flowering blueberry

timndaraDecember 24, 2012

Hello All,
A few weeks ago we got 2 blueberry bushes (1 Jewel, 1 emerald )from the internet and now they are both starting to flower.We live in Little Rock, Arkansas and the plants have been outside since we got them. Is there any actions we can take or should take so we can still get fruit in the spring?

Thank you
tim and dara

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Bring them inside the coolest place you have whenever it drops below freezing. Set them out as much as possible with at least some sun but not too warm. It will be a long haul until spring but that's the only way given their current condition.

Those are early bloomers and you will have issues going forward. But if these were shipped from down south it shouldn't be this bad every year. There are varieties for your area that will bloom later.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 5:39PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

what he said as to specificity ...

i am thinking newbie here.. and there are 2 thoughts that crossed my mind ...

next time.. time delivery more conducive to your area ... keeping in mind where the order is coming from ... a lesson hard learned for me in MI ... and ordering from the deep south.. those peeps really have no clue what winter means in MI ... lol ...

and second.. it revolves around instant gratification ... i learned to expect.. or hope for.. ONLY ... that the thing will live the first year ... if it actually produces anything it is a bonus.. not an expectation ..

fruit said: you will have issues going forward.

AND I THINK he means.. your fruit crop might fail due its very early.. out of cycle blooming and fruit set ... and consistent with above.. i suggest.. who cares.. as long as it lives ...

plants are supposed to be dependent on the intensity of the sun.. and soil temps.. and i would suggest ... that near the winter solstice.. your fruit should not be blooming and setting fruit.. and for some reason.. your plants are rather confused [i mean really.. early is early.. but this is a bit over the edge]... and again.. that simply means.. the 'crop' might fail .. rather than death of the whole ...

i am dabbling in the fruit forum.. am i close fruitnut???.. or am i overgeneralizing ??? i will gladly defer to one of greater specific experience ..


    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 7:43AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Well even here in the deep south that plant is ahead. Our fall has been warm but did finally get some cold so I hope that pushes the plants back. While I have a few BB flowering which is normal but the original posters plant is about to go in to full bloom. If they were my plants I would just remove the flowers and let it put it's strength in to growth.

This post was edited by bamboo_rabbit on Tue, Dec 25, 12 at 9:52

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 8:34AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Yes it would certainly be easier to just remove the flowers. And there is some risk to the plant by trying to keep a crop given the type regime it will be subjected to. So I'd concur that removing the flowers is best at this point.

Even with flowers removed there will be possible freeze injury to the foliage if left outside full time. Little Rock probably is about zone 8a so freezes shouldn't be too severe.

This post was edited by fruitnut on Tue, Dec 25, 12 at 10:00

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 9:33AM
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timndara, to answer your question directly, the first year fruiting of blueberries is unimportant and usually disappointing. BB are long-lived so whether or not you get fruit in the first spring doesn't really matter. If your region is in the southern highbush zone, they should be fine if left outside.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 2:49PM
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thanks for the posts,
i ordered these from a nursery in my same state, they were sold as 4-5 year old plant. they have ok height and had been pruned back a bit sometime before i got them but still not too much branching. i have found out since that they originated from Florida.
I think i will just try removing the blooms and buds.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 6:03PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)


With plants that age you can remove the open flowers but leave some of the fat unopened buds so you can have some fruit this spring.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 8:39PM
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I have a row of blueberries in my garden, 19 plants long, about 4 of each variety common in this area. Out of the entire row ONE bush is starting to bloom (Premier). Just a few flowers open, with plenty of buds looking normal compared to everyone else in the row. These plants have been in the ground for years so they are not new. We have only had a few hard freezing nights so I blame the mild weather.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 8:42PM
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thanks bamboo rabbit,
i'll give that a try.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 9:05PM
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Mine are budding too, red on one side and flowers on the other. Same at the organic nursery I frequent. Just pull them off and your remaining flower buds will wait till spring

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 11:42PM
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HappyBallz(9A/B Valrico,Florida)

Mine flowered couple of weeks back... already got some fruit developing. Definitely a warm "winter" even thought so far we got more chill-hours than last year.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 9:51AM
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What kind of weather you have in little rock if the temp is high enough and no chance of snow or freeze why don't just leave them alone. My blueberry trees look dead or in deep sleep I am worried they may never woke up. It so cold outside I brought the rabbiteye inside .

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 9:56PM
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