Should Blueberries be Planted Near a Wall?

Ripening in the Sun by Isadore Berg

TheGardenLady received this question from Mui.

I have a flowerbed that is about a foot wide, 15 feet long and it is right next to the wall of my house. Can I plant blueberry shrub there? My concern is that as the plant grows bigger, the root will damage the wall and the foundation of the house.  Please advise.

There is a possibility of growing blueberries in your flower bed if it is a sunny spot – read to the end of the post for suggestions. However, TheGardenLady would recommend other plants than blueberries in the site you describe. Let me explain.

There are two main types of blueberries, high bush blueberries Vaccinium corymbosum and low bush blueberries Vaccinium angustifolium. High bush blueberries are the kind you buy in the stores. Low bush blueberries are the wild blueberries or the blueberries you buy in Maine or Canada. Both blueberries like sun, acid soil and good air circulation.

Blueberry bushes Lake Minnewaska by natureluv

Planting near a wall may have major problems for the plants. You might have shade. (Blueberries need a minimum of 6 hours of sun. They tolerate partial shade but won’t produce as many blueberries.) And you might not get good air circulation.

You definitely don’t have room enough in a 1 ft wide bed flower bed for high bush blueberries. A flower bed that is only one ft. wide, is really too narrow to plant the high bush blueberries especially if it is so close to a wall. I am more concerned about the shrub than the wall of your house when I say this. A high bush blueberry shrub at maturity can become 5 to 6 ft wide. A one foot wide area right next to a wall would not allow room for the plant or its roots to expand. And being this close to a wall will not allow good air circulation for the plant which will mean not only deformed plant growth on one side of the shrub, but can cause the plant to be more susceptible to plant problems. And with the wall, there might be shading of the plant part of the day. Blueberries do need full sun. Or the wall might bake the roots or one side of the shrub which can damage the plant.

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Callicarpa americana

                                           Photo by natureloving

TheGardenLady had never seen a bush with such magnificent fall berries until she walked around her town one fall and saw a shrub with magenta berries on it. Once seen TheGardenLady had to have this shrub; but when she first asked its name - Callycarpa Americana – it seemed difficult to remember.  And its common name with Beauty in it, was also difficult to recall because there is beauty as part of other common plant names. But once TheGardenLady learned that Callicarpa is derived from the Greek words kallos (beauty) and karpos (fruit); Linnaeus named it americana to distinguish it from the old-world species, this TheGardenLady could never forget the name.

It had to be given the name whether in Greek or in English of Beauty Berry because of the strikingly bright magenta berries that are profuse on all the branches-the berries on some shrubs are said to be pink through violet. And there are also white berried Callicarpa americana – var. lactea or other white berried callicarpas.

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