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.

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 adds ornamental garden interest as well.

Close up of a cluster of ripe blueberries hanging on the bush.

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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.

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.

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

Remember that blueberries do best in acidic soil – a pH less than 5.0 is required to grow them 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!

And for more blueberry gardening guides, be sure to check out some of our other articles such as:

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

About Allison Sidhu

Allison M. Sidhu grew up with her hands in the dirt in southeastern Pennsylvania, and she has returned to Philadelphia after a seven-year sojourn to sunny LA. She holds a BA in English literature from Swarthmore College and an MA in gastronomy from Boston University. When she’s not in the kitchen making pies and pickles or whipping up something tasty for dinner, Allison enjoys perusing the latest seed catalogs, tending her garden and houseplants, identifying wild flora and specimens at the local arboretums, and reading up on the latest in food and agriculture policy.

30 thoughts on “Top 10 Blueberry Varieties to Grow for Home Harvests”

  1. 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!

    • Blueberries can be difficult to grow in warmer environments because they typically require a certain number of chill hours each winter in order to produce fruit the next season, but varieties like the Biloxi Southern Highbush may produce fruit if given optimal conditions otherwise. Seek out any variety that is described as “no chill.” Happy gardening, and good luck!

  2. 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 2 different varieties close for cross pollination, what would be your recommendation for the 2 or 3 best varieties to plant?

    • Good luck with the building project, Blake! Though growing on a hill introduces its own challenges, in zone 7 with the proper conditions, you definitely have some options. In Tennessee you’re actually located right on the border between selecting cultivars that require a certain number of chill hours and no-chill options. And your success with these may depend on whether you get a series of warm winters or not, so you may want to experiment and choose a few of each.

      ‘Bluecrop’ is a particularly popular variety, but keep in mind that it has shallow roots which may become an issue, depending on how steep the incline you’re planting in is, and whether your not you get a lot of heavy rains while they’re still becoming established. ‘Brightwell’ may be your best bet since it does well in zones 6-9, and ‘Tifblue’ or ‘Climax’ are great for cross-pollinating with this variety. Good luck, and happy gardening!

  3. 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 4 of your suggestions and see what happens.

    Thanks again


  4. 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.

    • Awesome, thanks so much for the input, David! I know some gardeners love to see a plant that produces heavy yields, but I’m personally in the camp that will take just a few berries if they taste spectacular. ‘Jelly Bean’ sounds like a good one to check out.

      • ‘Sunshine Blue’ has been replaced too, by ‘Peach Sorbet’. These newer plants are more expensive, but they are really worth it. Since they last for years and years, starting with good material really helps maintain future enjoyment as they grow larger and larger.

  5. 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

    • Thanks for your questions, Alex!

      Since you’re located in a seaside town in the UK, your region is probably comparable to USDA Hardiness Zone 9 (though I would recommend that you do the research on that to confirm, based on your local climate conditions). ‘Top Hat’ might not be the best pick for your area, since it’s more suited to USDA Hardiness Zones 4-7. If you’re looking for another dwarf variety, you might want to consider ‘Pink Icing,’ or even ‘Sunshine Blue’ – though this cultivar is not a dwarf variety, it does well in small spaces and containers.

      Though you will see the plants in nurseries at this time of year, it’s best to plant blueberry bushes when they are dormant. Planting between late fall and early spring is recommended in the US, but since your neck of the woods is known for more mild winters, planting in the winter after the first frost is advised. Starting with established plants is recommended if you want to see a harvest quickly, as soon as the following spring after planting depending on the size of the plant, but it’s more likely that you will see your first harvest 2-3 years after planting.

      Starting from seed can be fun if you have more time available and you’re looking for a long-term project, but keep in mind that they can take several months just to germinate, depending on the variety, and they are slow to grow – potentially maxing out at around 6 inches of growth in the first year.

  6. Hi Allison, I have about 9 blueberry plants left. I had more but between the dog digging them up and getting mowed over that’s all that I have left. I have Blue Ray,Blue Jay, Blue crop and a few others. My issue is caterpillars. Not eating the shrub but inside the berry. I’m ready to let the birds have them all! It’s really wearing me out trying to get rid of them. We love blueberries but I don’t know why this is happening to us. Every person I speak to says they don’t have them. My guess is they don’t know to look. I would like to know what I can do to treat them organically? We bought row cover and still have them! I waited until the flowers were pollinated at least when I thought they would be. I spray lemongrass water all over the cloth because of flys and things don’t seem to like it. I use organic granulars around the the bottom of the bush so they don’t climb up. I use DE all over the leaves. I’m out of ideas. Is it the spot we chose to plant them? I use coffee grounds and pine needles for mulch. If you can help me figure this out I’d be grateful. I called the AG extension for our area last year they only suggested poisons. I’m getting tired of fighting this battle. I’m in South Western PA
    Thank you for any advice

    • Oh no! Sorry for your loss! Too bad about the lawnmower and the dog attack. As for the insects that you described, what do they look like more specifically? You mentioned flies- have you also seen moths around your plants? They can be difficult to spot, since they are only active at night.

