Anyone have recommendations for a good pollinator for pink lemonade? Also include ripening time if you can. I am looking for early ripening as I have seen SWD in the area. I’m in zone 7 central VA.
The small Pink Lemonade that I have will not have any blooms this year but it is my first to start leafing out so I’m guessing that it will also bloom early. My Star, Oneal, and Climax are just starting to bloom and most likely will be a good pollination partner. Some of the other members can probably give you more accurate information.
I am in Northern VA, 7a.
I have young Pink Lemonade, Powder Blue, and Oneal plants.
Pink Lemonade is the farthest along and looks like it will bloom soon. Oneal isn’t far behind and I think will overlap. Powder Blue is significantly behind and I doubt it will pollinate with the others.
If you are willing to wait a couple weeks I will probably be able to tell you for sure…
I have over 20 rabbit eye blueberry plants. I don’t have pink lemonade. I saw it at the nursery the other day and thought hard about it because I have a couple of open spots for blueberry plants. The tag said they were rabbit eye blueberries, but the leaves look to me like they have southern highbush in them. I thought I will wait and see what others think of them before I pay money for another blueberry bush. Instead my plan is to slowly fill in the holes as my mature blueberries and my better huckleberries sucker.
Anyway to answer the question at hand, I have at least two or three of each of the following varieties: Premier, Tiff Blue, Climax, Brightwell, Powder Blue (my favorite), two good unknowns from a nursery, three duplicates from a an unknown taken from a wild population on the Winlo Pinetree Plantation in Bulloch County Georgia that I call “Winlo”, another distinct exceptionally pretty plant taken from the Winlo Plantation which I call Miss Ginny, and a third unnamed unknown taken from the same population as the others that struggled to get established in my yard and will bare for the first time this year. (Those blueberries have been growing planted forest near the remains of tenant houses that my grandfather tore down in the mid 40s. Those tenant houses were very old and dilapidated at the time according to my late mom. I imagine these blueberries are the remains from a possibly hundred year old blueberry patch and are either seedlings or ancestors to the varieties we have now. Not even Tiff Blue or Powder Blue are that old.)
As best as I can tell there is no rhyme or reason as to when one individual of a rabbit eye blueberry blooms relative to another. Most of mine are in full bloom or near about it. Some of one variety are early in the process, and some of the same variety have berries on them. The Pink Lemonade plants sitting in pots at the nursery look to be slightly ahead of the pack among the potted plants there but will be overlapped by all. In comparison to the bushes at my house they would be towards the front of the pack but behind behind Premier and Miss Genny. I have given up on messing with southern highbush varieties, they are not supposed to be cross fertile with the rabbit eyes anyway. Thanks and God bless.
Posting in this thread got me wondering exactly how many blueberry bushes do I have. Here’s the tally: 25 Rabbit Eye Blueberries, 40 Huckleberries (Vaccinium elliottii), and 5 Cluster Berries (Vaccinium tennellum.). Why so many? So that I can have some despite the fact that my yard is the Atlanta Airport for birds. So far it works for the huckleberries, not the rabbit eye blueberries. I guess 40 bushes is what it takes. I don’t have space for 40 more blueberry bushes. God bless.
So will any blueberry pollinate another as long as they bloom at the same time? Or would I need a certain type (rabbiteye, southern highbush) to pollinate pink lemonade?
This year my pink lemonade bloomed with the southern highbush varieties.
Hi Irby the answer to your question is not even close. Vaccinium (blueberry) is a large genus with many species, some quite different from each other. The highbush blueberry, Vaccinium corumbosum is a totally different but closely related species to the rabbit eye blueberry Vaccinium ashei. To give an animal comparison, the house cat, the snow leopard and African serval are all in the same genus. Humans using lots of technology have hybridized them resulting in Bengals and Savannah cats. But in nature the three species don’t usually breed successfully.
A southern highbush is kind of like a Savannah cat or Bengal of the plant world. The southern highbush blueberry through hybridization has some genes in it from V. ashei, V. myrtifolia and even sometimes V. elliottii (what I call huckleberries) but that cross breeding between species takes a fair amount of technological intervention. Southern highbush gets it’s heat tolerance and low chilling requirement from these other species, but it is still way more V. corrymbosum than anything and naturally mates with other members of its species for all the same reason that house cats mate easily with other house cats but not ordinarily with an African Serval cat.
