I think the Zone 9 is related to the early bloom and the plant is actually more hardy. I have 2 Sweetcrisp in 15 Gal pots that have survived 0F lows. I have very little fruit set however so believe that's where the zone rating is suggesting
Mine did, it got that cold or colder in my garage. The plant had some dieback, but I think that was caused by coming out of dormancy too soon. The garage is probably 20 degrees warmer. Next year while it's still around 20F I'm taking them out. That way they will come out of dormancy at the right time. I figure around
march 1st for my area.
Do you have a pollinator? I also have Southmoon another SHB. You need a SHB for pollination.
I have an Emerald and a O'Neal potted right beside them. I always thought O'Neal was SHB but saw something that made think different at one time. I just received my 2 IndigoCrisp. I have much better luck with Rabbiteyes I think they are less fussy about soil and PH if I recall correct. I just know at my cabin location which is very good soil for this area as loamy sandy creek bottom land I had 1 SHB row consisting of a couple each SharpBlue, Jubilee, Misty, Southmoon right beside several rows of Rabbiteye and over a couple years all except SharpBlue died and don't believe lost a single Rabbiteye. They got very little care as I was only up there a couple times a month. I am trying to decide on leaving my SHB in 15-20 gal pots or improving an area and planting out at my primary residence which a very typical rock hard red clay.
All my SHB survived in-ground here overwintered, we got down to 7 in mid January as a season low.
No question rabbiteye are way tougher than SHB. The only reason to plant something like Sweetcrisp in those conditions is the better fruit quality. I won't plant SHB in hard red clay unless it were in a large raised bed of highly organic material. And then they'd need a good irrigation system, about like being in pots.
Just an update on my Sweetcrisp and Indigocrisp. Indigo looks the same, no real growth. it was obtained in the fall. No leaves lost either, it looks fine. Turning slighly red from the cold. it was put in the garage yesterday. I will take it out for a week or two during the day. It seems fine, probably developing a good root system.
Sweetcrisp grew like crazy. It seems to love it here. Canes are thin. This cultivar really looks different than any of my other blueberries.
Here's a photo from this morning.
Just to contrast SHB from NHB here is chandler a NHB. I like this plant as it grows well here, large berries too. taste is very good, not excellent. A cross with sweetcrisp might produce a winner for this area Note the nice fall color.
Nice! Brady I think has a Jersey that is the reddest blueberry I ever saw. The NHB are attractive in the fall. My Legacy looks good too, as well as Liberty and Toro.
Toro also is very sweet, mine took a hit this year and I may have to replace it. It is a good berry I will replace it if I have to.
The Sweetcrisp pictured above in 2nd leaf. After the first year I trimmed all the canes down, so what you see all grew this year. It's not a very pretty plant, which matters little, as the berries rock! Well i hope what I hear is right. i should get a few next year! Yeah!
Here is Legacy and to the right is part of Liberty.
Some of my potted blueberries broke dormancy early in the garage and I probably lost fruit on most. Although the young plant Indigocrisp looks good, and I may get some fruit. Also sweetcrisp did break, but only about half the canes, some buds still on there. hard to tell till I see flowers.
Next year they go in the shed! If they cannot survive the cold, so be it. To me it looks like Indigocrisp can take it, so can sweetcrisp. Most flower buds are dead, but the canes look excellent. Legacy and Southmoon suffered the most, and they are actually hardy outside here, strange. I'll figure it out, just a small set back.
Hang in there Drew, you will figure it out!! I really hope you get some Sweetcrisp this yr!!
My Indigocrisp will have a handfull of fruit. That's all I'll need to tell if it's as good as Sweetcrisp. Others touted as crisp, Bluecrisp and Reveille, have tried and fallen far short.
