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Growing blueberries in pots

29 January 2013

Blueberries are ideal for containers – they need an acid soil and you can provide this far more easily if you grow them in a pot rather than in the ground.

Blueberry harvest
Harvest the berries from late summer and into early autumn. Pick the berries when the fruit has turned blue.


  • Blueberry plant
  • Ericaceous compost
  • Large container
  • Crocks
  • Watering can
  • Plants must be watered with rainwater to maintain the compost’s acidity
  • Sequestered iron feed

Step 1: preparing your blueberry plant

Remove the blueberry plant from its plastic pot and soak it in a bucket of rainwater for about 20 minutes prior to planting. Select an attractive-looking container about 38cm (15in) wide and cover the bottom with crocks for drainage. Put a layer of good quality ericaceous compost in the bottom of the container and place the plastic pot on top of it. Fill around the pot with compost.

Read our tips for growing in containers

Step 2: preparing the pot

Push the compost around the pot and firm it down by hand. Make sure the compost is just below the rim of the container so that it will be level with the top of the blueberry plant’s root ball.

Remember: Before you plant the blueberry, move the pot to its final position in a sunny, sheltered spot. Once it is filled, it may be too heavy to move easily.

Step 3: planting the blueberry

Remove the plastic pot from the container and place the plant in the hole created – the root ball will fit in perfectly. Ensure the top of the root ball sits level with the surface of the compost.

Careful! Do not mulch the top of the pot with manure as this can alter the acidity of the compost. Instead add a mulch of pebbles, gravel, slate, shells, or pea shingle.

Step 4: caring for your blueberry plant

Your plant will need netting in summer to prevent birds stealing the berries – construct a wigwam from attractive hazel or willow sticks and hang the netting from this.

Careful! Plants need watering with rainwater as it is more acidic than tap water. To collect it, rig up a water butt to collect the runoff from a shed roof or house.

Blueberries thrive in moist, acidic soil in full sun – ensure that you give them ericaceous compost and water them with rainwater to keep them happy and healthy.

Things to watch out for...

Garden thieves: Birds can rapidly strip a plant of its berries and are the most likely threat to your crop, so make sure you rig up some netting to protect the plant when the fruit starts to ripen.

Spindly growth: Lightly prune blueberry plants in early spring before they come into new growth. Remove some of the older wood at the base of the plant and cut back any dead or damaged growth.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.