Should I replace my blueberry plants?

riverman1February 8, 2013

I have around 20 BB plants of various varieties. Over the years I have discovered a couple varieties that do very well in my area. Some of the varieties I have are thriving but the berries are tiny, chandler and northcountry, like the size of a huckleberry. Some of my plants I obtained from friends who gave up on them and they were stunted and sickly, now they are doing better but not nearly as good as plants that have been healthy since the beginning.

So I'm looking at my plants today and wondering If I shouldn't just get rid of those that haven't done what I had hoped. I hate to throw out living plants but at the same time I could replace them with healthy young plants and have what I want in a few years. What do you guys think?


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RM, nice to see you post again! Where you been man??? I'm doing pretty much the same thing here with a bunch of different SHB. I'm growing mine in pots though so I don't have to pull them out of the ground. Some varieties are just going to out shine others, that's the name of the game. At least now you can recommend certain varieties for your neck of the woods. That's a good thing. If you do remove them, you could offer them to some one in a lower zone than you, or higher and they might thrive? Then you could get replacements of the varieties that are doing good. I hate to throw good plants out also. I've been putting some of mine on Craig's List and haven't had a problem getting rid of them. Im going to see this spring which ones I like best and get rid of a few more after they fruit. There is a lot of effort put forth to grow these things and you want the most bang for your buck.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:11PM
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Yep, +2 for Craig's List. I've got to pull two of my 4 out of the raised bed I built. Lady at the Wabash Feed Store is an interested buyer but I might just transplant to 1/2 barrel planters and stash them at my neighbor's.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:21PM
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If you can't get rid of them as normal blueberries, might I suggest making bonsai out of them (assuming they're thick enough trunked for that)?

Its very easy to do, simply wait until they're dormant (like right now) and take pruning shears to them. Chop them way back until they look like miniature tree trunks, then let them leaf out. Just prune the leaves so they stay looking tree-like, then wait for them to bear fruit. Take pictures of them as fruiting little bonsai trees, then sell them as bonsai. Its amazing how people will pay two or three times as much for a "bonsai" version of what they could have gone to virtually any nursery and gotten a normal version of and cut back themselves.

I picked up an extra blueberry at the end of last season when my local hardware store/nursery had them in the "please make these go away" markdown pile. Got the one with the most interesting trunk and chopped it back. Just waiting for the weather to warm up for it to leaf back out so I can do exactly this.

What cost me $5 I can probably sell for $30-50 as an exotic novelty.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:56PM
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Thanks guys, the Bonzai idea is interesting. After hearing your ideas, I think I will go ahead and get rid of a half dozen plants and replace them with something I know will eventually produce for me. I have lots of room but like blue said, growing blues isn't easy, soil mix is a big job and hard to justify for a plant that isn't producing.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 3:10PM
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