Vaccinium ‘Sunshine Blue’ (Southern Highbush Blueberry)
This beautiful compact blueberry bush is ideal for hot, humid climates, and works well when planted in a large container. Afternoon shade is suggested in regions with particularly hot summers (Georgia, for example). Blueberry bushes are good companions for other shade-loving plants like azaleas, rhododendrons and hydrangeas in a woodland border garden where the soil is naturally acidic.
Although blueberries are self-fertile, cross-pollination produces larger berries in abundance, so it’s better to plant more than one variety that blooms at the same time to obtain the best crop. ‘Sunshine Blue’ is not an abundant berry-producer and may work better as an ornamental shrub. Spring flowers and fall leaf color are both superb.
Birds love blueberries, so unless you plan to grow them to attract wildlife, it’s best to put some netting around the bush to protect it. ‘Chandler’ (late-season variety) is a larger cultivar producing cherry-size blueberries. Allow plenty of space for this one. Blueberries are usually harvested mid-June to late-July, depending on the climate zone and the variety. To extend the harvest season, combine early, mid, and late season cultivars.