Planting Rabbiteye Blueberry Bushes

How To Plant Rabbiteye Blueberries

1. Blueberries grow best in soil pH from 4.5 to 5.5.  Sulfur powder acidifies the soil, while ammonium sulfate acidifies and fertilizes the soil. Because Rabbiteye blueberries are especially sensitive to fertilizer, use sulfur powder to adjust soil pH.

2. It’s best to plant Rabbiteye blueberries in a row that runs north and south to ensure the bushes receive full sun. Plant individual bushes at least 5 feet apart since the diameter of a mature Rabbiteye blueberry could reach 5 feet. Allow at least 10 feet between rows for transporting mulch to the plants.

3. Break up the root ball of Rabbiteye blueberries grown in containers before planting in new ground. Prune the tops back with pruning shears to between 6 and 12 inches in height, removing no more than half the top growth.

4. Dig holes larger than root ball to allow for expansion of roots but keep plant close to top of row for water drainage. Mix the excavated soil with 1 to 2 gallons of peat. The amount of peat needed depends on the quality of the soil. Use more for heavy clay and less for sandy loam. Mound the peat and soil mix in the hole to make a base for the bush's roots. Spread the roots and set the plant at the same depth it grew in the container. Layer more soil mix in the hole and press firmly around the roots. Water thoroughly to eliminate air pockets.

Tips and Warnings: Don't overfertilize. Since new plants could be killed by fertilizer applications, use none in the first year. Second-year plantings could benefit from two applications during the growing season. Since the right amount depends upon soil type and age of plants, consult your county extension agent for specialized advice.

Things You'll Need: Shovel, Peat, Pruning shears 



Last Modified: April 1, 2014

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