Can You Grow Blueberries in Colorado | 6 Secrets to Success

If you want to grow blueberries in Colorado successfully, you will love this step-by-step guide from planting to harvest.

Blueberry can be an excellent addition to your garden. Here in Colorado, you will have to deal with some challenges.

But I will walk you through all the steps, from start to end, so that you can grow blueberries like me.

So, can you grow blueberries in Colorado?

Here’s everything you need to know.

Can You Grow Blueberries in Colorado?

Overview: Yes! Select the suitable variety (High-bush or Half-high) to grow blueberries in Colorado successfully. Blueberries love acidic soil; we will plant them directly into Canadian sphagnum peat moss. You can use elemental sulfur to maintain the acidic pH over time. Since peat moss lacks nutrients, we will fertilize our blueberries using a water-soluble option. Finally, we will take steps to protect our blueberry bushes from winter damage (using burlap) and birds.

Before discussing the exact method, I want you to know what makes growing blueberries in Colorado challenging.

Challenge 1: Soil pH

Like azaleas, camellias, and hydrangeas, blueberries are acid-loving plants.

This means they need soil with a pH of around 4.5 to 5.5. However, our soils in Colorado are neutral to slightly alkaline.

Not good!

So, I want you to stick to this guide to learn how to lower the soil pH effectively.

Challenge 2: Winter Damage

If you want to grow blueberries, you will face some problems in winter.

The cold winter sun and dry winds can cause your blueberry plant to dry out over winter. As we will discuss later, blueberries love moisture.

Can You Grow Blueberries in Colorado

So, this drying out can kill your blueberry plant as well.

Challenge 3: Planting Myth

This is an exciting point that I want to discuss with you.

Blueberries love the sun, and they should be planted in full sun. This is correct but for their native habitat.

Here in Colorado, things are not that simple.

With more significant radiations from the sun and thinner air, Colorado is a bit different. Therefore, planting blueberries in partial shade is the solution.

Let me tell you how to deal with these challenges to grow blueberries in Colorado.

Step 1: Select the Right Variety

When it comes to the suitable variety, you have two options:

  • High-bush
  • Half-high

Let’s take a look at each of them.


These blueberries handle the cool temperature of Colorado well and produce a high yield of sweet fruit.

They may require more attention and protection in the cold climate of Colorado.

I love Blueray, Elizabeth, and Reka because of their taste.

Some other options include Jersey (exceptionally hardy), Bluecrop (high productivity and large berries), and Patriot (cold-hardy with good disease resistance).

Now, let’s move on to the second option.


This is a mixture of high and low bush and is personally my favorite.

The best part?

They tend to be more cold-hardy and do well in the climate of Colorado. You can try the Little Giant variety.

Some other varieties include Northsky (good cold tolerance) and Northblue. Over here, I have a tip for you.

The best thing you can do is to check your local nurseries. This will give you an idea about the best blueberry varieties for your particular region in Colorado.

Sounds good!

This takes us straight to the next step.

Step 2: Using Peat Moss

To deal with the alkaline pH in Colorado, I will plant my blueberry bush directly in peat moss.

Peat moss is the best to grow healthy blueberries because of its pH, which is around 4.5 to 5.5.

It does not have a significant amount of nutrients, but that is when the fertilizer will kick in. It would be best not to buy neutralized peat moss as it is unsuitable for your blueberry bushes.

For Colorado, you should buy Canadian sphagnum peat moss.

Can You Grow Blueberries in Colorado?

Now, let me take you through the plantation process.

I have a 22-inch deep planter. It would be best to have a container at least 18 inches deep. Plant your blueberries directly into these planters.

But before that, you should have drainage holes in the container (pot). Here are some advantages of planting blueberries in peat moss:

  • It retains moisture.
  • It does not introduce disease or pathogens into the potting mix.
  • It does not compact.

This takes us straight to the next step.

Note: pH Adjustments

To maintain the pH (acidic) of your soil, you can use elemental sulfur to maintain the acidic pH over time.

You can also use acidifying products like aluminium sulfate to ensure the pH is ideal for your blueberries.

This takes us straight to the next step.

Step 3: Planting Blueberries

This process is pretty simple. So, let’s get done with it quickly.

After adding peat moss to the container, plant the blueberry bush after gently removing it from the nursery pot.

Planting it at the same depth as in its container would be best. It is always a good idea to leave the top inch or so of the container empty.

