Blueberry season feels too short. Yes, international farmers keep the berry section stocked for several more months, but there’s nothing like the fresh and local versions. If you enjoyed tasting blueberries straight from the bush, you know there’s no comparison. Fortunately, you can have that experience from the comfort of your own home. Growing blueberries indoors may sound like a pipe dream, but it’s actually easier than you think. With the right variety, soil, and lighting — along with some patience and care — you can enjoy fresh, local berries without trudging to a farmer’s market.
How to Grow Blueberries Inside Your House
Choosing the variety and containers
For indoor gardens, choose a smaller variety like lowbrush or dwarf blueberries. Their size makes them easy to grow in pots. Still, you should pick containers that are large and at least 18 inches deep to ensure the roots can grow and spread. Popular choices include:
- Northern highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum) – This is the most popular and productive shrubs for cold regions. Cultivars include” ‘Bluecrop,’ ‘Blueray,‘ ‘Herbert,‘ ‘Jersey,‘ ‘Meader,‘ ‘Berkley,’ ‘Coville,’ and ‘Darrow.’
- Half-high – As so named, this is a hybrid of highbrush and lowbrush with slightly less sweet produce. Cultivars include: ‘North Country‘, ”Northblue’, ‘Northland,’ and ‘Top Hat.’
- Rabbiteye (Vaccinium virgatum) – These bushes can grow up to 15 feet tall, usually in warmer climates. Cultivars include: ‘Powderblue’, ‘Woodard’, ‘Brightwell’, ‘Pink Lemonade,’ and ‘Delite.’
- Southern highbush (hybrid Vaccinium corymbosum and Vaccinium darrowii) – It can grow up to 6 or 8 feet high in warmer climates. Cultivars include: ‘Golf Coast,’ ‘Misty,’ and ‘Ozarkblue.’
- Lowbush (Vaccinium angustifolium) – This one is best for cold climates and are also known as wild blueberries. (There are no named cultivars.) 
While you’re garden shopping, look for very acidic soil, and don’t use standard potting soil unless you add acidic ingredients like peat moss. You may also find soil mixes made specially for blueberries. The best time to plant is in the spring or late fall.
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The tricky part of growing plants indoors is ensuring the containers get enough sunlight. And like other fruits, blueberries require about 6–8 hours of sunlight daily, so you may have to keep moving the containers around. If you don’t have a sunny area in your home, you may want to invest in a grow light. Inadequate lighting is a common reason why blueberry plants fail. So, if the plant seems healthy but shows no flowers or berries, it probably needs more sunlight. Additionally, these bushes can overheat, so you may want to remove them from direct sunlight during hot afternoons.
Insufficient light isn’t the only common mistake that comes with growing blueberries. These plants have shallow roots that dry out easily, so they need plenty of water to be healthy and fruitful. Keep the soil moist but not too wet. To maintain this balance, ensure the soil and container drain well. You can also place an inch or two of pebbles on the bottom of the container to help with the drainage. Meanwhile, check the soil every few days. The top section of the soil should feel moist but not drenched. But if it feels dry, add some water. Check frequently to prevent the soil from becoming too dry. Blueberries are sensitive to their water levels, so they often need more supervision than other plants. 
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Here’s an easy step to remember when growing blueberries: They only need fertilization twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Use a fertilizer intended for berries or fruits, or dilute a regular fertilizer to half of its potency. You don’t want to overdo it.
To bear fruit, grow at least two blueberry plants next to each other so they can pollinate. Remember to put separate plants into separate containers so that they can all grow evenly. In general, the more the plants, the bigger the harvest. If you choose to plant different varieties, ensure that they are compatible for cross-pollination and that they will bloom around the same time.
If the plants are outside, just keep them within a few feet of each other, and the bugs and weather will do the rest. But if they are inside, you must cross-pollinate manually during the growing season. Simply use a Q-tip or a similar tool to rub the flower of the first plant, then rub the flower of the second. Do this frequently to increase the likelihood of a good haul at the end of the season. Remember, some varieties self-pollinate, so speak with the botanist at your local gardening store to know what kind you are buying.
Overall, blueberry plants like a few months of cooler weather to help them go dormant before they bloom again. (However, this preference depends on the variety, so do your research before adjusting their temperatures and locations.) So, for indoor blueberries, this could mean moving the containers into a slightly colder room or even a garage or cellar. If they are outside, some varieties can survive the winter just fine if they are sheltered from the wind. In either case, monitor the plants closely to ensure they aren’t suffering from the temperatures.
Read: 5 Reasons You Should Start Freezing Blueberries
Pest and disease control
Place bird netting around the bushes for outdoor gardens to prevent the birds from stealing the berries before they ripen. In cases of insect and fungal issues, ensure you use a pesticide or fungicide that is made specifically for edible plants. Don’t forget that overwatering can lead to root rot, so ensure the area has good airflow. Also, remember that not all bugs are destructive; make sure you keep pesticides away from pollinating insects. 
Harvesting the blueberries
Now, bear in mind that two years will pass before you see any berries appear, and it’ll take 3 to 5 years for the plants to produce a full crop. If you’d like to expedite the process, purchase a plant that’s already grown for a few years. Once it’s time to harvest, usually between June and August, wait until the berries turn blue and they fall easily into your hand without any tugging. If they can’t be picked gently, wait a few more days for them to ripen. Once the plant has matured enough to bear fruit, carefully prune away any dead branches and low-hanging areas to encourage more growth for the next year.
Keep Reading: 8 Plants To Help Repel Mice, Spiders, and other insects
- “How to Grow & Care for Blueberries in Containers.” The Spruce. Kerry Michaels. January 5, 2022
- “Growing Blueberries Indoors.” The Indoor Gardens. March 23, 2023
- “How to Successfully Grow Blueberries Indoors: A Comprehensive Guide.” Gina Burgess. Gina Burgess.