When you are planting blueberry bushes in your yard, it helps to know how tall and wide they will get. That way, you can plan for where to place them and how much space to leave between bushes.
So, how big does a blueberry bush get? A blueberry bush can have a height and width between 1 and 12 feet (0.3 and 3.6 meters). A blueberry bush grows slowly, and some take 8 to 10 years to reach full size.
Of course, the size of a blueberry bush depends on the variety. There are dwarf or “patio” varieties that only grow to a height and width of 1 to 3 feet (0.3 to 0.9 meters), while some larger varieties can reach a height and width of 8 to 12 feet (2.4 to 3.6 meters).
Let’s take a closer look at blueberry bushes, including how big they can get, how much space they need, and how fast they grow.
How Big Does A Blueberry Bush Get?
A blueberry bush will have a height and width of 1 to 12 feet (0.3 to 3.6 meters) at maturity. Of course, the time to maturity, along with the final height and width, will depend on the variety of blueberry bush that you plant.
The four varieties you might commonly see are:
- Northern Highbush Blueberry – tallest and most common variety
- Southern Highbush Blueberry – a short variety (but not the shortest!)
- Lowbush Blueberry – the shortest variety, they tend to spread far and wide over the ground
- Rabbiteye Blueberry – taller than Southern Highbush, but shorter than Northern Highbush
How Tall Does A Blueberry Bush Get?
The height of a blueberry bush at maturity depends on the variety. Here are the heights of blueberry bushes by variety.
- Northern Highbush Blueberry – grows 6 to 12 feet (1.8 to 3.6 meters) tall at maturity. For more information, check out this article on Northern Highbush Blueberries from Wikipedia.
- Southern Highbush Blueberry – grows 1 to 4 feet (0.3 to 1.2 meters) tall at maturity. For more information, check out this article on Southern Highbush Blueberries from Wikipedia.
- Lowbush Blueberry – grows 2 to 24 inches (5 to 61 centimeters) tall at maturity. For more information, check out this article on Lowbush Blueberries from Wikipedia.
- Rabbiteye Blueberry – grows 3 to 6 feet (0.9 to 1.8 meters) tall at maturity. For more information, check out this article on Rabbiteye Blueberries from Wikipedia.
How Wide Does A Blueberry Bush Get?
The width of a blueberry bush at maturity also depends on the variety. The width will give you a good indication of how far apart to space blueberry bushes.
For example, if a specific variety grows 6 feet wide, then bushes should be planted at least that far apart, to allow enough space for growth. Allow even more space if you want to be able to walk between blueberry bushes planted in a row.
Here are the widths of blueberry bushes by variety.
- Northern Highbush Blueberry – grows 6 to 12 feet (1.8 to 3.6 meters) wide at maturity.
- Southern Highbush Blueberry – grows 1 to 3 feet (0.3 to 1.2 meters) wide at maturity.
- Lowbush Blueberry – grows up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) wide at maturity.
- Rabbiteye Blueberry – grows up to 3 feet (0.9 meters) wide at maturity.
For more information on highbush blueberries, check out this blueberry fact sheet from the USDA and this article from the University of New Hampshire Extension.
How Much Space Does A Blueberry Bush Need?
Generally, a blueberry bush needs a circular area with a diameter equal to its width. For example, a blueberry bush with a width of 6 feet at maturity will need a circular area with a diameter of 6 feet (about 28 square feet).
However, keep in mind that a blueberry bush may grow wider than the width indicated in a catalog. Also, remember that the blueberry bush may grow skewed to one side, especially if you prune unevenly (or not at all!)
As mentioned above, leave at least as much space between plants as the width at maturity. For example, if your blueberry bushes will have a width of 6 feet at maturity, leave 6 feet or more between them.
You should leave even more space if you want to be able to walk between bushes planted in a row. You should leave even more space between rows of blueberry bushes.
This extra space will make it easier to prune, water, fertilize, and harvest the bushes.
For more information, check out this article on blueberries from the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
How Fast Do Blueberry Bushes Grow?
