Blueberry bushes flowering extremely early

This winter has been warm and a few of my blueberry bushes (O’Neal) have completely flowered out. I’m in Zone 7a and I have not had this happen before. I’m assuming the flowers will die off, but will they try and produce buds again? There are still plenty of chill hours to go. Any experience with this appreciated. Thanks.

We are in a similar climate zone and my SHB are in the same situation. I’m trying to determine if they will produce a crop in 2016. Hope to get some useful info back from the extension specialist for blueberry.

I’m in Northern California, and it has actually been relatively cold here, but my O’Neals are also developing flowers. I asked on this forum about early flowers last year and people told me to just let them flower, but this is even earlier! Let me know if you find out anything! Thanks.

I’m in Zone 6.

Also, O’Neal. This is my strongest bush.

Here is a link to NC State regarding chill hours on blueberry:

Also a link to their chill hour model for area of the southeast:

Based on this model, my O’neil should not be in bloom, but they are.

Yes, according to fall creek nursery’s website, O’Neal requires 600 chill hours. I know we haven’t even come close to that yet here. (Maybe 250 max so far)

Unless I don’t have O’Neal, I believe their chill hours are around 150-200. This would be more accurately aligned with my Misty, which needs 250 chill hours and currently has not bloomed yet.


The chill hour model did not work for blueberries in my area this year. We broke the 100 year record for warm temperature in December and even the most experienced people do not know what to expect from the blueberries that bloomed during December. I do not expect my SHB to bloom again in the spring and the failure of the chill hour model should give the academic researchers something to ponder! Folks are reporting several Rabbiteye variety like Climax in full bloom along with most of the SHB. Even some morning glory in bloom in the Raleigh, NC area.

I did some pruning this weekend and didnt notice any bud swelling yet but I did notice my daffodils planted last september are pushing up. thats about a month early for us.

My Emerald and sunshine blue have bloomed the most so far. They have bloomed 10 to 25%. The Sweetcrisp and ONeal have bloomed a little. The only one that has not bloomed at all is the Pink Lemonade. This is about 6 weeks earlier than the last three years. As long as the buds swell but do not all bloom I will be ok. The biggest problem may be lack of pollination due to no bee activity.
I had a peach that bloomed some in November and December. It was losing its leaves and blooming at the same time. I still have some peaches and plums with green leaves. We had our first good frost last night and temperature was down to about 34 degrees, same for tonight. I hope my stone fruit will finally lose their leaves so I can spray dormant oil. I am in a 500 chill hour zone.