BRUNS plant of the month – August

Vaccinium corymbosum – Garden Blueberry, American Cultivated Blueberry

Rich crop with little effort

The highbush blueberry is a plant that has a lot to offer. Its pretty bell-shaped flowers appear in dense clusters in May. They are eagerly visited by bees and bumblebees. July and August is harvest season for the delicious blue fruits, offering a daily fresh snack fruit that is easy and convenient to pick with the yellow to orange bright autumn leaves create a lovely ambience in September and October.

Compared to the native wild blueberry, the American cultivated blueberry grows considerably faster reaching 1 to 2 m in height and width. It forms tight upright, densely branched bushes. Cultivated blueberries are reliably hardy and look lovely with their green branches even in winter.

The spherical, up to 1.5 cm fruits are not only sweet and delicious but are also very rich in vitamins and minerals. Some varieties bear a particularly high yield. Though cultivated blueberries are self-fertile, planting at least 2 different varieties leads to even more fruit. The fruits appear on the previous year’s shoots.

Overall, this plant is robust, durable and easy to care for. The only thing it requires is a sunny to slightly semi-shaded location and an acidic soil (pH value of 4–5). Calciferous garden soils must therefore be made more acidic by adding peat, Rhododendron soil, bark compost or coniferous forest humus. There is also another possibility: planting a blueberry bush in a large pot. With Rhododendron soil as substratum the garden blueberry makes for a durable and decorative container plant. When placed on the terrace, the delicious summer fruits virtually find their way directly into your mouth.

Particularly lievely and high-yielding varieties are:

‘Bluecrop’:  Harvest season from mid July (mid-early), robust and very high-yield crop, flame red autumn foliage
‘Duke':  Harvest season from beginning of July (early), robust, very hardy and high-yield crop
‘Goldtraube' in flavour: Harvest season from end of July (late), robust and high-yield crop, rich