Beneficial Companion Plants for Blueberries
Blueberry bushes produce sweet, antioxidant rich berries, and they’re also ornamental landscaping plants. You can plant companion plants alongside your blueberries that are beneficial for pollinating the blueberry flowers and whose leaves provide natural mulch to the blueberry bushes’ root systems. No matter which companion plants you choose, they must tolerate the acidic soil that blueberries require.
Acidic Soil Plants
Since blueberries are acid-loving plants, choose companion plants that also require acidic soil with a 4.5 to 5.0 pH. Placing the following plants with your blueberries creates a landscape of fruits and flowers for your yard:
- Strawberries – Imaging vivid red strawberries growing alongside your deep blue, plump blueberries. The combination is both delicious and visually stunning. Like blueberries, strawberries love acidic soil and sunshine. They make the ideal companion plantings.
- Rhododendron – Rhododendrons thrive in acidic soils, especially around pine and oak trees. Unlike blueberry bushes, rhododendrons need shade in order to grow. If you plant young rhododendrons alongside your highbush blueberry bushes, the foliage from the blueberries offers shade to the rhododendrons. This makes a perfect pairing of companion plants.
- Basil – You can grow basil as companion plants for your blueberries. Basil thrives in moderately acidic soil in USDA hardiness zones 2 to 11. This herb features violet blossoms, and you can use basil as delicious flavoring for hundreds of recipes.
- Sage – This is another herb that grows well with blueberries. Sage produces clustered purple blossoms in the spring. It prefers alkaline soil, but it will tolerate acidic soils in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9.
- Flowers – Several flowering plants that grow in acidic soil and make compatible companion plants for blueberries are primroses, gladiolus, tulips, lily-of-the-valley and hyacinth. These also attract bumble bees that help pollinate your blueberry flowers.
- Comptonia perigrina – Also known as sweet fern, this low-growing plant produces a spicy, yet sweet aroma. Like blueberries, comptonia loves the sun and acidic soil. Another benefit of comptonia is that it attracts butterflies. This is also a nitrogen-producing plant, which enriches the soil for your blueberries.
- Mountain Laurel – You might know this as a Calico Bush or Kalmia. Often used for landscaping accents and border hedges, it features star-shaped flowers in varying colors, such as pink, lavender and white. The flowers attract butterflies to your gardens, and it’s a very low-maintenance evergreen bush. Mountain Laurel needs acidic soil like blueberries, but it does require partial shade.
Blueberries and its companion plants not only need acidic soil, but they also require well-drained soil and water. Several other companion plants you can use are rhubarb, raspberries, azaleas, bleeding heart, potatoes and peppers.