      It doesn’t sound like you are doing anything wrong, but rather, your blueberries look good to eat to these bugs! And you’re right- there’s a chance that your neighbors may have them too, but they can sometimes be hard to spot. Or perhaps they are growing cultivars that bloom earlier or later in the season, while yours are blossoming and beginning to develop fruit at a time that coincides with the lifecycle of these insects. All of the cultivars that you mentioned are midseason producers.

      Since you say the insects are only affecting the berries rather than the foliage and you describe them as caterpillars, it sounds like these are probably cherry or cranberry fruitworms. Have you noticed caterpillar frass on your berries? These can have yellow-green, green, or pinkish-red bodies depending on their stage of development, with dark brown or black heads. Or, they could be maggots of the spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii), which look like tiny white worms. Part of the problem with eradicating fruitworms is that the adult moths lay their eggs in late spring- probably around the same time when your bushes are blooming. Larvae drop to the ground under plants, and pupate in the winter.

      It’s unfortunate that many experts recommend spraying with chemicals like Sevin, since this insecticide can be harmful to pollinators and humans. It will help the problem, but you have some organic options as well.

      Check ripening berries for tiny holes, and remove infested fruit. Spinosad can be used to eradicate both of these types of pests. The active ingredient is a natural substance made by a soil bacterium. Though the threat of toxicity in humans is low when using this insecticide, be sure to use the proper safety precautions when applying it- wear gloves, protect your eyes and skin, and do not spray in windy conditions. Rather than using DE, try applying kaolin clay to your plants instead if you’re dealing with flies. Another benefit of using this method is that it will allow parasitic wasps that love to eat blueberry maggots to thrive. Both spinosad and kaolin clay will need to be reapplied weekly while your bushes are fruiting. Yellow sticky traps can be helpful for identification purposes if you’re having a problem with flies, but they won’t eradicate the insects entirely.

      If you are dealing with fruitworms, attracting beneficial insects to your garden such as ladybugs, lacewings, and praying mantises can help. These are also available for purchase. Regular application of Bt will help to eradicate the fruitworms, and neem oil may be effective as well. Pheromone traps can be used to catch the moths, but again, this will mostly help with identification rather than solving the problem.

      There are also a few things that you can do in terms of organic control to try to prevent another infestation next year – keep the ground around your plants free of weeds, leaves, fallen fruit, and other forms of plant debris. This includes pine mulch- remove it at the end of the season, since it provides a cozy place for developing moths to spend the winter. Pick off any worms if you see them, and crush any egg clusters in the spring- you’ll usually find these under leaves, or on green, newly developing fruit. Putting row covers in place earlier in the season can help as well. If all else fails, switching to resistant varieties like ‘Earliblue’ and ‘Northland’ may solve your problem.

      Hope this helps! Let us know how it goes!

  7. I live in the southern part of the San Joaquin valley here in CA. I am trying to grow blueberries for health reasons for my wife who has RA.
    A local gardening operation sold me 6 plants, two of two kinds and one each of other varieties. The varieties are Misty, O’Neal, the cross pollinator, Pink Lemonade and Jubilee.
    Now I know growing them here is a chore as we are in ZONE 10 and all but one of the plants made it. The folks think the reason the one did not is due to some weed and feed fertilizer that may have gotten into the water bowl, but as much as I trusted them I am beginning to have my doubts. I planted them in Aug of 2018. I have a couple setting fruit now and most have bloomed. I went to a Home Depot today and they had some varieties that were bushier looking and all were FULL of berries. One was Reville and the other was Sunbeam I think.

    Is there a better variety for here in California.

    • I’m so happy to hear that most of your blueberries made it through to another California spring (and a wet one, at that)!

      As I’m sure you know, part of what makes growing blueberries in warmer growing zones so difficult is the fact that most cultivars require a certain number of chill hours to produce a good harvest with high yields. Southern highbush varieties in particular do better in warmer zones since they have low chill hour requirements. In some cases, zero chill hours are required to produce a harvest.

      ‘Misty’ and ‘O’Neal’ are both early Southern highbush cultivars, ‘Jubilee’ is an early/midseason Southern highbush, and ‘Pink Lemonade’ is a late season Northern highbush that’s known to also produce well further south than other Northern highbush varieties. ‘Reveille’ is a midseason Southern highbush. I wasn’t able to find one called ‘Sunbeam’ – but maybe this was ‘Sunshine Blue’? That one is a mid- to late season dwarf Southern highbush.

