Growing Blueberries Indoors As a Houseplant
You can have good luck growing blueberries indoors, if you select a variety cultivated for this purpose. The Michigan State Experimentation Center cultivated the Top Hat Blueberry for indoor planting. You might also have success with lowbush blueberries, but they need cold weather during dormant season to produce berries.
- Top Hat Blueberry
- Sunshine Blue
- Lowbush Blueberries
- Caring for Indoor Blueberry Bushes
Top Hat Blueberry
This indoor plant is for growing blueberries in containers. It’s a dwarf plant, which only grows to about 2 feet tall. For success with Top Hat blueberries, place your container in a sunny location in your house. It should get at least six hours of sunlight every day.
The blueberries produced by this bush are larger than the berries you usually see, even though the bush is smaller. One blueberry plant produces several pounds of berries toward the end of the summer. You can place these blueberry bushes outside during the warm weather, but it’s not required.
This semi-dwarf blueberry bush grows to about 3 feet tall, making it a good variety to grow indoors. The blooms are hot pink and produce small, tangy blueberries. The bush is self-pollinating, so you only need one to get berries right at home. You can plant Sunshine Blue outdoors, in containers for patios or indoors in a sunny location.
Lowbush blueberries are the low-growing bushes native to northeastern U.S. They require acidic soil with a pH of 4.5 to 5.0 and winter temperatures to produce berries. You can plant them indoors, as long as you put your containers in a cold location after the blueberry season is over for chilling. To produce berries, lowbush blueberries need about 1,000 hours of chilling at Chilling temperatures between 35°F (1.6°C) and 45°F (7.2°).
Caring for Indoor Blueberry Bushes
All blueberry bushes require the same kind of simple maintenance. As long as they have sunshine and water, they’ll stay healthy. Follow these blueberry maintenance tips to keep your bushes thriving:
- Organic mulch – Spread mulch, pine bark or pine needles around the base of your bush to hold in moisture and add nutrients to the soil
- Prune – During the dormant season, prune any dead canes from the base of the bush.
- Water – Blueberries need a lot of water, so keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- Sunshine – Provide at least six hours of sunlight daily
When it’s time to harvest your berries, pick them once per week. The berry clusters ripen at different times, so make sure they’re completely blue before you pick them. They can stay on the bush up to 10 days once they ripen.
Choose blueberry bushes cultivated for indoor planting, if you want success growing them in the house. Read about blueberry varieties for indoor containers.
Can You Grow Blueberries As a Houseplant?
Even if you’re a gardener who has limited space, you can try growing a number of different fruit plants. Some of these plants can even be grown inside, such as dwarf versions of some citrus trees. Other plants, such as blueberry bushes, are more difficult to grow indoors, unless you can give them all of the conditions they need.
Sun and Water Needs
Blueberry bushes are sun-loving plants. If you want to try to grow the shrubs indoors, you need to set them in front of a window that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. Blueberry plants in containers will need regular watering; don’t let the soil in the pot get too dry. Organic Gardening website recommends giving the plants up to a gallon of water per square foot of root space weekly.
Blueberry plants have pretty specific soil requirements. They love acidic soil, so don’t use regular potting mix if you try to grow them in containers. Add peat moss or sulfur to the container soil to make it more acidic. A 50-50 mix of peat moss and soil is best, according to Virginia Berry Farms. Blueberry plants prefer a soil that drains well, in addition to having a pH of less than 5.0.
Different blueberry varieties have different temperature needs. Most need cooler temperatures for a few months each year to go dormant, which allows the plants to prepare for producing flowers and berries the next season. Southern highbush berries, which can thrive in U. S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 to 10, have the hottest temperature requirements. Lowbush and other highbush varieties need freezing temperatures for a period of time. Move the plant to a cold area, such as an unheated garage or basement, during the winter.
If you want to grow a blueberry plant indoors, your best option is to choose a dwarf variety, so that the plant doesn’t take up a lot of space. Highbush varieties can grow up to 8 feet tall, which isn’t ideal for a houseplant. The “Top Hat” variety grows to about 24 inches tall and is designed to thrive in warm climates.
Can You Grow Blueberries As a Houseplant?. Even if you’re a gardener who has limited space, you can try growing a number of different fruit plants. Some of these plants can even be grown inside, such as dwarf versions of some citrus trees. Other plants, such as blueberry bushes, are more difficult to grow indoors, …