The Best Berries to Grow in Containers

Gardeners who grow in containers or have limited space can grow blueberries and raspberries now. This is thanks to the plant breeders, who in the last few years have introduced downsized versions of blueberries and raspberries.

Most people know of blueberry’s antioxidant attributes. They are also beautiful four-season shrubs. White to pinkish-white, bell-shaped flowers dot the branches in spring, followed by fruit in summer. In fall, the leaves turn a stunning blend of reds, purples, and oranges, and in winter, leafless branches retain their purple-red hues.

Peach Sorbet™ Blueberries

Peach Sorbet™, introduced by the BrazelBerry® brand, gets its name from the color of its fall foliage. It gets 2 -3 feet tall and wide, making it perfect for a 12 -15 inches tall and wide container. Even smaller is BrazelBerries®’ Jelly Bean, which grows only 1 - 2 feet tall and wide. Peach Sorbet™ is hardy in USDA Zones 5–10; Jelly Bean™ in Zones 4–8.

Peach Sorbet™ and Jelly Bean™ (Vaccinium corymbosum) blueberries are self-pollinating, which means you don’t need another variety of blueberry to cross-pollinate for good fruit production.

Peach Sorbet™ blueberries Photo courtesy BrazelBerry®

Peach Sorbet™ blueberries. Photo courtesy BrazelBerry®

Fall/winter color of Peach Sorbet™ blueberry Photo courtesy BrazelBerry®

Fall/winter color of Peach Sorbet™ blueberry. Photo courtesy BrazelBerry®

Raspberry Shortcake™ Raspberry

Raspberry Shortcake™, a breeding breakthrough from BrazelBerry®, produces sweet red raspberries the first year it is planted in mid-summer. Bred for container growing, this thornless, self-pollinating raspberry (Rubus idaeus) gets about 3 feet tall. As it matures, Raspberry Shortcake™ grows more fruit-producing canes. Plant in an all-weather container, about 20 inches wide and deep.

Raspberry Shortcake™ Photo courtesy BrazelBerry®

Raspberry Shortcake™. Photo courtesy BrazelBerry®

Rasberry Shortcake™ fruit

Rasberry Shortcake™ fruit. Photo courtesy BrazelBerry®

Tips For Growing These Plants

  • Although these plants are bred to be highly productive, the amount of fruit depends on the plant’s care, location, size of container or planting space and other factors.
  • Select a large, all-weather container with good drainage if planning to grow these fruits in pots.
  • Always use a high quality potting mix, specially formulated for containers. If planted in the ground, the soil should be moist with good drainage.
  • Fruit plants do best when grown in full sun. Keep the plants close by for easy snacking.
  • Blueberries prefer an acidic soil, so add peat moss or other acid amendments to the container’s potting mix to create the right growing environment. Also blueberry shrubs can be planted in the ground, clustered in threes or fives, or as a low-growing hedge around a patio.
  • Provide adequate moisture when plants are blooming and producing fruit. If in the ground, give plants a slow, deep soaking about once a week, if no rain. During hot dry spells, twice a week watering might be necessary. Container grown blueberries and raspberries will probably have to be watered daily or every other day, depending on the material of the container and its location. Water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Allow water to run freely from the bottom of the pot, but don’t let the containers sit in water-filled saucers.
  • In spring, apply an all-purpose, granular fertilizer as new growth begins to develop on fruit plants. Blueberries do best with a fertilizer labeled for acid-loving plants. Always read and follow the label directions of the product you use.
  • In late winter, prune blueberries to shape. For the raspberry, prune out the canes that have finished producing fruit, to encourage new growth.
Preen Natural Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer

Preen Natural Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer

  • If planting blueberries or raspberries in the ground, keep weeds under control the natural way with Preen Natural Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer. Made from 100 percent corn gluten, this product is completely safe to use around any established plants. Not recommended for seed-sown crops, sprinkle Preen Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer around fruits, vegetables, herbs and other plants. One application keeps more than 20 weed seeds from sprouting, including crabgrass, foxtail, lambs quarters and plantain, for 30 days.

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