Top 10 Blueberry Varieties to Grow for Home Harvests

Homegrown blueberries are one of my favorite summertime snacks, with a sweet-tart flavor that’s perfect for enjoying out of hand, blended into a pancake batter, baked in a pie, or cooked down and made into jam.

Highbush blueberries growing on a green stem on a plant with green leaves, with foliage in shallow focus in the background.

Though growing blueberries at home isn’t for everyone, given the right conditions, this could be the perfect crop to add to areas of the garden with well-draining acidic soil (think: near the stand of pine trees) and full sun.

Dwarf varieties can even be grown in containers on the patio. And pink or white flowers and colorful fall foliage add ornamental garden interest as well.

Ripening blueberries in various shades of blue, purplish pink, and pale green on the branches of a bush with green leaves, with green foliage in soft focus in the background.

Native to North America, the first hybrid cultivar was developed in New Jersey at the turn of the twentieth century by Elizabeth White and Fred Coville, and they’ve been hugely popular ever since.

White blueberry flowers growing on a branch with green leaves.

We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite cultivars, suited for a variety of climates and spaces:

1. Biloxi (Zones 8-10)

4 2-Inch ‘Biloxi’ Plants, available on Amazon

This Southern Highbush type is a relatively new cultivar, developed at Mississippi State University. And it’s great for low-chill or even no-chill environments.

That’s right – even if you live in a growing zone without enough nights with temperatures below freezing to grow other types of fruit, ‘Biloxi’ may do well in your climate. It actually grows better with under 150 chill hours per season, though you can still expect some fruit if you plant it in a cooler climate.

With a vigorous growth habit and medium-sized berries that are ready to harvest early in the season, plant in acidic soil amended with pine mulch and peat, in an area with full sun.

2. Bluecrop (Zones 4-7)

A large cluster of mature blue and immature white 'Bluecrop' blueberries, growing in the sunshine on a bush with green leaves.

Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Bluecrop’ in 5-Inch Containers, available from Nature Hills

The most popular variety in the world!

An upright, open growing, spreading Northern Highbush variety, you can expect ‘Bluecrop’ to grow at a medium speed, with a mature height around 5 to 6 feet and a spread of 4-6 feet.

With a medium growth rate, green leaves that change to red on red stems in the fall provide ornamental appeal through the winter. Most importantly, the firm, medium-sized light blue fruit is known for its excellent flavor, and berries are resistant to cracking.

You can expect consistent yields and continuous production from this mid-season cultivar, which produces flowers starting in May, and a harvest by early August.

This type prefers organically rich soil, with constant moisture and good drainage, and is known to succeed in areas of the garden where other edibles struggle. Known for its disease resistance, ‘Bluecrop’ is drought tolerant when mature.

This variety is known for having shallow roots, so work carefully if you are doing any cultivation or tending to other plantings in the area.

3. Blueray (Zones 4-7)

2 ‘Blueray’ Plants in 4-Inch Pots, available on Amazon

With sweet, light blue berries that begin to ripen in early to mid-July, this Northern Highbush cultivar is known as a great type to plant with other highbush types for cross-pollination.

Green foliage turns scarlet in the fall, with a 5-6 foot maximum height and 3 to 4-foot spread.

The mid-season ‘Blueray’ berries are known for being crack resistant, with a strong blueberry flavor and aroma, and firm flesh. This variety is known for overproducing, which means it will naturally set an abundance of fruit that can stress the plant, so it needs to be pruned regularly and carefully.

4. Brightwell (Zones 6-9)

Twelve 'Brightwell' blueberries growing on a stem with three green leaves, with more leaves and brown soil in the background in shallow focus.

V. virgatum ‘Brightwell’ in #1 or #5 Containers, available from Nature Hills Nursery

This is one of the larger cultivars, growing to a max height of 8-10 feet with an almost equal spread, and large berries. A rabbiteye type, meaning it has berries that change in shade from pink to blue as they mature.

You can expect large harvests from this self-fruiting variety – so you can plant just one if you wish, though you can always expect higher yields with a buddy to cross pollinate. Tifblue or Climax are recommended.

Many cultivars require attentive mulching and soil amendment, but this variety isn’t as picky, and is hardy in the face of late freezes.

