How to grow forest blueberries in the garden, reproduction in different ways

In the wild, blueberries are widely distributed in the forests of Europe, Russia and in the north of Central Asia. People are picking berries, but this is a laborious and inefficient business. You can try to grow blueberries in your garden.

Blueberries in the garden

Cultivated blueberries are rare. Firstly, to cultivate it requires a special soil, not at all that which is suitable for most garden crops. Secondly, the yield per unit area is not so great. Most gardeners have small plots, and not everyone decides to occupy precious square meters due to several kilograms of blueberries. But the berries are grown, and successful experience has already been gained. As a result of proper care, it gives more yield than wild in the forest.

With proper care, blueberries in the garden produce good yields

Blueberry propagation

When trying to buy blueberry seedlings in nurseries, there may be misunderstanding. The fact is that in the USA and Canada close relatives of our forest blueberries (Vaccinium myrtillus) grow - narrow-leaved blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium) and Canadian blueberries (Vaccinium myrtilloides). Cultivated blueberry is a tall plant (up to 3 m), it is much more productive than ordinary blueberries. Blueberry berries are lighter, as the name suggests, less juicy and do not leave dark spots, like blueberries.

Therefore, in order to get ordinary forest blueberries, most likely, you will have to look for planting material not in nurseries, but in the forest. Blueberries are propagated in the following ways:

  • whole bushes dug with roots;
  • bushes with roots divided into shoots;
  • seeds.


This process is time consuming and many years. 3 years pass from seed germination to the first harvest.

  1. Ripe berries are crushed in a bowl until finely ground mashed potatoes. Pour water, mix. Empty seeds float up, they are removed. The sediment is washed many times until full seeds remain. They are heavier than water and settle to the bottom.

    To prepare blueberry seeds, ripe berries are selected, which must be crushed

  2. Seeds can be planted immediately after drying.
  3. As a substrate, forest soil is used from those places where blueberries grow. You can prepare the mixture yourself from equal proportions of sand, peat, rotten or chopped needles.
  4. Stratifying (tempering at low temperatures) blueberry seeds does not make sense. This operation increases the frost resistance of heat-loving crops. But blueberries grow even on the southern borders of the Arctic Circle, so there is no point in additional hardening.
  5. Seeds are planted to a depth of 0.5–1 cm, covered with a film or glass to create greenhouse conditions and kept at room temperature.
  6. Shoots should appear in 21-30 days. Before this, you can keep seedlings in a dark place, but immediately after the first sprouted sprout, light is needed, otherwise the plants will stretch very quickly and become pale.

    When blueberry sprouts appear, the container must be placed in a bright place

  7. Every day, the boxes are ajar, aired, and when the top layer of soil dries, it is slightly moistened.
  8. In winter, the seedlings are kept in the light at a temperature of 5-10 ° C.
  9. In the spring, seedlings dive one sprout in a separate container with a capacity of at least 0.5-0.7 liters. In these pots it is grown for another year, and next spring it is planted in a permanent place.

Shrubs and shoots

Separating the bush, shoots with 5-7 buds and well-developed root processes are selected. Also, by autumn, you can get an independent shoot if in spring you press a twig to the ground and sprinkle with soil. In this place, roots form in the fall, and the shoot can be cut and transplanted.

The process of planting a bush:

  1. A 2-3-year-old compact bush is dug up in the forest or in the nursery, preferably with a large lump of land. A transplant should not be delayed. The faster any plant with an open root system moves from place to place, the easier it takes root. Thin roots do not have time to die, and at first due to a coma of moist soil the plants do not even fade. If necessary, the bush is stored in the shade and cool, covering the roots from the light with a damp cloth made of natural fabric.
  2. At the landing site, a hole is made according to the size of the roots. They plant like all the seedlings - straighten the roots, put on a mound of loose earth prepared in a hole, fill the root system with soil so that there are no voids, densely compact, well shed.
  3. Landing by shoots is carried out in exactly the same way, the only difference is that the shoot is smaller than the bush and the pits are made smaller.
  4. After planting, the area under the blueberries needs to be mulched, preferably with forest mulch from those places where blueberries grow well. These are fresh and decayed leaves, needles, with a loose topsoil. Blueberries are planted in late October - early November, and such a mulching will not only protect the soil from drying out next summer, give top dressing for years to come, but also protect the root system that has not yet been strengthened from freezing in winter.

    2-3-year-old blueberry bushes dug in the forest are suitable for planting in the garden

Blueberry Care

Blueberries grow well in the vast expanses of our continent, because there are no special differences in its cultivation, for example, in the moderately cold suburbs of Moscow and warmer Ukraine. The difference can only be in terms of ripening (in the south, the first berries ripen earlier) and in terms of planting (in autumn blueberries are planted before the onset of stable frost).