Even if Indigocrisp is not all that I need to keep a SHB for pollination. To me it looks like I can grow these here even in the cold. Observations suggest keeping them as cold as possible just like all my others. I again just looked at them and it appears Sweetcrisp does have some dormant buds that are probably flowers. Southmoon looks like it has none, Legacy has a load of buds, they started to grow and stopped, but they are still alive, the cold did not kill them. Some are bright green still even though it went to 17 F. Indigocrisp may have some buds. That plant never broke dormancy. So it was not a total disaster. It seems like moving them outside stopped them with minimal damage. Today I moved them to their summer spot in full sun.It's not going to drop below freezing for at least 10 days here. We may be set up for a late freeze this year, hope not, but all of a sudden it's spring here too. I see swelling on the stone fruit. I may have to cover them like you did. Time will tell...
Do you have them still in their pots at that temp?
I'm really trying to figure out if I can make them work here as well.
Yes, but I plan to protect them against winds and too much moisture by having them in the shed next winter. The garage again appears to just be too warm. The shed might be too cold!?
I really hope that sweetcrisp has some flowers. Although I don't have any or very few on indigocrisp. The only other SHB is Southmoon and it's tips grew the most and all died back. It appears to have NO flower buds left. It is alive though.Hoping maybe Legacy can provide pollen. Now a cross of sweetcrisp and Legacy might produce a plant that is crisp and hardy here. If I get fruit, I will grow some seeds out for sure.
Legacy and Southmoon will survive in the shed no problem. I also have Cara's Choice in a pot also. In ground are Chandler (has hundreds of fruit buds), and Liberty (has many fruit buds). My Toro died of unknown reasons. I have ordered another as the berries are outstanding on that one. Loaded with sugar, even green they are sweet. So far out of what I tasted Toro berries are the best. Bummed I lost a 4 year old plant! Wish I knew why? Worth trying again for reasons stated.
NHB grows so well here, I will go back to them if these experiments fail.Many I would like to try.
I took the same attitude with several of my potted blueberries this winter, including a Sweetcrisp. I protected it last winter (2014/2015) in a tunnel covered with heavyweight rowcover and get a meager crop at best. This season, our bizarrely warm December tricked a lot of my lower chill southern highbush and rabbiteye varieties into blooming way, way too early, and the sheer volume of flowers led me to conclude that there would be little if any fruit this spring. So instead of taking any precautions, I simply left them sitting out with no protection at all for the remainder of the winter (it was milder this year than last, though, with the lowest lows in the mid teens). Nonetheless, they all held a lot more in reserve than I expected, and the Sweetcrisp has a surprising number of flowers that have opened in the last couple of weeks. I don't expect that it will ever be a big producer here in NC, but a modest crop would suit me just fine...
I had a three-year old Toro that did the very same thing a few years back, and I was very sorry to see it go.
Some good info Ernie, thanks for posting that!
I'm going to try Toro one more time, if it dies, i will put my Legacy there. It seems to be a wonderful blueberry plant. Even though buds formed way early they seem to not be bothered at all by the cold. ALL the buds survived freezing temps. And will need to again as we have 4 days straight of mid-twenties lows coming. See what happens!
I'm in zone six and they have all survived cold with no problem. My problem has been keeping pH in right range. They are going to bloom too early for our frost dates. I've had no success at all with northern high bush. because of summer heat and low humidity.
Maybe Rabbiteye would be worth trying? Some SHB might work better. Later fruiting types.
I prefer Spartan for eating raw. They are super sweet and get to be the size of grapes. They are my favorite for now. There are several pick your own farms in Maine and we usually go pick two or three times each summer. This is where I find what kinds I want to plant. The farm I visit has Hannah's Choice,
Polaris, Dukes, Early Blues, Patriot, Spartans, Bluecrop, Nelson, Jersey, Bonus, Elliott and Aurora. I like the Spartans for they freeze very well so I can have good berries throughout the year. My least favorite are the Jersey and the Duke.
Spartan has been on my want list for some time as an early berry. Plus I am a Spartan! MSU class of 81! Now I think I'm going to have to add that one!