Brightwell’ can tolerate partial sun, though full sun is always best for fruit-bearing plants. It produces attractive pink flowers, and green foliage that will turn shades of red and orange in the fall.

5. Legacy (Zones 5-8)

4 ‘Legacy’ Rooted Starts, available on Amazon

This Northern Highbush variety is known for the sweetness and excellent taste of its large berries, according to the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station of the USDA.

Leaves turn crimson in the fall, and the disease-resistant plants can reach max heights over 6 feet at maturity, with a spread of 3-6 feet.

With high yields and a late mid-season harvest, ‘Legacy‘ fruit stores well, and plants exhibit vigorous, upright growth. It will even keep some of its leaves through mild winters, for added garden interest.

6. Pink Icing (Zones 5-10)

Vacinnium ‘ZF06-079’ plants in 2-Gallon Pots, available on Amazon

With a mature height of 3-4 feet and an upright mounded spread 4-5 feet, the blue berries are ready for harvest mid-season, and known for their robust flavor.

New growth in the spring adds ornamental interest, with leaves in varying shades pink, mixed with blue and dark green, and an attractive turquoise blue hue in winter.

Pink Icing’ grows best in full sun, but can tolerate some shade. Relatively low maintenance, you won’t have to do a lot of pruning with this self-pollinating dwarf variety. And grown under the right conditions, the fast-growing plants can live for 20 years.

7. Pink Popcorn (Zones 4-8)

About 20 'Pink Popcorn' blueberries at varying stages of ripeness, in shades of pink and white, growing on a bush with green leaves, with brown soil topped with pine mulch in the background.

V. corymbosum ‘MNPINK’ in 3.5-Inch Containers, available from Nature Hills Nursery

One of the more unusual cultivars, these blueberries are actually pink when mature, with the same flavor that you’re used to. And they freeze well, too.

Reaching 4-5 feet in height and spread when mature, ‘Pink Popcorn’ is a compact Northern Highbush variety that prefers peaty, acidic soil and even moisture. This cultivar grows at a medium speed, with white flowers and dark green foliage that turns red in the fall.

Fruit is ready for harvest early to mid-season, and you can expect a lot of berries from these hardy plants. They are easy to care for, disease resistant, and self-pollinating.

8. Powder Blue (Zones 6-9)

A huge cluster of dozen of 'Powder Blue' berries growing on a plant with green leaves.

V. ashei ‘Powder Blue’ in #1 containers, available from Nature Hills

With a mature height and spread of 6-10 feet, ‘Powder Blue’ is a hardy cultivar with an upright growth habit and medium growth rate.

White flowers bloom in late spring to early summer, which provides added protection from late freezes. And green foliage changes to red and yellow in the fall.

This is a rabbiteye type is regarded as sweeter than other varieties, with harvests later in the season than you’ll find with other cultivars. Expect a high yield of large, light blue fruit in clusters of up to 50 berries each, perfect for canning. They also hold up well to freezer storage.

Generally long lived, plant ‘Powder Blue’ with other cultivars for cross-pollination.

9. Sunshine Blue (Zones 5-10)

Three clusters of brightly colored 'Sunshine Blue' berries growing on a bush with green leaves.

V. corymbosum ‘Sunshine Blue’ in #1 Containers, available from Nature Hills

This cultivar stands out in terms of ornamental value, with pink flowers in the spring, and attractive blue-green foliage that turns burgundy red in the fall. Not to mention the sweet and delicious medium-sized fruit that’s ready for a mid- to late season harvest in late July and August.

A dwarf Southern Highbush variety, ‘Sunshine Blue’ grows to a maximum height and spread of 3-4 feet. It’s easy to prune, and can even be grown in containers, so it’s perfect for small space gardeners).

‘Sunshine Blue’ can tolerate a variety of soils (as long as they drain well) and even some shade, though full sun is preferred for maximum yields. Plant with another variety to keep your bases covered, for cross-pollination.

This cultivar is said to tolerate soil with a high pH better than other varieties, and it’s known for vigorous growth in warmer climates, with an upright, compact habit.

10. Top Hat (Zones 4-7)

A cluster of many 'Top Hat' blueberries growing on a bush with green leaves in the sunshine.

