Blueberry

Blueberry

Vaccinium sect. Cyanococcus

Blueberries, medicinally strengthen the bones, help with cancer prevention, manage blood glucose levels, enhance skin health, control, blood pressure, and promote healthy heart functioning.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names: Swamp blueberry, Dwarf blueberry, High-bush blueberry, Low-bush blueberry
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: Yes
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Leaves and Berries
  • Side Effects:
Use left and right arrows to navigate between tabs. Plants Informations

About Blueberry

Blueberry is an adorable superfruit that is native to North America. They are officially designated under the section Cyanococcus within the genus Vaccinium. This genus is home to many other berries, including bilberries, huckleberries, cranberries, and whatnot. Its plant appears in the form of a prostate shrub that can go as high as 13 feet. Commercially, the small (pea-sized) blueberries emerge in the ‘lowbush blueberries’ category while the larger ones appear on relatively taller bushes, known as highbush ‘blueberries.’


The plump shape and vivid blue color of blueberries are yet another surprising element of mother nature. That blue color cannot be neglected as it comes from anthocyanin, an antioxidant. This crown-forming perennial shrub produces oval to elliptical leaves, arranged alternately on the stems. Its flowers arise in clusters of 8 to 10, with a color palette ranging from white to pink. The stems and twigs are originally yellowish green but turn red during winters.


Blueberries complement a vast range of recipes. From adding flavors to the meat to curing coughs, from making nice purple dye to a brewing cup of tea, blueberries have bagged all the medals on its shelves. Medicinally, they strengthen the bones, help with cancer prevention, manage blood glucose levels, enhance skin health, control, blood pressure, and promote healthy heart functioning.

 

Growing

Blueberries can be started in mid-fall (mid-October) or early spring, after the departure of all the severe freeze dangers. They can be grown using seeds or bare roots. Surprisingly, you can grow these juicy berries indoors too in a container.

Blueberries require a sunny, sheltered spot with moist yet well-drained soil. They thrive in acidic pH (4 to 5 pH) and it's better to avoid planting them in heavy clay-type soil as they tend to stay wet for longer periods. You can apply fertilizers a month after planting and not during the plantation. 

*Note: Protect your blueberry plant vigilantly as they are prone to diseases and attract a lot of birds and critters. A containerized blueberry plant is the best option to avoid all these disastrous invasions and handle the soil pH for better yield.

Good things come to those who wait!

And that's the case with blueberries too. They can take as long as 6 to 12 weeks to germinate. New shoots sprout to become seedlings that grow at a moderate pace to become a small plant. With spring comes the critical flowering phase of the blueberry plant that stretches for around 7 to 9 weeks i.e. till early summers. These flowers are cross-pollinated to produce berries that take around 2 months to be fully ripe and enjoyed. These berries bear seeds that can be used to start a new blueberry plant.

*Note: It can take about 2 to 4 years for the blueberry bush to produce fruits.

 

Harvesting

Blueberries can be harvested from early June through early August.

Blueberries are handpicked to retain the quality of the fruit.

Blueberries are best enjoyed fresh but to enjoy their flavor year-round, you can dry them in the oven at 225℃ for 3 hours and store them in an airtight container.

 

Usage

Blueberries are a powerhouse of nutrients, good for the promotion of health. 

  • Tincture - Soak dried blueberries in alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks to form a blueberry tincture.
  • Tea - Simmer mashed blueberries with black tea and lavender (optional) for a few minutes to enjoy a hot cup of blueberry tea.
  • Decoction - Dried blueberries are cooked in water for 2 to 4 hours to form a blueberry decoction.
  • Salve - Blueberry root-infused oil is stirred with melted beeswax and peppermint oil (optional) to formulate a salve.
  • Syrup - Fresh blueberries are rolled to a few boils in a sugar solution to yield a concentrated blueberry syrup.
  • Infused Oil - Dried blueberry root is chopped and infused with a carrier oil of choice for 3 to 5 weeks in a clear bottle on a sunny windowsill to form an infused oil.