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Blueberries can be simple and fun to grow.

For some, the perception is that they are difficult to grow.  Our goal is to simplify blueberries so anyone can find success growing these amazing plants.  What should you plant when it comes to blueberries?  The first step is selecting the best varieties for your region and situation.

Below are four things to consider when selecting varieties:

#1:  Chill Hours
#2:  Zone
#3:  Plant Characteristics
#4:  Early, Mid & Late Fruiting

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#1 CHILL HOURS

Chill Hours are the number of cumulative hours below 45 degrees Fahrenheit needed for a specific variety to set fruit. Most “High Chill” varieties need cooler winters to thrive.

If you live in a warmer climate such as California or Florida, a “Low Chill” variety is likely your best bet.

Here’s a simple way to look at this:

Most “High Chill” varieties require:                                   800-1,000 Chill Hours

Most “Low Chill” varieties require:                                   150-800 Chill Hours

Once you have an idea of the number of chill hours in your region, you’ll know if you should select from the Northern or Southern Highbush family of varieties which are featured separately in our Variety Listings.

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#2 ZONE

Most people who garden are familiar with the USDA Hardiness zones. Geographical regions are broken into areas based on the high and low temperatures. These common areas are given zone numbers.

The National Gardening Association has a great USDA Hardiness Zone Map that is searchable by zipcode.

Sunset Magazine has a more specific regional map which takes into consideration regional micro-climates.

Once you know your zone, our Blueberry Variety Listing will provide the zone in which each variety will perform best.   

Want to make it even easier? Just stop by your local garden center. They will have the varieties best suited to your region.

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#3 PLANT CHARACTERISTICS

Blueberries have diverse characteristics and each should be taken into consideration when choosing a variety. Do you want a large berry or a small berry? Sweet or tart? Light or dark fall foliage? Please take a look at our Variety Listings section to help you decide on the best varieties for you.

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#4 EARLY, MID & LATE FRUITING – Ensure You Have a Full Season Of Fruit!

Here’s one of the best tips of all:  Different blueberry varieties ripen at different times throughout the fruiting season.  We refer to varieties as being early-season, mid-season and late-season fruiting.  Simply by selecting a cross section of varieties, you can extend your fruit harvest up to several months.  Refer to the “Season” detail in our Variety Listing to determine whether they are early, mid, or late fruiting and then select a cross section of varieties.

We hope this takes away some of the mystery of blueberries. Learning your area’s chill hours and zone will direct you to the right category of varieties, and knowing what blueberry plant and berry characteristics matter to you will help you focus on your selections.  

A NOTE TO HOME GARDENERS:  We regret that we don’t have staff available to respond to home gardening questions on the phone or by email. If you have more questions, please contact your local garden center or extension agents. They’re the experts in your area.

World-blueberries

“World With Better Blueberries™”

"If we consistently improve the blueberry eating experience, everyone benefits--from the growers all the way to the families consuming the fruit." --Amelie Brazelton Aust

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