Vaccinium ‘Top Hat’ in 5-Inch Containers, available from Nature Hills

Developed at Michigan State University with a half-high growth habit, at maturity you can expect ‘Top Hat’ to reach a total height of 18-24 inches, with a spread of 1-2 feet. With white flowers in the spring, its leathery green leaves turn shades of bronze in the fall.

These petite plants are great for small spaces, and can be grown in pots – we’ve even heard that some gardeners have experimented with trimming this cultivar into a tidy decorative bonsai! ‘Top Hat’ can also be grown as a border plant.

Though they prefer full sun, ‘Top Hat’ plants can tolerate partial shade, and they will grow at a medium speed in well-drained soil.

This self-pollinating dwarf variety can be grown on its own, and despite its small size, it produces full-size berries that are ready for harvest in July and August.

A Delicious Harvest, Grown at Home

With so many tempting options to choose from, it’s going to be hard to pick just one. Fortunately, you don’t have to! Planting more than one variety of the same type (i.e. highbush or rabbiteye) is recommended, to ensure large harvests.

You’ll need to be patient, since production won’t reach its peak until plants are at least a few years old, but this delicious fruit is worth the wait.

A small cluster of two green, one pink, and two mature blueberries, with green leaves in the background.

Remember that blueberries do best in acidic soil – a pH less than 5.0 is required to grow blueberries successfully, so test your soil and amend it appropriately before you get to planting, preferably a year in advance for in-ground plantings.

Which varieties will you grow? We love hearing from you, so be sure to drop us a line in the comments below!


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A collage of photos showing different photos of blueberry varieties.

Product photo via Daylily Nursery, Nature Hills Nursery, Hello Organics, and Green Promise Farms. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.

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About Allison Sidhu

Allison M. Sidhu grew up with her hands in the dirt in southeastern Pennsylvania, and she is now based in sunny LA. She holds a BA in English literature from Swarthmore College as well as an MA in gastronomy from Boston University. When she’s not in the kitchen making a fresh green juice or whipping up something tasty for dinner, Allison enjoys perusing the latest seed catalogs, tending her patio garden, and reading up on the latest in food and agriculture policy.

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Dianne Jacques
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Dianne Jacques

I recently bought a house that has 8 established blueberry plants but they have been neglected. We did get some blueberries… so did the birds! I plan to weed around them but I am not sure how to prepare them for winter and I don’t know what variety they are. We live in Vermont. I want to net them in the spring to keep the birds off… they get the cherries and blackberries, after all!

Jo
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Jo

which blueberry variety can thrive in USA Hardines Zone 11b? like in the Philippines? tropical country? thanks

blake zizzi
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blake zizzi

I live in middle Tennessee (zone 7). I am building a house on the side of a large hill and want to plant a large variety of producing plants and trees. Blueberries are on my list of plants. I don’t personally eat them but my wife and friends do. They will most likely pick them and eat them on the spot or bring them in and put them on some desert dish. The soil is excellent and water drainage is good on the slopes. The whole area gets full sun all day. Since it is recommended to plant at least… Read more »

blake zizzi
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blake zizzi

Thank you Allison. Although we will be on a hill, I will be planting on relatively level sections. I have only been here for 2 winters. They have been mild by comparison to Connecticut winters. The locals tell me this last one was pretty bad. We had 2 separate weeks were the temps dropped into the low teens. most of the time it was long sleeves and jacket weather. Mostly high 20’s and 30’s at night and 40’s to 50’s during the day. We do get a lot of rain in the late winter, early spring. I will try all… Read more »

David Evans
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David Evans

Hello Allison, I have been testing blueberry cultivars for several years and have rejected ‘Top Hat’ and ‘Blue Sunshine’. They are both productive, with decent quality berries. But the over all flavor of these two are pretty weak and just about any other cultivar has better flavor. Also, ‘Top Hat’ has effectively been replaced by one of its own kids: ‘Jelly Bean’. Same heavy production, but now much better flavor and more attractive plant that change colors as the seasons progress. You’ll love it.

Alex Ly
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Alex Ly

Hi all I live in the uk in a seaside town and after reading your guide I would love to try the top hat variety. Can anyone tell me when would be best time for planting and whether it is better from seeds or from plants. Thanks