Bluegold BlueberryVaccinium corymbosum 'Bluegold'
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Vaccinium corymbosum 'Bluegold'
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Bluegold Blueberry is a very attractive smaller northern highbush blueberry, growing only 4 feet tall and wide. It is perfect for smaller gardens, and attractive enough, with its white flowers and red fall leaves, to grow in your garden shrub beds. It carries a heavy crop of large, sweet berries in July, of a rich blue color. Its narrow ripening period means big harvests for baking, and you can simply put any extra berries into the freezer, unwashed, where they will store for months.
Grow the Bluegold Blueberry in full sun or a little partial shade. It grows well in colder zones, including zone 4. It enjoys moist, well-drained soil, and it should be grown in acidic soil, with a pH between 4.5 and 5.5. If you don’t have suitable soil, grow it in lime-free potting soil in planters or pots, which it is very suitable for because of its compact size. Pests and diseases are rare, but some protection from deer and rabbits may be needed.
Nothing beats picking your own fresh fruit and berries from the garden, but many of us don’t have the space for an orchard or berry garden. What if, instead, you could pick berries from attractive, compact bushes growing right in your flower garden? Well you can, if you grow the Bluegold Blueberry. It is definitely attractive enough to grow as a garden plant, with its pretty white flowers in spring, glossy green leaves on a neat bush, a handsome crop of blue berries that is ornamental as well as delicious, and all this ending with a spectacular fall display of brilliant red leaves. Out in your garden beds, or growing in pots or planters if you don’t have the necessary acidic soil – either way you are going to love stepping out the door on a summer morning and grabbing a handful of berries for your morning cereal, or to eat in pancakes or muffins – what could be better?
The Bluegold Blueberry is a bush of the northern highbush blueberry, the variety suitable for colder parts of the country. It grows into an attractive compact shrub, about 4 feet tall and wide, with small glossy leaves that turn brilliant red in fall. In spring clusters of pink buds grow at the ends of the branches. These open into attractive white flowers that look like tiny hanging urns. Over early summer they develop into green berries, and by July these will have ripened into large, juicy, sweet blueberries, packed with vitamins, minerals and health-promoting bioflavonoid antioxidants.
Some varieties of blueberry ripen a few berries each day, but this one ripens its crop quickly, which is ideal if you want to do baking and preserves. If you don’t use all the ripe berries, nothing goes to waste, because you just need to pop them into a lidded container, unwashed, and put them in the freezer. They last for months and you can use them, still frozen, for pancakes and baking or let them quickly thaw for eating raw.
Because this compact variety is so handsome, it is perfect for planting in your shrub beds. Use it in planter boxes, or set some pots out on your terrace, patio or balcony. You don’t need a dedicated fruit garden to enjoy delicious blueberry pie.
Like other northern highbush blueberries, the Bluegold Blueberry is completely hardy even in zone 4, and in zones 5, 6 and 7 too. If you want blueberries for the south, consider the rabbit eye or southern highbush types – see our current selection.
Full sun or at least 6 to 8 hours of sun a day is needed for good growth and to ripen the crop. Moist, well-drained soil is best, and blueberry bushes do need to be grown in acidic soil, with a pH value between 4.5 and 5.5 – the lower the better. If you don’t have suitable soil, no worries, as this smaller plant is an ideal choice for pot growing. Make sure you have drainage holes in your container and use a mixture of 1-part lime-free potting soil, 1-part shredded pine bark, and 1-part sphagnum peat moss (sometimes called Canadian peat moss). Lime-free potting soil is sold for plants like azaleas and camellias. Mulch the top of the pot with additional shredded pine bark, and keep it evenly moist by watering as soon as the soil surface has dried a little.
The Bluegold Blueberry is self-pollinating, which means that just a single bush will carry a big crop of berries. However, if you have room it is worth growing a second variety, because then both varieties will produce even bigger crops. We recommend the Bluecrop Blueberry as a companion, which is also a variety that ripens a few weeks earlier and that will extend your harvest season.
Pests and diseases don’t normally bother the Bluegold Blueberry, but deer and rabbits can chew the leaves, so provide some protection, especially in spring. A suitable fertilizer for blueberries will give you the biggest crop, applied in spring, and for young plants every 6 weeks until harvesting. Water regularly, and don’t let your plants dry out, as they are not drought resistant. It is best to remove the flowers in the first growing season after planting – yes, this is hard to do, and maybe you could leave a couple of clusters, but preventing the flowering and fruiting of young plants makes them grow sturdy and strong, so they carry bigger crops for the rest of their life. Regular pruning in late winter is recommended for the biggest crops. The goal is to remove weak shoots and shorten the tips of the strongest ones to encourage more flowering.
You can find wild plants of the northern highbush blueberry, Vaccinum corymbosum, growing through the east and south of the USA, and up into eastern Canada too. Wild berries are eaten by bear and birds, and Native Americans used to burn areas where they grew to remove larger trees and be able to harvest bigger crops. Over the years many varieties have been created, with larger berries, sweeter flavors, and heavier yields. The Agricultural Research Services of the US Department of Agriculture have been breeding and developing new varieties of blueberry bushes for over 100 years. They released the new variety ‘Bluegold’, noted for its large sweet fruit and heavy crop, in 1989. It has been a favorite ever since then, and it has proven very suitable for organic growing, which is what most home growing generally is.
There is an enormous interest in growing your own food, especially berries and other crops that are fragile and best eaten fresh. Blueberries are especially useful in gardens, since they are as ornamental as they are useful. The Bluegold Blueberry is an outstanding variety, and one that is always in big demand. Order your bushes right away, while our stock remains available.