Now, water it slowly until it is perfectly moist.

Remember that blueberries love to be moist and do not like dry conditions. So water it regularly.

Can you guess another advantage of watering at this stage?

It will protect your blueberry bush from shock and remove air gaps around the plant’s roots.


This takes us to the next step.

Step 4: Fertilization and Pruning

This is my favorite step (and a crucial one).

As mentioned before, Canadian sphagnum peat moss does not have essential nutrients in a reasonable amount. So we will fertilize thrice per year.

In general, blueberries are not heavy feeders.

Here are the three key times when we will fertilize our blueberries:

  • Early May
  • June
  • July

You can use a balanced blend, such as the 10-10-10 fertilizer, designed explicitly for acid-loving plants like blueberries.

I personally like to go with water-soluble options, such as Jacks classic acid special (17-6-6). You should follow the instructions on the package, and you will be good to go.

Additionally, you can add two tablespoons of chelated iron per gallon of fertilizer. This will enable the plant to begin vigorous vegetative growth while the sulfur still reacts to lower the soil pH.

Also, avoid any fertilization after July 31st.

When To Fertilize Blueberries in Colorado?

Now, let’s talk about pruning.

The pruning process is simple for blueberries under 6-7 years old. You have to remove the dead branches due to the winter damage.

However, if your plant is over 6-7 years old, you will prune the big branches that are taking over other branches.

It is important to prune these branches as they prevent the growth of other branches.

Now you might be wondering when to prune blueberries.

I like to prune them in February because the winter (dormant) season is when they are not actively growing. So, this is the perfect time.

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With this, let’s move on to the next point.

Step 5: Protecting Blueberries From Winter Damage

Here in Colorado, the winters are not cold enough to give a plant winter frost.

However, the winter winds are the biggest threat to our blueberry bushes. Here’s why.

The high-speed cold winds take away the plants and the soil’s moisture, which causes stunt growth or kills them.

So you might be wondering, how do I deal with this problem?

Solution 1: Burlap

Burlaps are great for protecting blueberries from winter winds.

Just wrap them around the blueberry bush and weigh them down with nails or bricks.

The blueberry bushes are pretty flexible and can survive the movements caused by the winds. In short, burlap is excellent for protecting the roots of potted plants.

Now, let me talk about the second solution.

Solution 2: Use Trash Buckets

Trash buckets are an excellent method to protect the plant from winter winds (if it fits under the bucket).

(Thanks to my friend for the idea, who has been successfully growing blueberries for over 14 years).

Place the bucket over the plant and weigh it down with a brick. Also, make sure that your buckets are white or light-colored.

Can You Grow Blueberries in Colorado

This is because dark-colored buckets can create a microclimate inside, which can cause the plant to come out of dormancy early in the late winter.

That’s not what we want.

Step 6: Protection From Birds

As much as you love those beautiful little blueberries, so do the birds. They will eat them if you don’t do something about it.

Not good.

So, how do you protect them from the birds?

The only method to overcome this situation is using bird nettings.

Put these nettings over your blueberry bushes and enjoy your hard-grown fruit after its growth.

Rather than removing these nettings to harvest the fruit at harvest time, you should crawl under the nettings and harvest them. A young individual in the household can make this job easier for you.

This is how you can successfully grow blueberries in Colorado.

Related Questions About Growing Blueberries:

Let me answer some frequently asked questions about growing blueberries in Colorado.

When can you plant blueberry bushes in Colorado?

I recommend planting your blueberry bushes in spring (late April or early May).

The spring planting will give your blueberry bushes time to develop their root system before the hot summer months.

Regarding planting, I have already shared the exact strategy earlier.

Sounds good.

Do blueberry plants stay healthy after several decades?


With proper care, such as fertilization and pruning at the right time, you can easily grow blueberries for a long time.

My friend in Colorado has a blueberry plant that is almost 24 years old, and just pruning and fertilization will do the job.


Wrapping Up:

When it comes to growing blueberries in Colorado, there are some challenges that you will face.

So, can you grow blueberries in Colorado?


If you plant your blueberry bushes directly into Canadian sphagnum peat moss, add elemental sulfur to maintain the acidic pH, and fertilize them properly, growing blueberries is possible.

Remember that this process requires patience. And yes, learn from the best.

Happy gardening.

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Can You Grow Blueberries in Colorado | 6 Secrets to Success

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