blueberry - Knowledgebase Question

Charlotte, Io
Avatar for dennisroling
Question by dennisroling
March 20, 2010
what should i do if the bluebeery plants i bought don't look to good and i have a month before i can plant them. should i replant, use a light like i am doing and maybe fertize.

Answer from NGA
March 20, 2010
Blueberries sold at this time of year are generally sold as dormant, bareroot plants. They won't need to be watered regularly or exposed to very much light until they come out of dormancy and begin to leaf out. If yours are still dormant you can store them in a frost free but cool place such as a garage or garden shed. Warm temperatures are what bring the plants out of dormancy. If yours have begun to leaf out already it's because they experienced warm temperatures and think it's spring. If you cannot plant them outdoors at this time you can try to keep them growing indoors or you can simply plant them in containers and set them outdoors in a protected place (next to a building, under eaves, etc.) The cold temperatures will stop them from growing and any leaves they have developed will die, but they will produce new leaves in the spring when the weather warms up. If you'd rather try to keep them growing indoors, treat them as you would any houseplant. Bright light but not direct sunshine and moist but not soggy wet soils. If you encourage them to grow indoors you'll need to gradually acclimate them to the great outdoors by setting them outside in a shady spot for several days, moving them into more and more sunshine. This whole process can take 7-10 days. Once they are acclimated to the strong sunlight you can plant them in their permanent spots in the garden. Don't fertilize them at this point - you'll want them to grow sturdy root systems, not foliage - until they are planted in their permanent spots in the garden.

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