Blueberry, Southern Highbush
Southern Highbush Blueberry
Deciduous, Evergreen, Edible fruit, Shrubs
Native to eastern North America; for ornamental species, see Vaccinium.
Most blueberries grown for fruit are also handsome shrubs suitable for hedges or shrub borders. Leaves, to 3 in. long, are bronze when new, maturing to dark green, turning scarlet or yellow in fall. Tiny, urn-shaped spring flowers are white or pinkish. Summer fruit is decorative.
Blueberries thrive under conditions that suit rhododendrons and azaleas, to which they are related. They need cool, moist, well-drained acid soil (pH 4.5–5.5). Where soil isn’t acidic enough, either create proper conditions in garden soil or grow in containers filled with acidic potting mix.
For more information about how to grow blueberries, go to How to Choose and Grow Blueberries.
Hybrids between Vaccinium darrowii and V. corymbosum, these grow to about 6 ft. tall and 5 ft. wide. They’re chosen for success in mild-winter climates and for good fruit quality. As you scan the list, don’t miss ‘Sunshine Blue’ at the bottom: it’s excellent on all counts.
‘Cape Fear’. Early to midseason. Large, light blue fruit.
‘Georgia Gem’. Midseason. Medium-size fruit.
‘Jubilee’. Early. Tall, upright. Medium to large berries with excellent flavor.
‘Misty’. Very early. Large berries with excellent flavor. Bears heavily.
‘O’Neal’. Very early. Large, flavorful berries.
‘Sharpblue’. Early to midseason. Large, fast-growing shrub, and large, light blue berries with sweet-tart flavor.
‘Sunshine Blue’. Midseason. Compact 3-ft. shrub produces large, light blue berries with tangy flavor. Self-fruitful. Can handle less chill (just 150 hours) and higher pH than most other blueberries. Evergreen.
These selections of Vaccinium virgatum (V. ashei) are native to the southeastern U.S...
Hybrids between Vaccinium darrowii and V. corymbosum, these grow to about 6 ft. tall...
Hardy to –15°F/–26°C. Hybrids between Mollis azaleas and R. viscosum