where-do-blueberries-grow

Where Do Blueberries Grow?

According to World Atlas, Canada and the U.S. produce 95 percent of the world’s blueberries. However, blueberries are cultivated all around the world. Before cultivating different blueberry species, the bushes needed areas that had a cold season to attain a fruit set, but today cultivated blueberries can grow in warm climates, as well.

Top Producers of Blueberries

The U.S. produces the most blueberries of any other place in the world with almost 240 thousand tons per year. Although blueberries grow across the country, 10 states grow over 98 percent of the berries. These top-producing states include:

  • Michigan
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Georgia
  • New Jersey
  • California
  • North Carolina
  • Florida
  • Mississippi
  • Indiana

Second Highest Blueberry Producing Country

Canada comes in second as a top producer of blueberries. Most of the berries from Canada are wild blueberries and low-bush blueberries. Most of Canada’s blueberries grow in Quebec. The blueberries are usually processed, rather than sold as fresh fruit.

Other Countries that Grow Blueberries

Poland is third on the list as a top blueberry producer with 13 thousand tons per year. The United Kingdom and Germany import the blueberries grown in Poland, but Germany also produces over 10 thousand tons of blueberries every year.

Other countries where blueberries grow are France, Mexico, Spain, New Zealand, Sweden, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Lithuania, Peru, Italy, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Switzerland, Portugal and Denmark.

Blueberry Species and Where They Grow

Each of the three types of blueberry species require certain climate conditions to thrive. If you’re planning on growing your own blueberry bushes, choose a species that thrives in your climate. The following are the three most common blueberry species:

  • Highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum) – These blueberries grow in more geographic areas than lowbush varieties. They’re native to the eastern coast of North America, but according to the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, highbush blueberries grow across the U.S. and Canada.
  • Lowbush (Vaccinium angustifolium) – These bushes not only grow shorter than highbush blueberries, but the berries are smaller, as well. Lowbush blueberries usually grow in the wilds of the U.S. and Canada but some bushes are cultivated too. They are cold hardy and grow wild in USDA zones 3 to 6.
  • Rabbiteye (Vaccinium ashei) – These berries grow well in warm, southern climates. The bushes grow up to 15 feet tall, so you need a lot of space to grow them in your yard. They also get up to 10 feet wide. Rabbiteye bushes produce light blue, large, sweet berries that ripen in four to six weeks.

If you’re wondering what blueberries grow on, they all require soil that has a pH of 4.5 to 5.6., full sun and routine watering. Blueberry bushes also benefit from organic mulch, such as compost, peat moss and dried leaves.