Try Rabbiteye Blueberries

Deborah Hurlbert, Patricia Skinner  | 2/4/2016 4:52:20 PM

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Blueberries are one of the easiest-to-grow fruiting plants for home landscapes, and research indicates that they have all kinds of health benefits. Here in Louisiana we plant the native rabbiteye blueberry, Vaccinium ashei. A number of rabbiteye blueberry varieties are available, and all are Louisiana Super Plant selections for fall 2014.

Rabbiteye blueberry is the first fruiting plant to be named a Louisiana Super Plant selection. A variety of outstanding characteristics are the reason why. The bushes are relatively compact and do not occupy large amounts of space. And they are attractive and generally don’t require a lot of spraying for insect and disease control. These characteristics make blueberries ideal for edible landscaping – incorporating food-producing plants seamlessly into the landscape design.

In the landscape, blueberries are neat, attractive shrubs that can serve as hedges, privacy screens or background plantings for beds. They also can be used in masses or as focal points in the landscape. They are adaptable to growing in containers, making it possible for people without a yard to grow blueberries on balconies, decks, porches and patios.

The foliage of rabbiteye blueberries is an appealing blue-green and often turns to brilliant shades of orange and red in the fall. Blueberries are semi-deciduous and generally drop a portion of their leaves over the winter.

Finally, rabbiteye blueberry varieties are Louisiana Super Plants selections because they are relatively low-maintenance. When it comes to blueberries, you get a lot of return for the effort. Blueberry plants typically have very few insect or disease problems, and pesticides are rarely needed in home gardens. And blueberries do not need extensive annual pruning.

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