Blueberry Plant Information – Blueberries Everywhere

This post will give you valuable blueberry plant information as to the different types, how to prune them, eat them, care for them, and cook them.

Blueberry Plant

Blueberry Plant

Blueberry is a perennial flowering shrub with indigo colored fruit.  This plant is native to North America and has edible, and medicinal qualities and attracts beneficial insects.  There are two main types of blueberries which include a smaller species known as “low-bush blueberries” (synonymous with “wild”), and a larger species are known as “high-bush blueberries”.

lowbush – (Vaccinium angustifolium) is a low spreading deciduous shrub. The leaves are glossy blue-green in summer, turning purple in the fall. The leaf shape is broad to elliptical.

highbush – (Vaccinium corymbosum) grows 6 to 12 feet tall and wide.  The dark glossy green leaves are elliptical and up to 2 inches long. In autumn, the leaves turn to a brilliant red, orange, yellow, and/or purple.

Blueberries like well drained acidic soil with a lot of organic matter (mulch) and they do not like to compete with weeds.  I keep 6 to 8 inches of oak leaves around mine all year long.  This keeps the weeds down, keeps the roots cool and the ground moist.  Blueberries also like full sun.

blueberry

blueberry

The flowers are usually white to somewhat pink and bell shaped. The flowers attract bees and other beneficial insects throughout the year.  The fruit is a berry with a flared crown at the end. They are pale greenish at first, then reddish-purple, and finally dark purple when ripe.  The fruit is harvested either early (May-June), mid-season (June-July) or late (July-August) depending on cultivar.  I picked up several different cultivars so I would have blueberries from May through August.

The berries can be made into jams, jellies, puree, juice, used in muffins, snack foods, cereals, wines, and pies. They contain manganese, fiber, vitamins C and K. A lot of pesticides are used in commercially grown blueberries, so if you can grow your own or purchase organic, you are much better off.

As you can see in the picture titled “Blueberry Plant Information”, the plant is very nice looking with the fruit on it.

Pruning

Prune older bushes removing branches that are over 7 years old.  Remove any diseased or broken wood, plus crossing branches. You want the bush to have a narrow base and a wide, open top that allows sunlight and air in. The best time to prune blueberry bushes is late winter while they’re still dormant.

Propagation

Blueberry Plant Information

Blueberry Plant Information

Propagation can be done with softwood and hardwood cuttings.

Take softwood cuttings (4 inches to 5 inches long). Remove lower leaves leaving two or three leaves on top. Place cuttings in the propagation bed, under mist, as soon as possible at a depth of one-half to two-thirds of their length.

Collect hardwood cuttings in the dead of winter (late January through February).  Take cuttings from the mother plant from last summers growth. Insert cuttings into the propagation medium from one-half to two-thirds of their length with one shoot bud exposed. Plants can remain in the propagation bed until winter.

Medicinal

People use the fruit and leaves to make medicine.
Be careful not to confuse blueberry with bilberry. Outside of the United States, the name “blueberry” may be used for a plant called “bilberry” in the U.S.

Blueberry is used for preventing cataracts and glaucoma and for treating ulcers, urinary tract infections (UTIs), multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), colic, fever, varicose veins, and hemorrhoids. Blueberry is also used for improving circulation, and as a laxative.

Some women use blueberry for labor pains and as a tonic after miscarriage.
The dried fruit and leaves are used for diarrhea.
Tea made from the dried leaves is used for sore throat and swelling (inflammation) of the mouth or the skin lining the throat.
How does it work?

Blueberry, like its relative the cranberry, might help prevent bladder infections by stopping bacteria from attaching to the walls of the bladder. Blueberry fruit is high in fiber which could help normal digestive function. *

(Source:www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1013-blueberry.aspx?activeingredientid=1013&activeingredientname=blueberry)

Recipe

Blueberry Sauce

“Delicious, warm blueberry sauce which is fabulous on pancakes, waffles, cheesecake or ice cream! Fresh or frozen blueberries work equally well.”

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, 1/4 cup of water, orange juice, and sugar. Stir gently, and bring to a boil.
  2. In a cup or small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water. Gently stir the cornstarch mixture into the blueberries so as not to mash the berries. Simmer gently until thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the almond extract and cinnamon. Thin sauce with water if it is too thick for your liking.

(Source:allrecipes.com/recipe/70112/blueberry-sauce/print/?recipeType=Recipe&servings=8)

 

Purple Monstrosity Fruit Smoothie

“This is a great smoothie for breakfast – and sometimes dinner! You can substitute the orange juice with any mix of juices or even soy milk! The soy milk adds more of a milk shake quality than the juice does.”

Ingredients

  • 2 frozen bananas, skins removed and cut in chunks
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Directions

  1. Place bananas, blueberries and juice in a blender, puree. Use honey and/or vanilla to taste. Use more or less liquid depending on the thickness you want for your smoothie.

(Source:allrecipes.com/recipe/16490/purple-monstrosity-fruit-smoothie/print/?recipeType=Recipe&servings=5)

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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