Has anyone tried to grow blueberries on Oahu? How did they do? What cultivars did you use. I would love to hear about your experience. I want to grow blueberries but it doesn't really get below 55 here.
I was about to post the same question including strawberries or any other that can grow here (on my balcony). Any thoughts?
Your temps won't really allow it. Why not grow strawberry guavas? They are very high in vitamin C and delicious.
Your best bet is to check with the University of Hawaii extension agent to see what you can grow there in the Islands. I grew up in Kaneohe back when Kaneohe was agricultural. There are many things you can grow if you are willing to stick to things that can be grown there. There is a large agricultural community there. How about Farmer's Markets? What are they growing? When I was on the Big Island recently, I went to the Waimea farmer's market and they had all kinds of great vegetables. Kale grows quite well there too. Okra too, but a locally developed variety.
I bought the Sunrise and the Sharp Blue Blueberries from the Kalihi Palama Koolau Farmers Nursery, Oahu. Yup, they grow on Oahu and will fruit. My Sunrise died, however, I think its because my wife gave it some fish emulsion fertilizer, but the Sharp Blue is fine.
I've heard blueberry hybrids have been developed for the islands. gtanaka-how long have you been growing your blueberries? What is the yield like? What elevation are you at? Acid clay?
Why would fish emulsion hurt the blueberries?
Made contact with the guys over at UH involved in the studies. The two biggest problems are birds and rust. I think rust is a bigger issue since you can net against the birds. I've linked to a ctahr publication on blueberries that has more information on the cultivars trialed, growing conditions and even pictures of the project, complete with bird netting.
Here is a link that might be useful: This might help
I bought the sharp Blues in January, they were in six inch pots, so they were very small, only about five inches tall. So I've only had them a few months when it started to flower and fruit. Sharp Blues are not good producers their yeild are lower than most others. My Sharps only fruited at the tips of new growth, the Sunrise is a much better producer, when mine died it was loaded with small blueberries and it was only a very small plant, six inch pot same as the Sharps. The Sharps are now about a foot tall but only a few new branches have grown, but they are sturdy. I'm planning on keeping them in a pot, I live in Honolulu and my soil has nematodes that kill a lot of my plants.
Thank-you gtanaka. Interesting that the bush fruits for you in Honolulu. I hope to try a few bushes this spring.
Where are you guys gettin these bushes ? Haven't seen them for sale over here on Kauai, but I'd like to try them.
I have a Sharp Blue, but it's struggling. Can anyone tell me what kind of conditions I should give it?
I still have my Sharp Blue. Its not really taking off, but has new shoots, just not really branching out. This year I also picked up a Misty, O'Neil, and replaced the Sunrise that died. Got them from Star Super Market in Moiliili. They are all doing OK, just not really branching out like I thought they would. I gave them some Azalea fertilizer, its more acidic than others, which is what the blue berries like. I'll fertilize more and see what happens. Each of the blue berries did fruit, although very little.
I joined the gang and got a Misty blueberry at K-mart. Its planted (about 2 weeks ago) but hasn't done anything interesting. Put it straight into the ground with compost and a little 16-16-16. In the meantime my apricot and mountain apple that had all the leaves get eaten by whatever makes those perfect - kine round holes; finally came back with some new leaves after those last tradewind nightime rains. What makes those holes ? Japenese beetles or slugs ? Whatever it is seems to be doin it at night ! And it seems really bad during the drought periods !
Gtanaka did the azaelia fertilizer help ? How are yours doin now hawaii50 ? Please lets keep in touch on these new low chill fruits,
Aloha and Mahalo
Here's how I'm attempting to grow blueberries, although it's more like how not to grow blueberries. I bought two Sharp Blue plants by mail order from the mainland a few months ago. After I planted them, the leaves, which were green, fell off. I attributed that to winter. But the leaves have only started growing again very recently, and it is already summer. Moreover, the leaves are growing back very slowly, and there are only a few leaves on each plant. In addition, the leaves are brownish rather than green. The plants are in 2-gallon plastic pots of well drained growing mix made of commercial compost, small cinders, and small bark. They get watered once a day. They are in full sun for about half of the day and bright shade for the other half. I've given the plants compost tea, alfalfa tea, and Eleanor's VF-11 plant food to try to encourage growth, but with little success. Help!
i did pick a few up this winter-6" pots grown out by Chun's nursery. Saw the same ones for sale at Walmart about a week after i purchased mine. Later in the season i saw much larger plants available in those long narrow fruit tree pots-3 gallons maybe. they had quite a few varieties available-i picked up a newer one that needs only 150 hours of chill. Can't remember the name right now-i'll post later if it comes to me. They are still potted (i'm slow) but doing ok-a cup or so of fruit per bush total but only two or three berries ripen at a time. The first few were sweet but now are a little bit sour even tho' they are well colored.
