Kinds Of Blueberry Bushes Varieties For Home & Garden

There are majorly six types of blueberry bushes based on their growth patterns and fruit. These are Rabbiteye, Southern Highbush, Northern Highbush, Lowbush, Half-High, and Wild Blueberries.

Types Of Blueberry Bushes

Blueberry bushes comprise a vast range of varieties, each with its own distinct characteristics. These variations let blueberry enthusiasts pick the most suitable bushes for their growing conditions and preferences.


Different types of blueberry bushes can be found based on multiple factors like growth habits, berry type & taste, favorable climatic conditions, etc.


One of the primary basis of differentiation is the bushes’ growth habits. Some varieties have an upright growth habit, while others have a trailing or spreading growth. This variation in growth patterns influences the bushes’ overall size and shape.


Further, fruit characteristics also have a significant role in distinguishing the blueberry bushes. The different varieties yield berries with distinct textures, colors, flavors, and sizes. Some bushes produce large berries, whereas others produce smaller ones that are very tart or sweet. These variations in fruit characteristics present a diverse range of options for personal preference and culinary use.


Climate adaptation is another factor that contributes to the differentiation in the blueberry bushes varieties. Some varieties have been exquisitely bred and adapted to thrive in particular climatic conditions.


For instance, some blueberry varieties grow best in warmer regions with hot summers and mild winters, whereas others are better suited for cooler temperatures with harsher winter conditions.


In addition, cultivator variations and regional adaptations also add to the diversity of the blueberry bushes. Different breeding programs and geographic locations have led to the development of specific kinds of blueberry bushes better suited for local growing conditions and climates.


Thus, be it a rabbiteye blueberry, a southern highbush blueberry, a lowbush blueberry, a half-high blueberry, or a wild blueberry, each type brings its own unique characteristics and benefits to the table, contributing to the joy of growing and enjoying this delicious fruit.


Blueberry Bushes Varieties


Broadly, you will find six varieties of blueberries. Below we will discuss them in detail. Know the varieties and the care that these blueberries need to grow well.


Rabbiteye Blueberry Varieties


Height 6-10 feet
Fruit type Large, round berries with a bluish-black or purple color when fully ripe. The berries have a firm texture and range in flavor from slightly tart to sweet, depending on ripeness.
Fruit time Mid to late-season fruiting period – usually occurs during summer, allowing for a harvest of fresh berries


Botanically called the Vaccinium virgatum, the Rabbiteye blueberries are a species native to the southeastern United States. These are christened after the appearance of their berries that seem like the rabbit’s eye.


Such varieties are exquisitely known for their adaptability to warm climates, making them well-suited for regions with mild, hot, and long summers. They have become increasingly popular in the areas such as the southeastern states, where they thrive because of their resistance to some diseases and heat tolerance.


These types of blueberry bushes have some characteristics and traits that distinguish them from the other categories, such as growth habit, fruit size, flavor profile, disease resistance, and fruiting time.


Each rabbiteye blueberry variety offers a unique combination of these traits, allowing growers to select the species that best suit their needs and growing conditions.


Some examples of rabbiteye blueberry varieties include Climax, Premier, Tifblue, and Powderblue. These varieties have gained recognition for their exceptional fruit quality, productivity, and suitability for the southeastern U.S. climate.


They are widely grown for both personal consumption and commercial purposes.


Southern Highbush Blueberry


Height 6 to 8 feet
Fruit type Medium to large-sized berries with a range of flavors. The berries are typically sweet, often with a pleasing balance of sweetness and acidity. They come in various shades of blue and have smooth skin.
Fruit time Earlier than that of rabbiteye blueberries. Depending on the specific variety and growing conditions, fruiting can occur from late spring to early summer.


Botanically called the Vaccinium corymbosum, Southern highbush blueberry is a type of blueberry bush grown in regions with milder climates.


It is a hybrid of the North American highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) and various other blueberry species. These blueberries are exquisitely bred to thrive in the southern United States and other regions with similar growing conditions.


Such kinds of blueberry bushes are best suited for regions with hot summers and mild winters. They have been bred to tolerate high temperatures than their northern counterparts.


Hence, they are a popular choice for areas having a more subtropical climate. They have a semi-upright growth habit, generally reaching heights of around 6 to 8 feet. Hence, they are suitable for compact spaces too.


Because of their delicious fruit and adaptability to warmer climates, the southern highbush blueberries have gained massive popularity amongst commercial and home gardeners. Some southern highbush blueberry varieties include Emerald, Jewel, Star, and Misty.


Northern Highbush Blueberry


Height 5 to 9 feet
Fruit type Medium to large-sized, sweet, and juicy fruits with a deep blue color are valued for their taste and nutritional benefits.
Fruit time Mid- to late-summer


It is a blueberry bush native to North America and is one of the most widely cultivated and commercially vital blueberry species. Northern highbush blueberries are well-adapted to colder climates and exquisitely grown in regions with cold winters and cooler summers.


These blueberry bushes are well-suited for areas with a temperate climate, such as parts of North America, Europe, and Asia. They are typically bigger and more upright compared to the other species.


They form bushy, dense shrubs, and their fruits are used in baking, jams, jellies, and other culinary applications. They are known for their excellent flavor and versatility in various recipes. Some popular varieties include Bluecrop, Jersey, Duke, and Elliott.


Lowbush Blueberry Varieties


Height Few inches to a foot
Fruit type Small to medium-sized berries that are typically dark blue. The berries have a rich flavor, often described as sweet and tangy. They are known for their intense and concentrated taste.
Fruit time Mid-to late-summer – warmer months, usually from July to August


Botanically called the Vaccinium angustifolium, the Lowbush blueberry varieties are a blueberry bush belonging to the wild blueberry group. Unlike other cultivated blueberries, these are found in the wild and are native to North America, particularly in regions with colder climates.