      Early, midseason, or late refers to when the bushes produce flowers and then fruit. Some gardeners with a lot of space like to plant a few varieties in each category for continual harvests throughout the season, while others stick with plants with the same bloom time to improve rates of cross-pollination. All of these that you’ve mentioned should do alright in the San Joaquin Valley. ‘Biloxi’ is another early Southern highbush that you might like to look into as well.

  8. Hi. I live in Kingston, Ontario, Canada and have only one blueberry plant. I originally had two, but one died. One was Blue Ray, the other was Blue Crop, but I’m not sure which one I still have. I planted them in the fall of 2017 and they have not yet produced fruit. The existing plant is very small and I’m wondering if I need to get another blueberry plant for cross-pollination purposes. If so, how do I know which kind to get when I don’t even know which one I currently have? Do you have any suggestions?

    • So sorry to hear that you lost one of your plants, Lorna. Blueberries typically take 3-4 years to produce fruit, so hopefully you’re in for a treat this summer!

      Both ‘Blueray’ and ‘Bluecrop’ are self-fertile, mid-season Northern highbush varieties that do well in cold climates. Though planting two in close proximity for cross-pollination isn’t required to get a harvest, doing this can result in higher yields. It can be hard to tell one blueberry from another unless you’re able to compare the flowers or fruit side by side. But you could opt to plant another pollinator altogether near your remaining bush. ‘Jersey’ and ‘Earliblue’ are good options.

  9. I live just outside DC in Maryland. I’m in Zone 7a. I’m thinking of purchasing a Bluecrop but am wondering if it’ll survive the heavy rainfalls during the summer when it get very humid. I don’t think the cold winters will be an issue but am wondering if there’s anything else that I should know before buying?

    • Northern highbush types do best in cooler climates, and you’d be just on the cusp of what’s considered cold enough outside DC. With plenty of space around the plants and excellent drainage, they might do alright. But I’d recommend something more suited to slightly warmer zones instead, like a rabbiteye or southern highbush.

  10. Hi Allison,
    I live in Singapore with a hot climate. Which blueberry varieties do you recommend? Please advise. Thank you very much.


    • Hi Debbie. Most blueberries don’t grow well in Singapore. The problem isn’t that it gets too hot, but that it doesn’t get cold for long enough to produce the berries. Most blueberries require a certain number of chill hours, which are temps between 0 and 7°C. Since it doesn’t get that cold, look for no chill cultivars, which are newer plants developed for growing in tropical regions. ‘Atlas Blue,’ ‘Bianca Blue,’ ‘Biloxi,’ and ‘Jupiter Blue’ would all work well for you.

  11. Hi Allison
    This page is so informative, can’t thank you enough for the article!
    I live in Memphis TN Zone 7b.
    I have a Duke blueberry plant. Can you please suggest a good cross pollinator for this?
    I am also looking to add two more varieties.
    Will you please suggest whether I should go for a pair of southern Highbush, or a pair of rabbiteye or another pair of northern Highbush? Which particular variety pair would you recommend?
    Thank you!

    • Thanks for your message, Pradeep! In Tennessee it can be a tossup as to whether or not to plant northern highbushes or southern varieties. It seems mild winters are more the norm these days and you may not get the recommended number of chill hours from one year to the next. But this could also depend on your local microclimate and the number of hours of sun exposure and other conditions in your own garden.

      ‘Duke’ is a self-pollinating early highbush, but you may see higher yields if you plant a pollinating partner like ‘Bluecrop’ or ‘Patriot.’ Rabbiteyes are popular across the south and I’d suggest that you give this type a shot, but keep in mind that these can grow particularly large, and may also be particularly susceptible to late spring frosts. ‘Tifblue’ and ‘Climax’ work well together, and are suited to your zone.

  12. Hi, We recently bought a home in Toronto, Canada.

    What is the best variety to plant?
    I prefer sweet, quick and longer yielding variety.


    • In Zone 5 or 6, most northern highbush varieties will do well, given the conditions that they prefer, or they can also be grown in containers.

      Most blueberries are considered early, midseason, or late, meaning they produce flowers and then fruit at a certain point in the season, and will produce the best yields if planted with a corresponding pollinator. If you have the space, one of the best ways to prolong the harvest season is to plant pairs of varieties with different blooms times, so they will produce fruit and ripen throughout a longer season.

      As for best varieties, ‘Liberty’ is a top pick. But you might also like ‘Draper,’ another variety known for its hardiness and good yields of high quality fruit – these are typically ready to harvest even earlier in the season.


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