Rabbiteye Blueberry -

(Vaccinium ashei)


Family: Ericaceae Genus: Vaccinium Species: ashei
Rabbiteye BlueberryRabbiteye BlueberryRabbiteye Blueberry
Gardenality.com Planted · 15 years ago
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Rabbiteye Blueberry Overview


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Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F · Comment About Feeding
After planting a blueberry bush, and new growth begins to emerge in Spring, apply a granulated organic fertilizer at rates recommended on package label. Refertilize at the same rate in May and July if rainfall or overhead irrigation has been good. Spread the fertilizer evenly over a circle 18" in diameter with the blueberry plant in the center. Repeat this same fertilization process in March and July of the second year spreading fertilizer over a circle 24" in diameter with the blueberry plant in the center. Never over-fertilize blueberry bushes as too much fertilizer damages them easily. From the third season on, base the amount of fertilizer applied on the size of the bushes. Spread the fertilizer evenly under and around the bushes. Continue to increase the amount of fertilizer applied yearly until the bushes are 8 feet tall. Water the plants throughout the growing season when rainfall is not adequate. Irrigation of young plants is especially important. Adequate water is essential for plant growth and important for fruit bud formation that occurs in the fall.

12 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F · Comment About Pruning
Wait to prune young blueberries until their fourth year.

After establishment, Rabbiteye blueberries require little pruning until they reach about 6 to 8' in height. At this point, a cane renewal pruning program should be started. Remove one to three of the largest canes each winter at 0 to 24" from ground level, or a total of about 20 percent of the canopy. Over a period of five years the bush will be totally renewed. New, more productive canes will sprout from the old canes and will sprout below ground level. In addition, excessively tall canes can be pruned back to 6 to 8 feet each winter.

In general, judge the amount of overall thinning needed by the size of the berries. If the berries have been small, prune more heavily the following dormant season. If large, limit pruning.

12 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Rabbiteye blueberries (Vaccinium ashei) are one of the most delicious fruits grown in the South. They are also one of the easiest fruit plantings to grow. The plant is beautiful, produces delicious fruit, and has few pest problems. The rabbiteye blueberry is native to the southeastern United States. This species is tolerant of the heat and drought of the South and grows wild in southern Georgia, Alabama, and the Florida panhandle. When planting blueberries, always plant two varieties for cross pollination.

11 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F · Comment About Planting
One of the most important growing requirements of rabbiteye blueberries is their need for cross-pollination in order to set fruit. You will need to plant more than one variety for cross-pollination to occur.

Rabbiteye blueberries have their own special "blueberry bee" that pollinates blueberry flowers almost exclusively during bloom time. Honey bees are usually not as efficient in pollinating but certain other solitary bees, such as the bumble bee, are quite effective. Do not spray your blueberry plants with chemical pesticides while they are blooming as this will kill the bees!

By selecting several varieties, you can spread out the length of your harvest time. Here are some of the most popular rabbiteye blueberries available in nurseries today, listed by fruiting season.

Early Season: Climax, Brightwell, Becky Blue, Premiere
Mid-Season: Tifblue, Powder Blue
Late Season: Centurion

If you want your blueberry planting to produce a lot of fruit, select a site that is in full sun. Choose a site with moist, well-drained soil high in organic matter. Blueberries need an acidic soil with a pH between 4.5 to 5.2 (Take a soil sample before planting blueberries). Space the plants at least 5 feet apart in a row. This spacing will result in a hedgerow or border as the plants mature. If you plant several rows of blueberries, space the rows at least 10 to 12 feet apart.

Plant blueberries at the same depth they were grown in their containers. Do not pile soil up on the base of the trunk. When planting an individual plant, make the hole at least two to three times as wide as the rootball. Amend the soil removed from the planting hole with some form of organic matter, such as composted cow manure or mushroom compost. Plant with the top edge of of the root ball slightly above ground level to allow for settling. Mulch with compost, pine straw, or aged shredded wood mulch.

11 years ago ·
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