Blueberry zone hardiness question

ridgerunner14_wv(z5/6 WV)September 19, 2013

I just bought a Premier Blueberry bush at a local Lowes. I'm in zone 5/6. The tag said it was hardy to zone 3. But while doing research on the net I see that it is only hardy to zone 7. Naturally I'm confused. I know very little about blueberries, and now am afraid I made a mistake. Can anyone help me with this issue? I haven't planted it yet, and want to return it if it is not hardy here.

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I'm fairly sure Premier is a Rabbiteye,which are mostly southern Blueberry bushes and most comfortable in zones 8-10.It may not survive in your location. Brady

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 12:57AM
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There's definitely a rabbiteye variety called Premier, and it's definitely hardy at least to zone 7 (where I am and where rabbiteyes are the type that grows best of all, even though other types do better in other zone 7 regions -- rabbiteyes are more of an intermediate zone blueberry compared to southern highbush.) Nurseries I trust recommend rabbiteyes as low as zone 6. Factors other than zones (which are based solely on extreme low temperatures) play into which type of blueberry will do best in any given location, but if you ever get temperatures below -10F then that probably does limit your options to northern highbush.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 8:27AM
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Not familiar with that variety, but I know many varieties of blueberry are hardy to zone 5.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 2:40PM
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I grow Premier and a dozen other rabbiteye types here in zone 6 KY - have had some in the ground, producing, for more than 15 years. FAR more productive for me than the northern highbush types were. YMMV.
I'll bet that WV extension folks won't recommend rabbiteyes, but bet they'll work for you. You might also consider planting some Southern Highbush varieties - seems like they're reputed to bloom a little later than most rabbiteyes, and are less likely to experience frost/freeze damage to blossoms/young fruit than the rabbiteyes - and will likely outproduce the northern highbush types in your area.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 3:16PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I'm in zone 6 too, but it is a cold zone 6. Still I'm going to try some rabbiteye and SHB types anyway. Some are rated to this zone anyway. And like reported. I have been here 56 years and it never got to -10 degrees in that time.
NHB does good here. It likes the cold apparently. I have three of them and they grow like crazy. I'll start with a couple SHB. South Moon is a good one and I want that cultivar. I'll need to add another and Sweet Crisp is to Zone 7, but probably the best blueberry out there. So I'm going to try it. If it fails I'll add Sunshine Blue. Also known to be hardy here.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 4:15PM
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ridgerunner14_wv(z5/6 WV)

Thank you all for your helpful replies! I opted to not take the chance and to return the Premier Blueberry bush. I have two other young plants (Brigatta & Bluegold) that I planted last fall. They are both northern highbush plants. As small as it is, Bluegold produced berries this year which were delicious! So, when I saw the Premier at our garden center I was attracted to the large size and healthy appearance. I assumed (mistakenly) that it would be hardy to this zone. Now I know better and will be more aware. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 10:18PM
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Next time, bring your ipad touch or smart phone to the store if you have them. Connect to their free wifi and research as you shop. That is what I do. Sometimes you can find real gems at Lowes and HD. I found Chippewa blueberry and Pink Lemonade, which is also a rabbiteye but the tastiest blueberry I have ever had - and it is hardy too!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 5:40PM
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