueberries: Why These Are Popular Fruits
Blueberries, or Vaccinium, are fruits that grow in acidic soil. This plant needs full sun exposure once you start planting these in your backyard, and it’s typically blooming during summer or spring. Aside from that, it grows white flowers, which can make your garden more appealing.
Many gardeners plant these fruits because these are rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients. These fruits are not too hassling to grow with a little effort, as long as you have the plant’s best soil condition. Since these are acid-loving plants, you’ll need soil with a lower pH level for proper cultivation.
Another fun thing about this fruit is that it’s related to azaleas and rhododendrons. Being attractive is its default advantage, which makes it one of the most favorite fruits in yards.
Exploring Different Types of Blueberries: What to Plant?
You’d be surprised to know that there are different types of blueberries. Here are the typical ones:
This type is also called V. ashes, and it’s a native variety to the south-eastern part of the United States. Some gardeners call it a small flower or southern black blueberry, which typically grows 4 meters tall. When it comes to the fruit-size, berries are 5 millimeters by diameter, and the color is a dark blue to black.
Carpenter bees and honeybees are the pollinators of this plant, and since it’s self-infertile, you’ll need two or more for pollination to begin. The downside of this plant is that it’s susceptible to diseases and pests.
This type is between lowbush and highbush berries, and it can withstand temperatures from 35-45 degrees Fahrenheit. It can grow from 0.9 meters to 1.2 meters tall, and the berry-size is medium.
The best thing about this variety is that it doesn’t need too much pruning. Plus, you can grow it in a container, which is where it grows well. Some of the varieties include Patriot, Polaris, Bluegold, and Northland.
This blueberry-type has shorter bushes, which is under 1.5 meters. However, it can produce many yields when you cultivate it with more than one of its variety. However, this type may need some pruning, and it’s best to cut these every 2 to 3 years for better results.
You can easily find a lot of seedlings in the supermarket.
This type comes from either a northern highbush or a southern highbush.
Northern highbush grows from 1.5-meter to 2.5 meters, and it can be too hassling because it requires reliable pruning. Some of the varieties include Jersey, Duke, Blueray, Bluecrop, Legacy, and Patriot.
Southern highbush are hybrids of V. darrowii and V. corymbosum. This plant can grow from 6 feet to 8 feet, and it can produce berries during mild winters because breaking the bud and flower may need a little chilling time. The Misty, Oneal, Sharpblue, and Golf Coast are some of the cultivars of this type.
Knowing the Best Time to Plant Blueberry Bushes
If you’re a complete beginner in planting this fruit, here’s what you need to keep in mind.
The best time to start planting blueberry bushes is in spring or late fall. It applies to most areas, except in the coldest regions. If your area is in Zone 5 or under, the best time is from early to mid-spring.
If you can find 1-year to 3-year-old blueberry plants, these are good choices too. You can buy this bare-foot or in containers.
Fertilizing Blueberries: How Often Should You Do It?
You don’t have to hassle when it comes to fertilizing blueberry-plants, yet you need to keep track. It’s important not to apply excessive fertilizers, and you should apply enough if you want it to grow healthier.
If your fertilizer has a strong nitrogen content, make sure not to apply excessively. If your plant is taking too long to grow, you can add more. Every fertilizer has its particular instruction. It’s best to follow those instructions to prevent your plant from dying.
A frequent application doesn’t make blueberries healthier, but fertilizers with slow-release. With this advantage, you’ll be able to sustain your plant without adding from time to time.
Can Blueberries Grow Inside Containers?
Yes, blueberries can grow in containers. Most gardeners consider planting it in containers because it’s their way to keep it away from birds or critters. Another advantage is that it’s disease-resistant. Plus, it’s easy to move if you need to move it to a safer place.
If you’re struggling in growing acid-loving plants because your area doesn’t have acidic soil, growing this plant in a container will let you adapt to the necessary optimum soil pH level.
Here are some tips on how to plant blueberries in containers:
- Look for a big container and make sure there are drain holes.
- Use a pitting mix-designed container, or you can mix sandy soil with compost and peat moss. It’s very effective on acid-loving plants. You can also use the best fertilizer you can find for blueberries.
- Plant your blueberry bush in your preferred container, and make sure you water it well.
- You can add mulch on top to keep moisture in the soil.
- Put your container under a sunny spot. This plant needs full sun exposure.
- Keep the soil moist by monitoring it from time to time.
