Many consider blueberries to be one of the healthiest fruits around. They belong to the famous Vaccinium genus family, along with fruits like bilberries, cranberries, and huckleberries. Native to North America, blueberries are delicious prostrate shrubs that vary in size.
You can usually find two types of blueberries – the highbush and lowbush variants. Highbush blueberries are those grown for commercial purposes. They’re the ones you will come across in supermarkets. On the flip side, the lowbush berries are usually seen in wild meadows and farms – particularly across the United States and Canada.
So, do blueberries have seeds? Yes, they do. Both highbush and lowbush blueberries come with seeds, which they use for reproduction primarily. Blueberry seeds are enclosed inside their frames, and they will need to be effectively extracted for seamless cultivation.
Below, we will go into more detail about the blueberry variants. The article will include what they are, how they function, and some of the differences.
The Blueberry Variants
While the highbush and lowbush blueberries are considered to be the major classifications of this fruit, there are several others that should be noted.
Keep in mind that all blueberries have seeds. No matter the variant or size, you will be able to find seeds in a blueberry. Some of these seeds are noticeable, but most of them are too small.
Here is a full rundown off the types of blueberries available:
As their name suggests, the lowbush blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium) are primarily short. On the average, they grow below 1½ feet. Most farmers plant more than one cultivar to get a higher yield from these fruits.
Lowbush blueberries are especially loved because they’re low-maintenance. They need little pruning, although many recommend that you cut them back to the ground after two to three years. You can also find some variants of the lowbush blueberries that are used for container gardening and ornamental landscaping.
Northern Highbush Blueberries
The Northern highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) are grown mainly in the northeastern and eastern part of the United States. These ones grow between five to nine feet, and they are known to require the most consistent pruning of all varieties of blueberries.
Southern Highbush Blueberries
The Southern highbush blueberries are actually hybrids. They are made via a combination of V. darrowii and V. corymbosum. These blueberries can grow between six to eight feet, and they are especially favored for their resilience.
Farmers particularly love the southern highbush blueberries because they allow for berry production in the winter season. Note that there are times when excessive frost might damage their production levels. All in all, areas of mild winters are best for these berries.
The rabbiteye blueberries (Vaccinium virgatum) are common to the southeastern part of the United States. They are known to grow between six and ten feet, and they help preserve berry production in the harsh summer period.
Like the southern highbush blueberries, these ones are also hybrids. They are a cross between the lowbush and northern highbush berries, and they can grow between three to four feet.
The half-high blueberries have high tolerance for cold, as they can grow in temperatures between 1°C to 7°C. They can also be container-grown, and they need much less pruning than many other berry varieties.
Growing Blueberries from Seeds
It is important to remember that the blueberry itself is not a seed. The seeds themselves are inside the fruit, and you will need to do some work to get them from the pulp. You can choose to use a fruit from an existing bush or something you get at the grocers, although results can vary based on several other factors.
Can you grow blueberry fruits from their seeds? Yes, you can. The process might be challenging based on where you live and the availability of supporting resources, but it is definitely possible.
Also, blueberries don’t self-pollinate. So, it is more challenging to duplicate them since the offspring might not be duplicates of the parent. This is why many recommend that you get blueberry seeds from a nursery. However, if you would like to experiment, you can try preparing the seeds and planting them.
To prepare your blueberry seeds for planting, you will need to macerate the fruit. You can do this in a food processor or a blender, or you could just mash the berries in a bowl. Add a little water to the berries in this process. Once mashed, you can take out the floating pulp, and the seeds will immediately sink to the bottom.
Note that you might need to add some more water to be able to take the pulp out entirely. When you’re done gathering the blueberry bush seeds, you will need to scarify them. Place the seeds in damp paper towels and leave them in a freezer for about three months. This cold stratification will break the rest period for the seeds, ensuring that they’re ready for planting.
When the 90 days elapse, you can plant the seeds immediately or leave them in the freezer until you’re ready. Note that the best time for planting these seeds will be in the fall if you live in an area with generally warm climates. In the northern regions, the spring is the ideal planting period.
Planting should be done in a dampened sphagnum peat moss. Put the combination in a seed tray and cover it with about ¼ of an inch of soil. Remember to keep the soil constantly moist. Blueberry seeds usually take up to eight weeks to germinate, although some might take three months.
Keep your seeds in a sunny, warm area. If you don’t have much sunlight, get some fluorescent light and suspend it at about 14 inches above the seeds.
- Blueberries are one of the healthiest fruits.
- All variants of blueberries come with seeds, which are used for propagation.
- Blueberry planting can be done in the home, although you’ll need to follow struct precautions.