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Vaccinium corymbosum

Common Name(s):
Highbush blueberry
Edible Plants, Native Plants, Shrubs

Highbush blueberry is in the Ericaceae family.  It is an upright multistemed, slow growing deciduous shrub with brilliant red fall foliage.  It makes an excellent hedge if planted in mass.  It is planted for its delicious edible fruit.  Although blueberries are self-fertile, planting multiple that bloom at the same time will lead to larger berries and a higher yeild.  Extend your harvest by planting early, mid, and late season blueberry varieties which will make the fruit season run from June to mid-September.  When planting and the year after remove all flowers so the shrub can focus on root and shoot growth.  The third year after planting you can prune in the late winter to remove dead wood and maintain the shape of the shrub.  Consider planting with azaelas and rhododendrons that share the same acidic soil requirements.

Seasons of Interest:

Foliage: Fall, red  Bloom: Spring, May  Fruit: Summer, berry edible


Wildlife Value: Flowers attract butterflies and bees.  Fruit attracts birds and squirrels. Members of the genus Vaccinium support the following specialized bees:Andrena (Conandrena) bradleyiAndrena (Andrena) carolinaPanurginus atramontensisHabropoda laboriosaColletes productusColletes validus, and Osmia (Melanosmia) virga.

Insects Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  Spotted wing drosophila may attack the fruit. Potential but infrequent disease problems include stem blight, root rot, anthracnose, cane cankers, mildew and botrytis. Mummy berry is a fungal disease that causes the berries to shrivel and drop.  Birds relish the fruit, so cover shrubs with netting as the fruit ripens. These plants are frequently damaged by deer.   If the soil pH is to high it will cause chlorosis (yellowing of leaves). 

6-12 ft.
Prefers acidic soil (pH of 4.8 to 5.2), organically rich, medium to wet, well-drained. Full sun to part shade. Shallow, fibrous roots need constant moisture and good drainage and prefer a layer of organic mulch.
Sun to partial shade; moist well-drained soil
White flowers in early spring; blue black fruit
6-8 ft.
pollinator, nectar, deciduous, bees, showy flower, fall color, edible, hedge, specialized bees, native bees, butterflies, wildlife

NCCES plant id: 566

Vaccinium corymbos Vaccinium corymbos
Maja Dumat, CC BY - 2.0
Vaccinium corymbos Vaccinium corymbos
Per Verdonk, CC BY-NC-2.0
Vaccinium corymbos Vaccinium corymbos
Rob Thurman, CC BY - 2.0
Vaccinium corymbos Vaccinium corymbos
Nicholas-Brandsberg, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0