Blueberry (Vaccinium sp. Example: Highbush - V. corymbos)-Hort Answers - University of Illinois Extension
University of Illinois Extension

University of Illinois Extension

Hort Answers

Small Fruit

Vaccinium sp. Example: Highbush - V. corymbos

Blueberry bush
Blueberry bush
There are three types of blueberries - highbush, lowbush, and rabbiteye. Highbush types are grown in the midwest, northeast, and parts of Canada around the Great Lakes. The lowbush types are grown in the Pacific west states and also in other parts of the nation. Rabbiteye type is grown in the southern states. It can tolerate a wide range of soil pH, high temperatures, and has low chilling requirement. Most of the blueberry roots are distributed with the dripline of the bush. Some roots may extendsix ft away from the crown, and depths of up to 32 inches. Blueberries do well in full sunlight, well drained soil with a pH of 4.5 to 5.2, and adequate moisture. Blueberries are propagated by rooting of hardwood cuttings that are one-year-old. Two to three year-old nursery grown plants are recommended for planting. Use of organic mulches (4-6 inches thick)such as straw, wood chips, saw dust, corn cobs is desirable. Since blueberries are sensitive to chloride, applications of potassium sulfate is recommended, and the ammonium form of nitrogen is preferred compared to nitrate so ammonium sulfate is recommended. Blueberries need to be pruned annually in order to get optimal yield.  

Northern highbush - Hardyblue, Aurora, Bluecrop, Bluegold, Bluejay, Blueray, Bluetta, Brigitta, Chandler, Chippewa, Darrow, Draper, Duke, Earliblue, Elliot, Jersey, Legacy, Liberty, Northblue, Northland, Olympia, Ozarkblue, Patriot, Polaris, Reka, Rubel, Spartan, and Toro.

Southern highbush - Biloxi, Bluecrisp, Emerald, Jewel, Millennia, Misty, Oneal, Ozarkblue, Santa Fe, Sapphire, Sharpblue, Southern Belle, Southmoon, and Star.

Lowbush - Northcountry, Brunswick (wild), Burgundy (wild).

Rabbiteye - Aliceblue, Baldwin, Beckyblue, Briteblue, Bluebelle, Brightwell, Climax, Centurion, Delite, Maru, Premier, Powderblue, and Rahi.

Mature Height
5-30 Feet (Highbush (5-23 ft); Lowbush (less than 13 ft); Rabbiteye - more than 30 ft)
Mature Width
0 Feet (Varies with the type)
Harvest Time
Summer to fall


USDA Hardiness Zone
3 - 8 
Soil Conditions
Moist, Well-Drained
Exposure/Light Requirements
Full Sun
Jellies & Jams
Fruit Color
Pests and Problems

Environmental Damage

Herbicide Injury

Additional pests and problems that may affect this plant:

  • Blueberry maggot (Rhagoletis pomonella)
  • Cranberry fruitworm (Mineola vaccinii)
  • Cherry fruitworm (Grapholitha packardi)
  • Plum curculio (Conotracheus nenuphar)
  • Blueberry bud mite (Aceria vacinii)
  • Blueberry blossom weevil (Anthonomus musculus)
  • Sharp-nosed leafhopper (Scaphytopius magdalensis)


  • Anthracnose (Glomerella cingulata)
  • Crown gall (Agrobacterium tumefaciens)
  • fusicoccum canker (Fusicoccum putrefaciens)
  • Gray mold (Botrytis cinerea)
  • Leaf rust (Pucciniastrum vaccinii)
  • Mummy berryMonilinia vacinii-corymbosi)
  • Phomopsis twig blight and fruit rot (Phomopsis vaccinii)
  • Phytophthora root rot (Phytophthora cinnamoni)
  • Powdery mildew (Microsphaera pencillata var. vacinii)
  • Stem canker (Botryosphaeria corticis)
  • Virual diseases: Mosaic, Necrotic ringspot, Scorch, Stunt,Tomato ringspot,
  • Phytoplasmas

Other problems:

  • Birds
  • Light green leaves particularly new growth due to iron deficiency
Additional Notes
Blueberries are pollinated by bees. In large plantings, a beehive is necessary, but in small backyard gardens bumblebees and other wild bees can accomplish the task.


Related Resources
Home, Yard & Garden Pest Guide
U of IL - Distance Diagnosis through Digital Imaging
U of IL - Plant Clinic