V. corrymbosum, V. elliottii, and V. ashei are closer together than any of the three are to any other species within the genus Vaccinium which is a very large genus. All three of them are native to the East Coast and their historic distribution used to overlap a lot as far as we know. V. ashei is now extinct in the wild. No truly wild population has ever been documented. All V ashei descend from four distinct mother plants that lived during the Civil War period, and no one knows where in the SE the species arose. All we know is that the species suddenly became an agricultural crop all over the SE USA right after the Civil War. Nothing is know about how they came into cultivation. One theory is that someone stumbled on a wild patch left behind by natives during or immediately following the Civil War, but even that is just a guess.
What is known is that V. ashei would probably be extinct now were its berries not so delicious. Anyway, one of the things that distinguishes the three species is that V. ashei is hexiploid. In comparison humans and V. elliottii are both diploid. That means when cells divide the DNA clumps up into bundles called chromosomes, the chromosomes line themselves up into pairs where both members of the pair govern the same functions. That means humans have two chromosomes that determine gender. The same would be true for V. elliottii for a given trait. Well, in V. ashie chromosomes sort themselves out into groups of sixes rather into pairs that govern each trait. The genetic makeup of a V. ashei is vastly more complicated than that of a V. elliottii or even that of a human being for that matter. The difference in chromosome number by itself is likely good enough reason to keep V. elliottii and V. ashei from cross pollinating.
V. corymbosom in contrast to V. ashei is ordinarily quatraploid, meaning that the cromosomes line themselves up into fours when a cell divides. However V. corymbosum in the wild has a huge natural distribution from up into Canada to down into Florida with many, many natural races. Some of these wild strains are naturally diploid and some naturally hexiploid. By the way, not all V. corrymbosum plants make big delicious berries, and in the deep south they tend to be found along the edges of wetlands. A wild V. corrymbosum from Florida would probably not survive a Mane winter and a Mane V. corrymbosum would not survive a Florida summer. In any event. Using lots of genetic technology, interspecif breeding between these three species has been accomplished. For V. ashei, this may be essential to prevent the species from eventually going extinct. All the genetic lines of all the cultivated varieties are dangerously inbred even for a plant.
Anyway, at the end of the day, Southern Highbush Blueberries don’t interbreed with Rabbit eye blueberries because they are different species having a different number of chromosomes. God bless.
LOL! After saying that I’m not spending any more money on blueberries, what did I do? I went and spent money on Blueberries. I did not get Pink Lemonade though, because it’s a hybrid between Rabbit Eye and Southern Highbush. I did talk to the guy who runs that nursery. He’s a fruit collector himself who has Pink Lemonade plants in their third year growing in his orchard.
Like me, the nursery guy does not think Southern Highbush varieties are really disease resistant enough for most home gardeners in our part of Georgia. However, he likes Pink Lemonade. It’s key characteristic besides being pink is that it blooms and ripens its berries over a long season. You will never get a big explosion of blooms or fruit at one time most years even though its a good cropper. The berries and blooms will trickle in over a two month period. That makes it a good variety if you want to eat a few along every few days but not so good if you want to process a five gallon bucket full at a time.
It’s more rabbit eye than anything so is cross fertile with all the other rabbit eyes and for the nursery guy it begins and ends blueberry season.
As for my orchard I decided to add two Titans and one Vernon. God bless.
Thanks Marcus. Titan and Vernon were two that looked promising to me as well.
I have a mix of blueberry bushes including Pink lemonade and Sunshine which definitely have some rabbiteye genes in them. Both had berries last season. Pink Lemonade was a shy producer (may be a pollination problem?) with sweet and small berries, the least productive of all. I am not very impressed with it. But it might be not very representative data since blueberries are not supposed to grow in my area at all. Sunshine is a very nice small bush with abundant medium-small sweet berries, the sweetest of all my varieties. It survives our cold winters just fine. It is supposed to tolerate alkaline pH better. I am surprised that it did not gain popularity as Sweetcrisp or Pink lemonade.
My understanding is that Sunshine has V. elliottii genes in it as well as highbush blueberries. That’s where it gets its vibrant colors both in the berries and the leaves from. Many nurseries recommend it as a companion plant for Pink Lemonade, but you often can’t go by that I’ve found. My understanding is that Sunshine like Pink Lemonade is bred to bare berries over a long season, but a challenge that a person might have if they plant Pink Lemonade with just one other variety is that only some of the flowers will overlap with the pollination partner. God bless.
How is that Nocturne doing for you overall @DeepBlueDustin in comparison to some of your others. Rabbiteyes do very well for me here in Tennessee. I understand Nocturne has Rabbiteye lineage. You have any Rabbiteyes? How are they doing?