When Do You Plant Blueberry Bushes?

Bilberry, a variety of blueberry.

Blueberries are native to temperate climates, and their growth habits are strongly seasonal. Depending on the variety of bush you choose and the region in which you live, blueberries can be planted in the fall or spring:

Fall Planting

It is possible to plant blueberries in the fall, however, most experts recommend late winger or early spring as the preferred planting time. If you do choose to plant blueberries in the fall, it should be done in late September or early October. The roots of these bushes will continue to grow until the soil reaches temperatures below 45 F.

An advantage to planting in the fall is that your blueberries are already in place when the spring rains arrive. Wet weather can often delay spring planting while blueberries planted in the fall are already established and can enjoy the burst of spring growth that can make a difference for the season.

When planting blueberries in the fall, the bushes must be in the ground and mulched before the onset of winter especially in areas that experience heavy frost. First frost dates by zone are as follows:

  • Zone 1: July 15th
  • Zone 2; August 15th
  • Zone 3: September 15th
  • Zone 4: September 15th
  • Zone 5: October 15th
  • Zone 6: October 15th
  • Zone 7: October 15th
  • Zone 8: November 15th
  • Zone 9: December 15th
  • Zone 10: December 15th
  • Zone 11: No frost.

Spring Planting

Planting your blueberry bushes in the spring allows plants to begin growth in keeping with natural seasonal patterns. Wait until the ground has thawed and there is no longer any danger of a freeze. Blueberries planted at this time will have the best chance of establishing themselves before winter, but be aware that spring planting can often be delayed due to rain. Time is of the essence. Plant as soon as the danger of frost has passed. This differs from one zone to another.Last frost dates by zone are as follows:

  • Zone 1: June 15th
  • Zone 2: May 15th
  • Zone 3: May 15th
  • Zone 4: May 15th
  • Zone 5: April 15th
  • Zone 6: April 15th
  • Zone 7: April 15th
  • Zone 8: March 15th
  • Zone 9: February 15th
  • Zone 10: January 31st (may be earlier)
  • Zone 11: No frost.

Ongoing Care

Once you've planted your blueberry bushes, apply a thick layer of mulch to help control weeds and to hold moisture in the soil. Keep the bushes well water after planting. Check the soil regularly to be sure it is moist as it will help promote root growth.When do you plant blueberry bushes? It depends on the risk you want to take. In the fall you risk an early frost killing your bushes before they are established and in the spring the rains may delay planting. Whenever you decide to plant, the effort and time will be worth it Care for your blueberry bushes and they can last for up to 50 years.

When Do You Plant Blueberry Bushes?