I know you're supposed to pinch strawberry plants for their first year. That way you have higher yields of strawberries the following years because the roots have been able to fully develop during that first year.

Does the same hold true with blueberry plants? Would I need to pinch off the blossoms during the first year I've planted them?


1 Answer 1


Blueberry plants don't always flower much the first year, and I usually leave them. However, like strawberry plants, blueberries are establishing a root system during the first year or so, and it is beneficial to remove flowers to divert the energy sources toward something that will benefit the plant. There are some cases where I've had to start pinching flowers because the plants weren't growing at all, but loaded with berries from year 1.

So if you don't have a huge plantation or something huge, I'd recommend pinching the flowers the first year. Blueberries are a longer term plant than strawberries, so anything you can do for them in the beginning will greatly help the plant later on. Under good conditions, in 5 years or so, you might have a 6 1/2' giant bush producing over 20 quarts per plant.

I've found that in less than ideal conditions, potted blueberries adapt a lot better than bareroot plants. Actively growing potted plants with leaves aren't going to flower, dormant stock might. Look for a significantly wider bud. Or if you're planting in the fall, which is a good idea, you could get flowers from bed or pot grown plants.

  • I have a baby Sunshine blueberry plant that put out dozens of flowers before it even reached half a foot tall. I had to pinch off the flowers day after day. Some inner flowers escaped my reach and bore fruit. I'd suggest this plant for areas with mild winters and for those that don't want to fiddle to much with the soil pH. This one's easy to grow. And it's a low bush, so it doesn't need a trellis.
    – JoJo
    Sep 4, 2014 at 5:45
  • @JoJo I wasn't aware that any blueberries needed trellising. Around here, the tallest ones don't get much over 7' tall, and are self supporting.
    – J. Musser
    Sep 5, 2014 at 3:38
  • I guess you're right. I originally thought that nearly all tall berry plants (raspberry, blueberry, goji) needed supports, but it seems the highbush blueberry plants have really sturdy and woody branches. I shall try a highbush variety next year.
    – JoJo
    Sep 5, 2014 at 5:48

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