The native soil for blueberries is loose, breathing forest sandstones with a high content of natural humus from fallen leaves and needles. They almost never dry out and are always wet due to forest shading and a thick layer of mulch. Blueberries are a crop that needs very acidic soil with a pH of 4–5.5. In a less acidic environment, the plant develops chlorosis.

It is important to remember that blueberries, like most representatives of heather, can develop only in symbiosis with the fungus. Invisible particles of mycelium will be seeded into the soil along with soil on the roots of the plant.

You can create a ground for blueberries artificially. First, over the entire area cleared of weeds, leaf humus or sphagnum peat is scattered in an amount of 12-15 l per 1 m2. Then digging landing pits with a diameter and depth of 30 x 30 cm. The excavated soil in a ratio of 1: 1 is mixed with humus or peat. When planting this mixture, the roots of the plant are covered.

If the soil is clayey, heavy, river sand is added to the soil and organic matter. 50–70 g of bone meal can be scattered in a meager and infertile soil into each hole. This top dressing can be replaced with ammonium sulfate, which is scattered after planting (15 g per 1 m2).

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Leafy and any vegetable humus is very acidic in nature. You can use any other humus, for example, from manure, sawdust. If you are not sure about the sufficient acidity of the prepared soil, you can moisten the area with a solution of citric acid per 1 tsp. on 10 l of water. Also dispersed sulfur powder at the rate of 50-60 g per 1 m2 increases acidity.

The soil most suitable for blueberries is similar to the one in which it grows in the forest.

A place

In the forest, blueberries may seem to dislike the sun. But the experience of growing proved that with sufficient lighting, it bears better fruit, more fruits, they are larger and tastier. Nevertheless, blueberries are shade tolerant. Do not plant it in absolute heat, for example, on the southern slopes without the slightest shading, where it can burn out. And you can plant in partial shade, where in the summer the sun happens, but not a full day, or in a diffused shadow under sparse crowns at a reasonable distance from bushes and trees.

With good, but not excessive lighting, blueberries bear fruit better

Watering, weeding, mulching

It is necessary to monitor the sufficient soil moisture throughout the warm season. Although a sufficiently thick layer of mulch will solve this problem almost completely. Under it, the soil does not dry out, and watering is required only during a long drought.

Weeding is also required. Blueberries do not have a very powerful root system. Most garden weeds can create strong competition for her and even drown out growth. Using the tool, weeding is necessary before applying the mulch, and after that the mulching layer under the bushes will not allow small weeds to break through, and rare large ones can easily be removed by hand.

Over time, the mulch rots, and you need to add fresh as needed. Before winter, you also need fresh mulch, which will keep the roots from freezing.

Rotten mulch serves as a food source for blueberries, so it does not need additional top dressing. Moreover, mineral fertilizers can even harm the plant. For example, nitrogen fertilizing will cause explosive growth of green mass, disrupt normal metabolism, and worsen the quality of berries.

Pruning bushes

There is no consensus on the pruning of stunted blueberry bushes. Some gardeners believe that you don’t need to touch the blueberries at all and it should grow on its own, as she wants. Others claim that pruning after 3 years of growth is the basis of a high and quality crop.

You can stop at the golden mean. Required:

  • sanitary pruning (remove all sick and weak branches);
  • thinning pruning (remove part of the branches growing inside the crown to improve illumination inside the bush);
  • anti-aging pruning (carried out on bushes over 5 years old. Cut old branches, which stimulates the growth of new shoots).

Video: growing blueberries in the garden


It is advisable to plant blueberries in October. It will be better if you plant two or three year old bushes. Bushes with large fruits can be taken in the forest and transplanted to their land. And we, alas, do not have good varieties, since our breeders have not yet begun to grow it.


I tried to plant blueberries. Saplings must be bought in a store or nursery, forest on the site will not grow. Be sure to create acidic soil for it: add everything to the pit - peat, ripe leaves. The place must be shaded and always under the crowns of trees. Now on sale there is something similar to a blueberry with a description of blueberries, there is a vice versa.

Elena Kulagina

Four years ago, he planted several young blueberry bushes on a prepared bed. In August he made the soil of a bed based on peat mixed with sand, sawdust, with a small addition of sulfur (a quarter of a teaspoon). Bushes located in the shade of the wettest part of the site. Planted in two rows at a distance of 40 cm, pouring diluted citric acid in water in a ratio of 1 to 10. The first fruits appeared only this year.


With growing blueberries in the garden there are no special difficulties and problems, except for the soil. In well-formed or brought from the forest soil mixture, the bushes of the plant take root and will bear fruit. True, blueberries are small because of the small size of the berries.


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