Among the different kinds of blueberry bushes, the lowbush blueberry varieties have a spreading but low-growth growing habit that forms ground-hugging, dense mats.


Such varieties are well-adapted to cold climates and are cold-hardy. They can endure freezing temperatures and are found in regions with shorter growing seasons and harsh winter conditions. The harvesting for the lowbush is done by hand as the bushes are low to the ground.


However, given their wild nature, these can be more challenging to grow on a large scale than other cultivated blueberry varieties. They are also valued for their unique flavor and are employed in preserves, jams, and baking.


These are used fresh and are famous for their nutritional benefits and antioxidant properties. Some Examples of lowbush blueberry varieties include Wild Sweet and Top Hat.


Half-High Blueberry Varieties


Height 3 to 4 feet
Fruit type medium-sized berries that have a range of flavors, often combining the sweetness of highbush blueberries with the intensity of flavor found in lowbush blueberries
Fruit time Mid- to late-summer


These are a category of blueberry bushes that are hybrids resulting from a cross between highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) and lowbush blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium).


Hence, they are called the half-high as they exhibit growth habit that is intermediate between the taller highbush blueberries and the low-growing lowbush blueberries. They have a moderate height, making them more manageable than the highbush blueberries.


Like the lowbush counterparts, even the half-high blueberries are adapted to cold climates and have good cold hardiness. They can endure freezing temperatures and are suitable for regions with shorter growing seasons and colder winters.


Examples of half-high blueberry varieties include ‘Northblue’, ‘Northcountry’, and ‘Chippewa’. These blueberries have been specifically bred for their unique characteristics and are well-suited for cooler climates.


Wild Blueberry Varieties

Height 1-2 feet (approximately 5-60 centimeters).
Fruit type Small-sized berries that are typically dark blue to purple. The berries are known for their intense flavor, typically a sweetness and tartness blend.
Fruit time Mid- to late-summer


Botanically called the Vaccinium spp., Wild blueberry varieties refer to the species that grow naturally in the wild, especially in North America. Unlike cultivated blueberries, these are not usually grown on a vast scale.


Instead, they are harvested from natural habitats like forests, fields, and barrens. These bushes have a low-growing and spreading growth habit and form dense patches or mats. They usually grow closer to the ground than types of blueberry bushes.


Such blueberry varieties are adapted to specific ecological niches and thrive in well-drained, acidic soils. They are common in varying habitats, including forests, clearings, mountains, and barrens.


Typically, people grow them for their high concentration of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Wild Blueberries are nutrient-dense and have several health benefits.


Many use them for culinary applications like smoothies, sauces, and baking jams. They are also enjoyed fresh for their nutritional value and unique flavor.


Some examples of wild blueberry varieties include the lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) and the velvetleaf blueberry (Vaccinium myrtilloides), among others.


Related: Blueberry Bushes Lifespan|Best Blueberry Fertilizers


Blueberry Bushes Information

Ques 1. Which are the best-tasting blueberry varieties?

Ans. Bluecrop and Jersey are two of the best-tasting blueberry varieties.


Ques 2. What is the easiest blueberry bush to grow?

Ans. To grow blueberry bushes, the easiest one for most home gardeners is the highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) variety.


Ques 3. Which are the best dwarf blueberry bushes?

Ans. Top Hat, Peach Sorbet, Jelly Bean, Perpetua, and Sunshine Blue are the best dwarf blueberry bushes.

Ques 4. What blueberry bush produces the most fruit?

Ans. The highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) is generally known for its ability to produce a significant amount of fruit. Some examples of high-yield cultivators are Bluecrop, Jersey, and Legacy.


Selecting The Right Blueberry Bushes Varieties For Your Garden

Right Blueberry Bushes Varieties For Your Garden

When picking the correct blueberry bush for the garden, you must consider several factors to ensure a bountiful harvest and massive success. Here are some key considerations:


1. Climate suitability: Blueberries have different climate requirements. Hence, select the variety suited for your specific climate. Highbush blueberries are typically adaptable to different temperatures, whereas the lowbush kinds are better suited for colder regions.
2. Soil requirements: Blueberries thrive in acidic soil with a pH between 4.0 and 5.5. Ensure you can alter your garden soil to meet these requirements or grow blueberries in an acidic soil mixture container.
3. Size and space: Account for the space in your garden. Some blueberry varieties, like highbush, grow up to nine feet tall, whereas others, like dwarf varieties or lowbush, are ideal for smaller containers or gardens.
4. Pollination: Blueberries are typically self-pollinating. However, having multiple varieties can improve fruit set and yield. If the space allows, consider planting two or more species that bloom simultaneously for cross-pollination.
5. Harvest time: The blueberries may have different fruiting times, depending on the variety. It ranges from early to late season. By picking the species with staggered ripening periods, you can extend the harvest season and enjoy fresh blueberries for a longer period.
6. Use and taste: Consider your preferences for the intended use of the blueberries and the flavor. Some varieties are famous for their sweetness, while others offer a tart or more balanced taste. Further, some kinds are cherished fresh, while others go into baking or preserving.
7. Disease resistance: Ideally, you must pick blueberries that are famous for their disease resistance. These varieties can reduce the risk of common blueberry diseases and lower the need for extensive pest management.
8. Local recommendations: Finally, get advice from local nurseries, agricultural extension offices, or experienced gardeners in your area. They can provide valuable insights into the varieties that thrive in your specific region.


Following these factors, you can pick the correct blueberry bushes that go best with your taste preferences, garden conditions, and desired harvest.