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Pruning blueberries

To ensure a harvest of full-grown and tasty blueberries, pruning is essential. Pruning blueberries is done to prevent the blueberry plants from overgrowing and producing many, but small and tasteless blueberries. In this case, less is definitely more, so get on pruning those berries!

Blueberries pruning: the advantages

Whether we are talking about pruning blueberries first year or tenth year, it is always a challenge to prune blueberry bushes just enough, and not too much or too little. What you want is to remove enough old branches to boost new production without removing too much. Although it can be a hard task, the advantages outweigh the negatives:

  • Pruning your blueberry bush prevents overgrowing, by removing branches that have seen their best days gone by;
  • Accurate blueberry bush care stimulates growth;
  • By removing branches, the plant can focus on producing bigger and tastier berries on newer branches.

When to prune blueberries

Pruning is an annual chore that should be done before the plants start to grow in spring. This means that the best time to prune blueberries is in late winter. Around this time, the plant is mostly dormant, so pruning won’t  do any harm. Also, in winter, it is much easier to distinguish older stems from new stems. 

How to prune blueberries

The best way of pruning blueberries is of course dependent on your type of blueberry bush or plant. For example, pruning highbush blueberries can be different from pruning blueberries that grow closer to the ground. The first step in pruning blueberries is probably removing any visibly dead or damaged branches with a pruning shear, they will not be producing any new blueberries, so it is best to just get rid of them. Next, remove any crossing branches that prevent sunlight from shining in the center of the bush or plant. Last, remove branches that are very small and soft, especially the ones growing directly from the ground. Small buds with little potential should also be removed, so that other buds can grow even bigger. If you have any questions about when and how to prune blueberries, you can always ask for advice at your local garden center. If you don't have blueberries yet, you can buy them here!