Choosing Blueberry Varieties

Blueberry varieties vary in height, spread and hardiness. Sporting pink or white flowers in the spring, sky blue fruit in the summer and yellow leaves in the fall, blueberries are an effective way to provide year-round interest. Choosing the right variety of blueberry will ensure that you have a healthy and productive plant.

Popular Blueberry Varieties

Blueberry plants come in two main forms: highbush (vaccinium corymbosum) and rabbiteye (vaccinium ashei). Highbush blueberries tend to be cold hardier, producing best in zones 5-7. Rabbiteye plants are more drought and heat tolerant and do well in climate zones from zone 7 south. Whichever type you choose, you'll get more and bigger fruit if you have several plants to cross-pollinate. Here are several of the most popular varieties:

  • Alapaha - This early season rabbiteye features fruit that flowers late, but ripens quickly. Alapaha's medium sized fruit are firm, colorful and store well.
  • Duke - A highbush classic, Duke plants are known for their high production of sky blue berries. This early season variety grows upright and turns yellow-orange in the fall.
  • Vernon - A relatively new variety, Vernon is an early season rabbiteye that gets high marks for vigorous growth and high production. Fruit is large and has excellent color and flavor.
  • Bluecrop - This mid-season highbush gets high marks for fruit production and disease resistance. The leading commercial blueberry plant in the world, Bluecrop produces large, flavorful fruit.
  • Ochlockonee - A late season rabbiteye that forms a vigorous, upright bush. Ochlockonee are very productive and produces large, flavorful fruit. This late flowering variety is perfect for warmer areas that are prone to sudden, late freezes.
  • Chandler - This late season highbush variety produces cherry-sized fruit in abundance. Chandler plants also have a long ripening season which will produce a sweet and juicy crop over six weeks.
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