The Perfect Companions for Blueberry Bushes

Are you looking to maximize your blueberry yield and add visual appeal to your garden? Companion planting is the answer! By choosing the right plants, you can attract pollinators, prevent encroaching grass and weeds, and make the most out of your available space. Join us as we explore the best and worst companion plants for blueberries!

What is Companion Planting?

Companion planting is a practice where plants are strategically placed near each other for mutual benefit. By harnessing the power of teamwork, these plants can support one another in various ways.

The Benefits of Companion Planting with Blueberries

When it comes to blueberries, companion planting offers three key advantages.

Increasing the Fruit Yield

Some plants, like bees, are excellent pollinators. By attracting these pollinators to your garden, you can increase the number of pollinated flowers on your blueberry bushes, resulting in a higher yield and larger berries. While certain blueberry varieties are self-pollinating, planting different varieties together can further enhance the yield.

Visual Appeal with Companion Plants

Enhance the beauty of your blueberry bushes by pairing them with other plants. Whether in the garden or in containers, the right companions can complement the natural charm of blueberries.

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Making the Most out of Small Spaces

For those with limited gardening space, combining blueberry bushes with other berries or herbs in containers can maximize the use of available area. It’s a delightful way to create a mini blueberry cocktail garden or grow herbs that perfectly complement blueberries in the kitchen.

Best Blueberry Companion Plants in Containers

On balconies or decks, attracting pollinators can sometimes be a challenge. That’s where companion plants come in. By selecting small species that bloom simultaneously and attract pollinators, you can create a welcoming environment for bees and other bugs. Here are some excellent options:

  • Fuchsia: With its amazing flowers and preference for acidic soil, it’s a winner for container gardening.
  • Impatiens (touch-me-not): This plant boasts gorgeous blooms that pollinators love.
  • Calluna (heather): Choose different colors of heather for a stunning display.
  • Erica: Similar to heather, this low-growing shrub plays well with blueberries and attracts bees.
  • Herbs: Thyme, mint, lavender, parsley, lemon balm, sage, trailing rosemary, dill, chives, and more are all great options that pollinators adore. An herb variety pack will attract bees to your garden!

Additionally, there are many other edible companion plants that combine well with blueberry shrubs in containers. Consider trailing nasturtiums, trailing alpine strawberries, lavender, lingonberries, cranberries, alpine currants, and salad greens.

Grow a Blueberry Cocktail Garden in Containers

For a delightful twist, create a potted blueberry cocktail garden. Combine blueberries with herbs like lemon verbena, lemon balm, (alpine) strawberries, basil, lavender, pineapple sage, and tarragon to enjoy a range of refreshing beverages.

Best Blueberry Companion Plants in the Garden

If you have the luxury of a garden, your options for companion planting expand. Focus on finding species that have similar soil and light requirements. Some great choices include:

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For Pollination

The pollinator favorites from our earlier list still apply. Additionally, consider planting yarrow, non-trailing rosemary, borage, bee balm, and anise hyssop to attract a variety of beneficial insects.

For Visual Appeal

With more space available, you can go all out with beautiful blueberry companion plants. Consider rhododendron, azalea, camellia (including tea plants), holly, mountain laurel, Japanese andromeda, and sweet pepperbush. These plants not only provide visual appeal but also attract pollinators.

For Ground Cover

Maximize your garden space by adding ground cover around your blueberries. This helps prevent weeds and grass from taking over and retains soil moisture. Consider strawberries, red clover, marjoram, creeping thyme, periwinkle, and wintergreen.

What NOT to Grow near Blueberry Plants

While there are no plants that will outright kill your blueberries, some species may hinder their growth or compete for resources. Keep nightshades like tomatoes and peppers away from blueberry shrubs, as they have different soil requirements and blossom at different times. Avoid planting blueberries near walnut trees, as the chemical emitted by walnut trees can be toxic to blueberry bushes. Grass can also be problematic as a ground cover, as it deprives blueberries of soil nutrients.

In conclusion, companion planting is a fantastic way to enhance your blueberry harvest and create a visually appealing garden. By carefully selecting the right companion plants, you can attract pollinators, prevent weeds, and make the most of your available space. So get planting and enjoy an abundant blueberry harvest! For more gardening tips and information, be sure to visit Ames Farm Center.

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