First ever post after learning a ton from this community. We planted three bare root blueberry plants last year (in containers) and loved the outcome. Now we want to add a good 10+ more for our family. However, I am having trouble finding varieties through online retailers since so many exclude shipping to California. The varieties I found (specifically looking for Southern Highbush) are limited to Emerald, Jewel, Jubilee, Misty, Southmoon, and Sunshine Blue. The three that we found last year are Oneil, Reveille, and Southmoon.
What are the “must have” varieties for every blueberry lover?
Suggestions on retailers/sources willing to ship to California?
I think most folks are pretty thrilled with ‘Sweetcrisp’. You can get them from Florida Hill Nursery. They had some issues several years ago, with mismarked plants, but I think they’ve gotten that issue fixed. I have not grown Sweetcrisp, but I have grown Star, Jewel, O’Neal and Emerald, all of which are excellent choices for California gardeners. Emerald is a good choice as a cross pollinator. My Emerald produced very big, sweet, delicious berries. Star is precocious and bears well and long. Jewel is large, sweet and very crispy. These are all great cultivars for my area (N. San Diego county, CA). Most of my good, local garden centers carry these cultivars, so for me, not necessary to order them online. But, if you’re not finding any of these are your better garden centers, Groworganic.com has some of the cultivars. EdibleLandscaping.com has a few as well. Same with FHN. One thing you might want to consider, is to spread out your harvest with early, mid and late blueberries. Just be sure you’ve got enough cross pollinators so you can get those early or late cultivars get pollinated. The cultivars I’ve listed have enough cross over bloom to all pollinate each other. Star is early as is O’Neal (which will produce off an on through summer), Jewel and Sweetcrsip are early/mid, Emerald is mid. Good luck, and let us know what you end up with! We can do very well with blueberries in containers here in California. And, they are actually very pretty, ornamental container plants as well. Some cultivars, such as O’Neal, whose leaves will turn brilliant red in the late fall/winter, if your temps are chilly enough. Indiocrsip I think is a bit overrated, from many reports, plus, I have not seen it available at any retailer here in Calif, or by an online seller that can/will ship to CA.
Alden Lane has a good selection, but it’s way overpriced (although my wife buys some plants from them anyway). I particularly hate how they receive bareroot fruit trees from DWN and instead of selling them bareroot for $25-$27 as honest nurseries do they put these trees into pots and immediately sell them for $40-$45. I consider this a rip-off against inexperienced home growers who don’t know better.
You can check some popular varieties on the Dave Wilson Nursery (DWN) site: http://www.davewilson.com/product-information/product/Blueberries — you can click on “Where to buy” link next to the variety name and it will show you the list of retail nurseries that sell this variety; there you will be able see which of these nurseries are in your area. Many retail nurseries in California sell DWN bareroot plants; most typically start selling in early January, but some start as early as late December. Note that some local nurseries sell bareroot plants and others put the same plant into a biodegradable pot and sell five gallons of dirt for extra $15-20.
When I used to buy blueberries for my nursery operation I found wholesalers that sold them in 1 gallon containers in a mix of sand and peat moss. Blueberries are probably worth purchasing as small container plants if available at a reasonable price to reduce transplant shock. Of course, wholesale often makes this possible as I only had to pay a little over $2 a plant for 2 year old, 18" tall plants in pots. That was 15 years ago when I last ordered, they are probably double that now.
A couple of years ago I tried to find a company that would ship Sweetcrisp plants to California, and I couldn’t. Maybe I just didn’t look hard enough, but I think there may be some kind of restriction on sending them here. Here’s a typical notice from a company that sells Sweetcrisp: “Note: We’re so sorry… but due to agricultural restrictions we cannot ship any plants to international countries, or the states of California, Hawaii and Alaska. Also, no citrus trees can be shipped outside of the state of Florida.”
Lizzy, FHN will ship Sweetcrisp to CA. Citrus trees are now severely restricted, not just state to state (that’s been that way for some time, now), but even within citrus states, county to county, and even city to city in some areas. Florida, however, DOES now have the ability to ship citrus outside of FL, to certain states (non-citrus states, CA NOT being in that category, it is most definitely a citrus state), if the grower has the required certifications. That’s a whole other topic, though, and don’t want to pursue this topic in this message thread, since it’s about blueberries
Rolling River is a great CA nursery, btw, forgot about them.
Yup, Green Thumb is a great, great place to go, as is Andersen’s in Poway. And El Patio in Escondido. Clausen’s for great, reasonably priced citrus. We are very fortunate to have some great garden centers with real hobbiest gardeners’ attitudes. We live in gardening mecca for sure.
Personally,I still don’t trust FHN,for what they did to their customers and I’d be surprised and happy for their new ones if they have the real Sweetcrisp.
I bought some plants last year from helloorganics.They are selling them on Ebay and still are,I just checked.I’m not sure if they are legitimate,as the plants haven’t fruited yet,but I’m not buying from FHN until it’s proven.The ones from helloorganics at least came with a non-propagation tag and patent #,while FHN maybe had a hand written ID.
There is also someone else selling them on Ebay.There’s one left,I think. Brady