Sweet northern highbush blueberry varieties - need recommendations


i have 5 of their thimbleberries and 6 of their arctic raspberries in front of them in a 12in. raised bed i put in last spring. the thimbleberry put out about 18in. of growth. the arctic raspberries haven’t done much but are hanging in there. they should take off with a good dose of compost this spring. oikios has a thimbleberry also. might want to mix them up for diversity. I’m going to add a few also.


i usually just give it to them in spring but my soil is already naturally 5.5 - 6 ph. if you have more alkaline soil you may need to give it twice a season. this isn’t fertilizer. i use a organic blueberry fert. as well as some compost. keeps it around 4.5 to 5 ph.




good luck!


try growing them in big pots w/ peat and compost. grow the mid sized varieties and they will produce well for you. try adding some white vinegar to your water to lower its ph or top dress with some sulfur. it can be done. i have terrible fill where my blueberries grow . very rocky hard clay and mine are growing fine. mulch heavily w/ pine needles after fert. and using sulfer.


That’s my plan.

I wish more people would share my love for sweet blueberries. Look forward to hearing more such recommendations.


I saw a lot of “Jersey’s” at our MA homedepot. I happened to be shopping last week and noticed that they had a ton of these!


Yes, and it is a red or pink flowered version. i have one that is 6 feet tall, cool plant, but it never fruits. Oikios says they found a strain that fruits, so I bought three. All the Thimbleberries are for my cottage. My little woods edge garden there. The ground raspberries are for here in the city. Although the cottage might be a better fit?


supposedly hartmanns and oikios both sell the fruiting white blossom ones, which i have. oikios has the pink/red version also but for show instead. the artics prefer it cooler so your cottage might be a better fit or try some at both sites. they spread like reg. raspberries supposedly. got some cloudberry/ bilberry seeds from norway in my freezer stratifying , that I’m going to attempt to grow. some have had luck , some haven’t. can find plants of these anywhere in the u.s. native to Maine but I’ve never come across them. i have a boggy , sunny spot that would be perfect for them.


I grew some nigra mulberry this year. i got two seeds to germinate. I have to keep them in a pot though. Trade Winds carries the best assortment of seeds I know of.


Thanks for that info, Mamuang, much appreciated. Our house is about 100 years old now, and I’m told that the land was previously a vegetable garden. The soil generally seems pretty good, and was acidic enough to turn my wife’s pink hydrangeas blue (or blue-ish, anyway). Which I think happens down in the lower 5 range? I still have to go out and do an actual test, but yeah, it should be a bit more favorable situation for blueberries (which are probably going to be a next-year project for me, anyway).


i have a illinois everbearing mulberry in the garage that I’m putting in this spring. have a russian mulberry thats in 4th leaf.


Peat moss and sulfur will be what you need to add to your soil. If you could have raised beds, that would be even better. I don’t have space.

If you have a way to collect a lot of rain water. That would great, too.

You are not too far from Nourse nursery, do you? A trip to the place would be good. We may visit it in early summer.



Fedco and Raintree have the wild lowbush species popularized in Maine, Nova Scotia, and Appalachia. Fedco sells nicely-rooted clumps of generic lowbushes from DownEast Maine: a good value. Raintree sells two selected cultivars. Of the two, I am finding “Brunswick” the more grower-friendly bush. It ripens June 30th here. The other one called “Burgundy” is a struggling runt for me; it is almost impossible for me to keep the weeds from choking it out.


I can confirm that O’Neal is a deliciously sweet blueberry. It is a southern highbush. I’m not sure if you could make it work in Mass.


Thanks for the tips. i will look at those and Hartmann’s too. Hartmann’s has the cultivars Little Crisp and Ruby Carpet. I’m tending to lean toward the Harmann cultivars as they are being grown here in Michigan. It may not mean anything though. I noticed though a lot of plants they sell are native and found in Michigan such as the thimbleberry. Some strains will not fruit well here. What they sell was found growing wild in the Keweenaw Peninsula in Northern Michigan. I want to prep a new raised bed for the blueberries and purchase next year. Plus my budget is blown for this year… I don’t have time to build a bed, I’m so busy this year I’m growing less peppers and tomatoes as I’m going to be gone working most of the summer.

I did purchase the thimbleberries for my cottage garden, and also the ground cover arctic raspberries look cool, hardy to zone 1. Produce 1 pound per plant when mature. I had to order a few of them too. They may work better at my cottage and may not work in warmer zones very well Zone 1-8 rated, but that means nothing.
A nice photo of fruiting plants at Logee’s.


I have heard stories about the wild blueberries of the Great Lakes and Upper Mid-West regions, but I know almost nothing about them. I wonder if they are a strain of the same subspecies V. angustafolium???


This is what we have as a native on our property in the southern Adirondacks. It does not ripen evenly requiring multiple pickings. The berries are quite small and have a narrow window for sweetness. Usually 18" tall max and seem to pop up readily when larger trees are removed and sunlight is let in. Makes a great pie or cobbler, but takes forever to pick enough.


I don’t know? They don’t say? I asked them, let you know. I may pick up others too, like Brunswick.

I’m hoping the wild cultivars are good producers. usually what you look for. Grow a thousand wild plants, and only use the best producers as your mother clone. yes I want these for cooking. I have 11 plants now I can use for fresh eating. I may need to make more room for more plants, or scrap the idea. Thanks for the tips!


Saw somewhere that O’Neal is listed as northern highbush. I will grow blue in pots so even if O’Neal is southern blue, I may be able to get by.


O’Neal is a southern but all southern’s are hybrids of Northern types. My sweetcrisp and indigocrisp both developed in Florida, are hardy here in Michigan zone 6a/5b. The goal I think with southerns was to decrease chill hours so they could be grown in the south. I believe they use some wild Florida species and bred with Northerns. They kept experimenting and back crossing to give them even less chill hours and often a very early ripening time.
O’Neal is an old one and probably has more northern in it than most. Sounds like a winner to me!
O’Neil was released in 1987 by North Carolina never patented. North Carolina also used O’Neal in a cross to make New Hanover. (which is patented, expires soon).