Blueberry bushes grow slowly, with some taking 8 to 10 years to reach full size. This means that a blueberry bush with a height of 8 to 10 feet at maturity will only grow about 1 foot per year.
Smaller patio varieties will probably reach full size sooner than large varieties.
Your blueberry bushes will need a few years before they start producing fruit. For more information, check out my article on when a blueberry bush bears fruit.
Remember that pruning will also remove some of the height and width from your blueberry bush.
Should I Prune My Blueberry Bush?
Yes, you should prune your blueberry bush. You should start pruning a blueberry bush in year 3, after the bush is finished producing fruit for the season.
You should prune in late winter or early spring, before new growth starts on the bush. Remove the oldest, darkest branches, since they will eventually stop producing fruit.
For more information, check out this article from Burpee on how to grow blueberries.
Do Blueberries Need A Trellis?
No, blueberries do not need a trellis. No support of any kind is needed for a blueberry bush.
How Much Fruit Does A Blueberry Bush Produce?
A blueberry bush that has reached maturity (3 years after planting) can produce several quarts of blueberries per season.
By the sixth year, you can expect as much as 2 gallons of blueberries per bush. This yield will increase as the bush grows, given proper watering, fertilizing, and pruning.
For more information, check out this article on blueberries from the University of Georgia Extension.
What Type Of Blueberries Should I Plant?
There are many different varieties of blueberry bushes that you can plant in your garden. However, before you choose one from a catalog, make sure you understand chilling hours and dormancy!
USDA Plant Hardiness Zones, Chilling Hours, and Dormancy
Most varieties of blueberries can survive up to Zone 4 or 5, and some can survive as far south as Zones 9 or 10. The reason some blueberry bushes may not survive further south is because they require a certain number of chilling hours in the winter.
Most blueberry bushes need 200 to 600 chilling hours each winter. A chilling hour is an hour where the temperature is between 32 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit (0 to 7 degrees Celsius).
If a blueberry bush does not get enough chilling hours, it will fail to break dormancy in the spring. This means no flowers or fruit that year.
Another threat to your blueberry bushes is a late spring frost. If you get a cold snap after your blueberry bush breaks dormancy in the spring, you will lose all of the flowers on the bush, leading to no fruit that year.
This is frustrating if you live in a warm climate, but it is how the blueberry bush protects itself. If the bush flowers too early during a mild winter, a late spring frost can kill all of the flowers and destroy any chance of a blueberry harvest that year.
Before purchasing blueberry bushes, make sure that your climate gets enough chilling hours in the winter to produce fruit, while also staying warm enough to keep the tree alive. Always check the catalog to find the Plant Hardiness Zones where a variety of blueberry bush can grow.
Types of Blueberry Bushes To Plant
For a detailed list of blueberry bushes, including information on USDA Plant Hardiness Zones, height, and width, check out my article on blueberry bushes.
You can also check out various types of blueberry bushes on the Stark Brothers website:
- You can check out Northern Highbush Blueberries from Stark Brothers here.
- You can check out Southern Highbush Blueberries from Stark Brothers here.
- You can check out Patio Blueberries from Stark Brothers here.
Remember that the roots of a blueberry bush are shallow, so avoid letting the soil dry out. If you have trouble with dry soil, check out my article on how to treat dry soil.
When planting a blueberry bush, dig a hole twice as deep and twice as wide as the root ball.
It is also recommended to use “hilling”, by putting a mound of soil at the base of a plant to raise it up 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 centimeters) above ground level. This improves drainage to prevent root rot and other over watering problems.
For more information, check out my article on over watering your plants.
At this point, you know how big a blueberry bush will get, in terms of both height and width. You also know what to look out for when choosing a blueberry bush variety that is right for your climate.
You might also be interested in learning about pollination for blueberry bushes (it’s a little more complicated than you would think!)
You can also check out my article on where to plant blueberry bushes.
I hope you found this article helpful – if so, please share it with someone else who can use the information.