Blueberries in Containers... How Much Sun?

kristimamaApril 13, 2008


I've recently bought and potted 4 varieties of blueberries that my local nursery said grow well here in Contra Costa County.

The only thing I can't seem to figure out is how MUCH sunlight they need. Some people say full sun. Other say, only half a day. Others say dappled/shaded light all day.

I am lucky I have all three options in my yard, but I'm getting tired of dragging the pots around the yard. LOL.

Anyone know the REAL answer? (Or maybe it varies by zone?)

I'm in the East Bay, Contra Costa County, in Northern California.


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I have mine (back) in pots beause they were very unhappy in the ground, and they get full sun in spring while making blueberries, and then morning sun only in summer. Their leaves will burn and get crispy if they sit in the hot sun all day.

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 2:39AM
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I have them both in full sun and afternoon sun. The ones in full sun outproduce the ones in partial shade, but do get some crispy leaves in the worst heat. But by then the berries are harvested, so who cares.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 5:19AM
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This is a really great question as far as I'm concerned! I was just going to search for the answer to this when I found this post. So I hope more people respond with their experiences and opinions. I am in a townhouse that is close to other town houses. I have East and West exposures, but the east exposure is blocked for a few hours each morning. My west/afternoon is not going to be blocked except for a few hours in the fall. So, I'm trying to decide where I'm going to set these blueberries. I'm also trying to find the best situation for a currant bush, and 2 columnar apple trees. I'm trying to figure out which can tolerate my available locations with the greatest potential and least suffering.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 12:16AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

The answer is give them the most sun they can stand. It is difficult to compare sun amounts. Full sun in Contra Costa county is not much like full sun in Sacramento. Most people grow blueberries for the fruit and more sun equals more fruit, although the plant may not always appear as happy. Al

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 9:29AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I set mine outside in full sun all summer in SW Texas. The leaves don't burn provided they are regularly watered. The plants are about 3-4ft tall and same width. The pots are 15 gal. They need about 3 qts of water a day in summer.

They set so much fruit I have to thin some off. This is after I prune twice a yr to reduce fruit buds and increase vegetative growth.

I would agree that fruit yield will be proportional to the amount of sun they recieve.

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 10:01AM
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Does anyone have an opinion if blueberries will fare as well (if not better) in pots vs in the ground? It would seem that in pots you could much more easily control their soil and give them what they need in a controlled space. I'm about to plant some and have access to some big 20 gallon containers (the big beer buckets with rope handles). They are at least 20 gallons I think. pretty easy to move as well. And they would hold up for a long time. drill holes, plant done. I do like the idea of containers even though space isnt an issue here.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 4:04PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

If you have naturally acid soil in your area, then growing them in the ground would be easier than in pots. You may even need to collect rainwater for potted plants. Don't think rain alone will be adequate for potted bb. You will get bigger plants, more fruit, and possibly bigger berries in the ground. My berry size has been good in pots. But on all my fruit trees, fruit size is much smaller in pots than in-ground trees. I have had good fruit quality on all my potted fruit including bb.

If birds take your bb, then protecting the fruit might be easier with potted. Depends on if you think potted would be easier to cover. I move mine into my greenhouse during bloom and fruiting to protect from frost and birds.

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 4:49PM
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Much better yields going with containers then in the ground from what I have observed. You can condition the soil to a PH range around 5 easier and fertilize it more effectively as well in a container.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 3:40AM
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Blueberry roots seem to be very sensitive to high soil temperatures so black pots, especially black plastic pots, have some risk. Shade the pots (i.e., down near the ground, as mine are now) or paint them a very light color (as my future ones will be).

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 7:19PM
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