By pruning blueberries you can improve the quality and quantity of your blueberry crop. This guide will show you how to prune blueberries for optimal growth.
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Why Prune Blueberries?
Pruning blueberries isn’t just about keeping the bush tidy – although that’s part of it. It’s also about encouraging new growth, which means more fruit. Blueberries are one of the few fruit bushes that produce fruit on last year’s wood, so it’s important to encourage lots of new growth each year by pruning.
When to Prune Blueberries
Prune blueberries in late winter before new growth begins. This allows you to shape the plant and get rid of any damaged or diseased stems.
How to Prune Blueberries
Prune blueberries in late winter while the plants are dormant. Cut off any canes that are more than 2 years old. Cut the canes back to about 6 inches above the ground. Also, remove any dead, diseased, or broken canes.
Selecting the Right Tool
Pruning shears are specialized tools designed for cutting living plant tissue. Common pruning shears have blades that open and close like scissors. Anvil pruners have a single tool with a blade that cuts against a flat surface, much like a knife against a cutting board. Bypass pruners have two curved blades that slide past each other, much like scissors, making them ideal for live, green plant tissue but not as good for dead wood.
The Pruning Process
Most blueberry pruning is done in late winter while the plant is still dormant. This ensures that any wounds will have plenty of time to heal before new growth begins in the spring. Begin by removing any dead, diseased, or damaged wood. These can be identified by their dark color and/or lack of new growth. Next, thin out any crowded or crossing branches to improve air circulation and sunlight penetration. Finally, prune back last year’s growth by about one-third to encourage new growth and fruit production.
To ensure your blueberry bush grows optimally, it is important to prune it regularly. Pruning allows you to remove dead or diseased leaves and stems, as well as encourage new growth. When pruning, be sure to:
-Cut at a 45-degree angle
-Make cuts just above a leaf node
-Remove any dead or diseased leaves and stems
-Encourage new growth by pruning the tips of the branches