Sunshine Blue Blueberry BushVaccinium hybrid ‘Sunshine Blue`
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Vaccinium hybrid ‘Sunshine Blue`
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Sunshine Blue Blueberry is a unique blueberry that only grows about 3 feet tall yet carries a big crop of large berries. It will grow in soil that is only slightly acidic, and its small size makes it perfect for growing in containers and planters. It is hardy all across the country, from zone 5 to zone 10, and it is especially suitable for very warm places with warm winters, since it needs just a few hours of chilling to develop properly. As well, it has beautiful pink flowers instead of the usual white ones, earning it a place in the flower garden. Enjoy flowers and fruit on a beautiful bush that is very easy to grow almost everywhere.
The Sunshine Blue Blueberry prefers acid soil, but it is more tolerant of neutral soils than other blueberry varieties. Because of this it expands the areas where these delicious fruits can be grown. The best blueberries are ripened on the bush, so growing your own is the only way to enjoy that best. Grow this plant in sun or partial shade. It is entirely self-fertile, so you don’t even need to grow a second variety to have a big crop of delicious, deep-blue berries for the table or the kitchen. Surplus berries can be stored in the freezer for months.
Blueberries taste delicious – fresh or baked. Eat them out of hand, in yoghurt and fruit salad, or in muffins and pancakes. Bake them into pies or turn them into preserves. If you have too many ripe at once, simply put them into a bag without washing and pop them into the freezer. Unlike other berry crops, there is no risk of wasting anything from your home garden. Blueberries taste best when they ripen fully on the bush, and grocery store berries just don’t have that full flavor. They have been picked early, so they will ship and store well. Only if you grow your own can you enjoy the full benefits – and also know they contain no harmful chemicals.
Not every garden has the acid soil needed to grow blueberries, and not everyone has the space for big bushes 6 to 15 feet tall. If you are in these situations but crave the taste and quality of home-ripened blueberries, then the Sunshine Blue Blueberry is for you. This unique variety grows just 3 feet tall, so it works perfectly in pots and planter boxes. It will grow in the smallest garden, and it doesn’t even need another variety to pollinate it. To top it all off, it has beautiful pink flowers, rather than the usual white flowers of blueberries, so it looks great right among your flowering shrubs, and you don’t need a fruit garden to hide it away in.
The Sunshine Blue Blueberry is a specially-bred selection of the southern highbush blueberry, a type suited to warm areas with mild winters. Other blueberries may need long periods of winter cold, but this one only needs 150 hours of cooling, which is easy, even in very warm areas. It is hardy, so it will grow in cooler places too, all the way into zone 5. This means that across the country gardeners are enjoying blueberries they pick themselves, with the maximum amount of those vitamins and powerful antioxidants they bring us for good health.
It has beautiful clusters of pink flowers in spring and it looks perfect in among your flowering shrubs, or on the terrace. Its dense, bushy habit makes it look great all year round. In warmer areas it remains evergreen, but in cooler regions it may lose some leaves, which often turn beautiful colors of red and gold before falling.
In the past you needed acid soil and lots of room for blueberry bushes, but now, with the hybrid Sunshine Blue Blueberry, that is a thing of the past. This unique variety is more tolerant of less-acid soil, so it grows in areas where other varieties won’t grow. Because it only grows 3 or 4 feet tall, you can fit it into the smallest garden, and it grows easily in regular-sized pots and planters, while bigger types need big boxes. Plant a group of them among your flowering shrubs, allowing 3 feet between the plants. Best of all, this is a self-pollinating variety, so you don’t need another variety alongside it to get a good crop. Because it is compact, it doesn’t even need pruning. This sure is the top-choice blueberry for any garden, and for first-time gardeners.
Bred for warmer zones, this bush is hardy in zone 5, and all through the hottest areas, even in zone 10 – southern Florida. See our current selection for blueberry bushes for cold zones – there are lots.
Choose a sunny spot in cooler regions, and a partially-shaded spot in hot areas, for your Sunshine Blue Blueberry plants. They grow best in soil with a pH value below 7.0, while other types of blueberries need values below 5.5 or 6.0. Mulch over the roots with peat moss, shredded pine-bark, pine needles, or grass clippings. Do not use manures and composts, as these often contain lime.
If your soil is alkaline, or you want to grow the Sunshine Blue Blueberry on a terrace or patio, grow it in a pot or planter box. Use a soil recommended for acid-loving plants and fertilize it during the growing season with dilute fertilizer also made for acid-loving plants.
Wherever you grow this plant, attention to watering is important. Blueberries need moist, well-drained soil, and the soil around your plants should always be kept moist right to the stem. This dense, bushy variety can cause rain to run off the leaves instead of soaking into the ground, so check that it is always well-watered. In containers, let just the top ½ inch turn dry before watering thoroughly again. Do not let plants in containers become dry. The Sunshine Blue Blueberry is usually free of pests or diseases. If you see that the new leaves in spring are yellowish, this means the soil is too alkaline for it. Treat it with chelated iron or move into a container of lime-free soil.
The Sunshine Blue Blueberry is a highly-bred plant containing genes from at least four species of native blueberries, including the southern highbush blueberry (Vaccinium darrowii); the Northern Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum); the rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium virgatum); and the lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium). This complex mix produces a plant that grows well even in very mild winters, and needs only 150 hours of chilling, yet survives the summer heat of the South and the winter cold of zone 5.
Because of the unique qualities of the Sunshine Blue Blueberry, it must be grown only from stem pieces, not seeds. Our plants are produced that way, so they preserve all the complex genetics that makes this such an adaptable and special plant. Stock of this plant is hard to find, but we have sourced top-quality material. The demand is high, so order now while our stock lasts – it will soon be gone.