By Trish Holder
I love my blueberry bushes. You would love them too.
We planted five Sunshine Blue Highbush (Vaccinium x ‘Sunshine Blue’) blue berry bushes as part of our original Greenspiration Home landscaping in Spring 2009. Every summer since then we’ve been blessed with a steady supply of fresh, yummy blueberries.
Effortlessly edible, these blueberries have flourished despite our neglect. We do nothing to keep them alive. Nada. We simply planted the bushes on the south facing side of our house where they get unobstructed sun all day long. We followed the usual recommendations, digging a nice deep hole and mixing in a fair amount of organic material. And we watered them for a few weeks after planting just to get them established. After that they were pretty much on their own.
Not only do these drought tolerant plants easily yield their value in edible fruit each summer, they provide year round visual appeal. They bloom in spring with masses of pink flowers, which evolve into cluster after cluster of blueberries. The blueberries (fat and juicy) ripen to perfection in early to mid-summer. The foliage is dense and green throughout the warm months and then in fall turns a lovely purple-red color. They are considered “semi-evergreen” and I can personally attest that these plants look nice just about every month out of the year. They are in their third season and we’ve yet to see any signs of disease or bug infestation, which I find slightly mystifying.
Here’s a quick overview of why this practically-minded homeowner thinks the Sunshine Blue Highbush blue berry is a must-have for anyone in zones 5 thru 10:
- They pay for themselves in a season! Have you noticed how expensive blueberries are? Plus, there are no transport cost or emissions to what you grown in your own back yard.
- They don’t require any pesticides or fertilizer (so far)
- Once established, they don’t require any watering.
- Each ornamental plant will grow to about 3 to 4’ tall and wide. That’s less grass you have to mow. Besides, grass doesn’t yield fruit!
- Tolerant of high pH, they are able to thrive even in North Carolina red clay!
- Blueberries are full of antioxidants, which keep you youthful. And it is twice as much fun to eat what you grow yourself.