The variety name is Sunshine, an extremely low chill Southern Highbush.
I bought the Misty and since I planted it - its not lookin real good
Five little branches of new leaves are emerging from the otherwise bare branches of one of my SharpBlues, so there is now some hope for it. Maybe the plant has finally figured out that spring has sprung (and passed).
I purchased two Sharp Blue blueberry plants from Lowes in Waikele, Oahu about two months ago. They were very healthy at the time and since then are sprouting new growth as well as producing flowers. I believe that as long as I do not experience any "rust", my plants will do just fine.
All of my fruit bearing plants live in the same long planter consisting of indigenous soil from the Kapolei area. The only difference is that they are mixed with black cinder that thru the years have "melted down" and become a part of the soil mix. They must make a difference because of the success I am having in a non desirable climate such as Kapolei.
I now have a Florida Prince peach tree, a Dorsett Golden Apple, a Santa Anna apple tree(I'm guessing because it turns red and yellow), a ruby red grapefruit, and a clementine tangerine. All of them produce fruit although the peaches grow to only the size of a plum at this time.
Care to comment, go right ahead.
Agghhh! You should have told us when and where you bought your Blueberries from, Kenny. I might go at Lowes in Waikele tomorrow to see if they still have some. How much was it and were there a lot of it when you left the store?
Darn it. It is all gone, I looked everywhere in the store. The trip wasn't wasted, though. I bought two variety of grapes!
Why no postings after Aug.09? I am very interested in the continuing outcome of the blueberries. I am on the Big Island, Hilo side and seriously thinking of buying/planting but would like to hear from those who are already involved.
Just a sloooooow forum bk. My plants did OK until they got run over by the lawn mower. Not great, just OK, but then i didn't take any special care with them either.
There is an experimental blueberry farm up in Waimea (Kamuela) in two different places. They had one over near Merriman's and one at the U of H agricultural place as you are coming into Waimea from Hilo. They were growing them under a net because of birds and then found out that the rust was a worse problem. They planted a dozen different cultivars to see which would do the best and overall size and productivity seemed to favor "Jewel". As far as where to get the plants, I've seen some mentioned on Craig's List or you can mail order from Bay Laurel Nursery in California. They have lots of nice low chill plants available.
I've planted seeds recently from the Costa Rican Blueberry (Vaccinium consanguineum), indigenous to the mountains in that country, which I think will do well here.
the home depot in hilo is selling four different types of blueberries; abundance, windsor, emerald, and primadonnas. just bought them this morning and havent put them in the ground yet. there are also a few natchez blackberrie plants for sale. the plants look healthy, sturdy stems and dark green leaves. we live close to hilo, couple hundred feet above sea level, hopefully going to get the bushes going in the yard today, we'll see what happens!
Even though they say these are low chill, they do need a cold spell to be productive. Its not just the low chill for a few days, you need to get them down low and stay low fr a while. Something we lowland growers are not capable of doing. If you live at elevations of 2-3,000 feet then it's a sure thing for low night time temperatures.
Even a "low chill" variety is misleading as many blue berries love the cold spell to flower and fruit well. You may have fluke cold spells every few years and this will not happen every year. I still say, grow what you grow best. Why grow a plant that is not suited to your conditions. It will always be cheaper to BUY strawberries in the clamshell than it would ever be to grow your own. The cost of everything you do buy to get a hand full is just simply more expensive than doubling the cost of store bought blueberries at its highest price.
I used to grow these in Kailua near sea-level, about 4 varieties- Sunshine blue, Sharpblue, O'neal and Misty. They would variously bloom year-round-perhaps not the best for commercial production but they did produce some very nice-tasting fruit. 3 of these 4 varieties are known to be evergreen or at least semi-evergreen in mild-climate areas of the mainland, never shed all of their leaves here and need between 100-200 chill hours...but then again chill hours are not well understood.
Hi, I just bought a Emerald blueberry from HD and a Sunshine Blue from the NEX garden shop. I figured if strawberries are able to grow and fruit in Honolulu maybe blueberries can. Is it worth the trouble to try and grow?