Sunshine Blueberries

tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)August 9, 2008

So, I wanted to try some of these compact blueberries that could be grown in pots...not sure they'll grow in our 10A environment but I'd sure like to give them a try since the chill hours are only 150. PROBLEM, reserve price was reasonable at $14.50 a plant BUT shipping was $30! Anyone found them at a more reasonable price?

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gcmastiffs(z10 Florida)

You need to order them bare-root, in winter. Then the cost is MUCH less. This is not the right time of year to get Blues.

I get mine from Bay Laurel Nursery, in California. But there are lots of places to buy them on line.

Sunshine Blues are terrific for zones 9-10. They do well in a container, with an acidic soil mix.

Well worth growing! But get more than you think you will need. I recommend 6-10 for an average family of 4. The berries are delicious!


    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 9:54PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Hi Lisa,

I'm so glad you responded. I was just getting ready to send you a message that I'd settled on dwarf navels, dwarf bananas and dwarf blueberries (Sunshine), although I'm putting the bananas in the ground after potting up x 2. So, I'll need some advice on container mixes for the oranges and blue berries, and should container size for the oranges be limited with frequent pot-ups so the roots are absorbing water to prevent excessive moisture in the soil mix?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 8:29AM
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cindeea(FtMyers 10)

Hey Tom, I have been wanting to try these for years. Tony keeps recommending them. He actually found someone very reliable on Ebay. When you place an order let me know, I may order with you and we can split postage.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 1:07PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Will do Cindee, Lisa's right, nobody will ship until October/November at the earliest. I was just shocked at the shipping cost...maybe Tony can give us his contact info for the fall or winter. If not I've already scoped out the site Lisa was talking about.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 6:05PM
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I have a sunshine blueberry in a pot. This is its first year and it seems to be doing great. I got about 8 blueberries, but next year I am hoping for more. Oh, don't listen to those who say you need to pick all the flowers and berries off the first year. That's no fun at all! My plant hasn't suffered.

I got mine at Park Seed mail order.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 10:05AM
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Last month I found beautiful blueberry bushes at our local Farmer's Market . They were from U of F and only $6 . The vendor had 4 varieties or more . There are lots of Florida blueberry growers . I am surprised you cannot find sellers in our own state .

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 6:18AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

For some reason they don't sell the Sunshine Blue here. I want it because its only 3-4' tall, truly self-pollinating, supposed to be easy to grow in containers and not too picky on pH...least those here that have it swear by it for these reasons.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 12:17PM
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tony_k_orlando(Z9 Fl)

After growing (trying) many varieties of blueberry plants over the years, Sunshine Blue are the best to have imo.

Self pollinating has to be the best attribute along with its small size and very tasty berries. Very few chill hours required too. They have produced very well for me over the years.

You DO need to prune em back once in a while to stimulate the plant.

When young, no matter how un-fun it may seem, flowers picked off the plant will allow it to grow twice as fast and produce 4Xs as many berries in much less time.

Earlier this yr I planted several from pots into the ground and while they took a hit from the transplant they are recovering nicely. These plants are approx 6-7 yrs old and always produced about 6-8lbs of berries per plant.

I bought several from eBAY and while they did good, I have had my BEST plants come from Parks. Cost more but soo much more robust.

If you dont get self pollinating you will need luck in having both plants bloom at the same time which I NEVER could have happen and therefor wasted yrs trying to get some fruit off them. They were yanked with pleasure.

SunShine Blue are a very rewarding plant to have in your yard.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 3:14PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Thanks Tony, you ARE the man! Thanks to Lisa too, your endorsements don't get any better to convince me what my selection will be....

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 7:44PM
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Our Kids Tropicals sells blueberries as well as the largest selection of rare tropical fruit trees in Central Florida . They have thousands of plants on three acres .
They are open by appointment only - 7 days a week . This is to make sure that someone is there to help you and that you don't drive there in vain and waste your time .
17229 Phil C. Peters Rd.
Winter Garden , Fl 34787
The owner Larry has been growing tropical fruits and exotic plants for over 30 years .
I only know all this because he was a guest lecturer yesterday at our Ag Center . I sure learned a lot !

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 9:54AM
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Larry Schatzer is also the founder of the Tropical Fruit Club of Central FL (meets in Orlando). I started going to monthly club meetings about 14 years ago. This is where I learned to garden Florida style.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 6:04AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Time to resurrect this thread, getting to be that time to place an order.... To be clear I want Sunshine Blue AND intend to grow them in containers, preferably 2-3 year old plants if possible since survival goes up dramatically (you get what you pay for). Anyone know if anybody if Florida has this one? If not, any idea where to get 2-3 year old plants?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 6:21PM
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tony_k_orlando(Z9 Fl)

My best ones came from Parks.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 8:34PM
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Tony K--Are Sunshine Blue plants the only variety you are growing now? What fertilizer schedule do you use? What planting medium has worked best? How often do you add wetable sulfur?

I planted 24 blueberry plants this summer and I would like to find out what blueberry care works best for you.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 6:31AM
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tony_k_orlando(Z9 Fl)

Hi Christine,

I moved mine from containers into the ground, I wanted to have a little official blueberry patch.

It is said the SunShine Blues are not as fussy about the pH, so I really dont bother too much with keeping an eye out for the pH like I used to. I used to sample the soil and it was always within range so I simply add acidic things to the soil when I have them, never because I had to.

As for fert, I usually only have some form of orchid fertilizer around here that I use (and I dont even have any orchids!) and give them some about every 3 months. Mostly in the winter when they are kinda dormant and more when they start to go into the bloom cycle. The fert ratio is something like 10-45-10. A bloom buster type.

I find the best thing to do is trim old wood out of the plant, this promotes bushiness and a healthier looking plant.

I will say, mine DID always look better in the containers, but this is because of the shock of moving them, they are starting to look much better.

And yes, sunshine blue is all I bother with now. The others that require cross pollination were difficult to have both blooming at the same time and swapping pollen. The Sunshines can do it all themselves, and as often as they want. I let em do their own thing and dont concern myself anymore.

I only have 5 sunshine blues now, two of which are tiny and three decent sized ones. They never get very large. Maybe 3 ft tall and wide.

Only problem with em is the mockingbirds, but we have learned how to share em.

Hope this helps relieve blueberry stress as there really isnt any and probably nothing can be done wrong.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 8:27AM
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cfldoc(9 Clermont, FL)

Started mine this past Spring in pots. I did use a mix with some peat added, pine based compost etc because I wanted it to be on the acidic side. Gave them some Miracle Grow for azaleas a couple of times but usually stay organic with mushroom compost and Espoma fertilizer. They seem to be happy but no fruit yet, since this is their first year with me. Pics from April and Sept. of this year, same pots, same plants. They have about tripled in size:

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 3:35PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Nice doc, but WHERE did you get them? Parks isn't displaying the Sunshine right now and I'd really like to get older plants if possible.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 3:42PM
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cfldoc(9 Clermont, FL)

Sorry, they did come from Parks, don't know if they will be carried again or not.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 6:46PM
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tony_k_orlando(Z9 Fl)

I am pretty sure the plants are seasonal at parks and they only send some pretty darn good ones in my experience.

CFLDOC, your plants look perfect !

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 10:52PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Thanks Tony, I sent them a message too...we'll see.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 7:17AM
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