- In case you’re planting in northern regions, you should wrap it in burlap or cover your container with straw to protect it.
Some Blueberry Varieties That Are Best in Containers
This pink-variety is sweeter than blueberries, and it’s full of antioxidants.
This variety has genetics from rabbiteye blueberries, which is a standard in the Southern part. You can plant these in every climate.
The University of Michigan breeds this variety for small containers or spaces.
Determining the Best Soil for Growing Blueberry-Plants
Blueberry-plants need acidic soil, where the pH level is from 4 to 5.2. However, you can grow these from pH levels of 3.5 to 6.5. You can assure that your plant will effectively grow if there’s acidic humus.
Checking the soil where you’ll plant is necessary. It’s how you can determine whether the soil is right or not. You’ll find many soil testing kits that will help you determine your soil’s pH level. If you think the pH level is too high, soil acidifiers or fertilizers are available to let you adjust with ease before you start planting.
Some Diseases and Pests You Might Encounter
As you plant blueberries, you’re not excepted from experiencing pests or plant diseases.
Birds will be your biggest enemy, and to protect your plant from it, you can use a bird deterrent to repel these.
You’ll also encounter insects, like cherry fruit worms, plum curculio, blueberry tip borer, and cranberry fruit worms. You may need the help of professionals when it comes to treatments and deterrents.
When it comes to diseases, blueberries can encounter leaf spot diseases and powdery mildew. However, if you provide ample air circulation and let it stay under full sun, you can prevent fungal growth.
Beginner’s Tips in Taking Care of Blueberry Bushes
Even though blueberries are not too hassling to grow, it’s still important to take good care of your plant. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Consider mulching to keep your shallow blueberry root systems moist. It’s important to apply at least a 2-inch to 4-inch layer of sawdust, pine needles, or woodchips. Apply it around your blueberry bush after you plant it. Lastly, remember to leave a space around the bush’s trunk for proper airflow.
- You need to water your blueberry-plants about 1 to 2 inches of water weekly.
- Beware of birds, especially hungry ones, because blueberries are their favorite snack. Draping bird netting around your plants is an effective way to protect your bushes ahead of time.
- Don’t let your blueberry bush produce fruits after a year or two. It will let your blueberry-plant use its energy to make it a new home instead.
- Pinch back the developing blossoms on newly set blueberry-plants to let the energy for growth.
Pruning Blueberry Plants: Handy Tips for Newbies
Pruning is inevitable on most blueberry plants. It’s a part of the proper care routine you should do as per the suggested frequency per variety. Here are some tips for you:
- You don’t have to prune your blueberry-plant in its first four years. After that, you can start pruning your plant to stimulate its growth for the next season.
- You should prune your plants in early spring or late winter before another growth starts.
- Cut out broken, weak, short, dead, and spindly shoots.
- If you’re planting highbush varieties, you can start cutting the wood that’s over six years old. Cut also those that are falling to the ground and those that crowd your plant’s center.
- In pruning lowbush blueberries, you should cut all your plant’s stems to its ground level. Make sure to prune it a different half every two years.
Blueberries are one of the people’s favorites. However, these are not widely available because some areas can’t grow this plant. In areas where these berries typically grow, planting is never a hassle at all. On the other hand, using fertilizers will help you further in producing delicious berries.
There are many fertilizers available in the market, yet it’s not easy to determine which is the best. If you’re a beginner in growing this plant, the Water Soluble Plant Food by Miracle-Gro is the best option you can consider. It’s not only full of nutrients, which blueberries need the most but also convenient to apply. Plus, you can also use it on your orchids or camellias.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Do blueberries grow in Asian countries?
Blueberries grow best in the United States. These are native to North America, yet other areas can also grow it, including parts of Europe, South America, Canada, and Australia.
Can I use a strawberry fertilizer in growing blueberries?
Yes, you can. Berries are acid-loving plants, which is why you can use berry-fertilizers on different types, including strawberries and raspberries. Remember to check the nutrient content of the fertilizer you’re buying to assure its effectiveness on your plant.
What’s the ideal temperature needed in growing blueberries?
Since blueberry-plants are resilient, these can endure temperatures from -20 degrees Celsius to -25 degrees Celsius or -5 degrees Fahrenheit to -13 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can I use natural fertilizers in planting blueberries, like coffee grounds?
Yes, coffee grounds are alternative fertilizers you can consider for your blueberry-plant. In applying it, you need to put it on top of the soil. You may need at least 4 to 5 cups for effective results.