1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum .

    Dismiss Notice

How do I prunenthis blueberry bush

Discussion in 'Tree Climbing, Pruning, Felling' started by speedster, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. speedster

    speedster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 220

    I have a four blueberry bushes and they really haven't grown as much as I expected them to. They've been in the ground for 2-3 years now. Last year about 20 berries showed up on this bush. I think I need to prune it. Yesterday I was looking at it and noticed there are actually small buds on the tips of each stem.

    Anyway, I've watched some YouTube videos of pruning but still not real sure where it should be cut. Would one of you take a minute to maybe open my picture in paint or Photoshop and clearly mark what limbs need to be cut and where they should be cut? I would appreciate this.

    Oh, ignore the small bamboo stick. I had them stuck in the ground when Implanted the bushes

  2. New2TheGreenIndustry

    New2TheGreenIndustry LawnSite Senior Member
    from GA
    Messages: 925

    Have you tested the pH of the soil? Blueberries like pretty acidic soils...if I remember correctly from 4.2 to 5.2. Might be why they aren't growing well.
  3. windflower

    windflower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,099

    Blueberries like a lot of water with good drainage and not too much fertilizer. They do best with some though. Bush looks like it doesn't need pruned yet. I'll bet it would grow more with more water. There is tons of info out there on their culture, do a search.
  4. speedster

    speedster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 220

    I tested the pH a few years ago before I planted the bushes. It was in the high 4's which is likely due to its proximity to several spruce trees and rhododendrons. The location I picked is behind the house near a power line that provides lots of sunlight. They get quite a bit of water from both rain and from watering. I don't have irrigation set up but my daughter and I water them several times per week and more often when its dry.
  5. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,539

    You don't need to prune that at all, it need's all the foliage it will have. When you have woody looking, older cane's, that's what slow's blueberry's down. I can't really tell from the picture, but are you sure that the crown of that plant is above grade? If that isn't right, then nothing else will help. Does that plant get full sun all day? They need that so the berry's are sweet. Young plant's need water but once they start growing you need to cut back. Once the condition's are right, blueberry's go wild. 6 ft. of growth a year is normal once they get established. Good luck.
  6. speedster

    speedster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 220

    Ill have to take a second look at this. I'm not sure that is above grade. It might be slightly below grade if I remember correctly. There is 6" of snow out there right now so its kinda hard to see. Being a novice at this I wasn't aware that it made that much difference. It definately gets full sunlight.

    Would I be able to dig the bush up and add soil in the hole to raise it above grade?
  7. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,539

    Any plant with it's crown below grade will suffer, and it make's a huge difference. You can raise it by adding soil to the hole, just make sure there are no air pocket's. Blueberry's are tough and can handle a lot but any work like this need's to be done at the coldest time of the year, around Feb. 1 here.
  8. speedster

    speedster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 220

    Thanks! I appreciate the help. I've got 4 bushes. Ill look at all of them to see if they all need replanted. Any other tips you can provide? I've never done anything like this before. How big do you suppose the root ball is on a plant like this? Should I dig it up as large as I can physically handle? Add enough garden soil to raise the crown above grade and then regrade? Anything else I should be adding to the hole?
  9. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,539

    You probably don't have much of a root ball. Those are young plant's and blueberry's are shallow rooted, they seem to grow more wide than deep. Just take your time when digging and try to not cut any root's if you can help it, but you will cut a few and it's not a crisis, blueberry's are tough and can handle it. Always water transplant's immediately. a acidifying fertilizer (for low pH plant's) like azalea food lightly mixed in with the soil when you raise them will be fine. Always water in fertilizer. Fertilizing blueberry's should only be done in the dead of winter. If you have any other question's, just ask.

Share This Page