The southern highbush blueberries grow in areas with mild winters. They tend to flower earlier in the spring and keep growing later into the fall than their northern counterpart. They grow best in the middle, lower, and coastal south, in zones 7 to 9.
Southern highbush plants grow to be 5 or 6 feet tall. One of the benefits of a southern highbush plant is that its berries tend to hold their firmness and flavor better in hot weather. So, if you live in an area with mild winters, this could be a good plant for you. If you’re looking for an ornamental (and tasty) border to set up between your yard and your neighbor’s, this could be a good choice. They say that good fences make good neighbors; you can be a good neighbor and let them have the berries growing on their side.
Don’t confuse the southern highbush with Vaccinium darrowii—a southern native shrub that only grows as tall as 3 feet. Its berries are edible, but they’re not the typical big blueberries you may be expecting.
Southern highbush plants need the same sort of protection and pruning TLC as their northern counterparts. And at the end of the season, you can leave what berries are left for the birds.
Southern highbush cultivars include:
- Golf Coast
- Sunshine Blue
Have you ever grown southern highbush blueberries? How successful were you with your crop? Please share your tips for growing southern highbush blueberries.