“I live in zone 8 and have Blueberries. Do you prune Blueberries, and if so when?” Question from Lynn of Sacramento, California
Answer: Blueberry pruning is done to maintain crops as well as shrub shape and size. There are several rules when it comes to pruning blueberries. First, wait until shrubs are mature and fruit-bearing (at least five years old) before pruning for the first time. Next, like most fruit-producing shrubs, you need to wait until after their fruit has matured to prune. Blueberries produce flowers on old wood, so if you prune any later than post-fruit production, you will remove next year’s flowers. It is also essential to maintain strong fruiting wood, while removing weaker, spindly stems.
Four Blueberry Pruning Guidelines
Here are four guidelines to follow when pruning blueberries.
- Prune just after berry harvest.
- Maintain one strong fruiting cane (branch) for each year of growth, starting in the shrub’s fourth year.
- Older canes can be replaced by stronger, newer fruiting canes after the shrubs have reaches 8-10 years.
- Remove smaller, weaker, lateral branches to encourage stronger fruiting branches.
I hope that these pruning tips help! You also might want to watch the video below about how to grow blueberries with success. (Click here to learn more about great blueberries for western gardens.)
Black Gold Horticulturist