Pink Lemonade Blueberry

Have you ever seen a pink blueberry before? It looks like something that just shouldn’t exist!

Pink Lemonade BlueberriesIt’s bright pink and perfectly unique. 

If you don’t have any of these plants in your garden yet then I highly recommend adding a couple to the garden this year.

The best little surprise from the pink lemonade blueberry is that these these eye-catching little beauties have a taste quite different than a regular blue blueberry.

You’ll be amazed, they actually have a distinct tangy sweet taste just like pink lemonade.

It’s very unlikely that will you see these berries picked for sale in the store like you do regular blueberries.

As far as I know these are not grown in large scale, these delicious pink delights are grown as a novelty only in small scale home gardens. 

Growth Habits

Their growth habits are very much the same as a regular high bush blueberry plant and they can be grown in containers with the same type of care.

Use a large 24″ toy tub with holes in the bottom, like the ones pictured on this site. The plant will grow happily there for years and produce big, plump and sweet bright pink berries.

These pink blueberry plants that I have are growing at about 3 times the rate of the blue blueberry plants I have. They take some patience to allow them to get established but once they do then they produce like crazy.

This variety was introduced in 2005 and named ‘Pink Lemonade’ Blueberry in 2007. Buy it here.

In my garden, the 5 year old Pink Lemonade plants are growing faster and larger than the blue blueberry plants. They have a slightly different shaped leaf, it’s dainty, a little narrower and a bit dusty in colour. It’s more of a frosty green colour rather than the deep green of the regular blueberry leaves.

They are only semi-hardy and can withstand winter temperatures down to 0º C. If you live in an area that usually has long cold winters, then this plant won’t likely survive unless you put effort into over-wintering it in a garage or heated greenhouse.

The plants in my garden have survived several winters with cold snaps that are sometimes colder than 0º C and they’ve kept growing without issues. The cold in this area never lasts very long at any given time so the plants can handle it.

Short term cold snaps should be ok and your plant will survive, but extended periods of cold will likely have a negative effect on the plants and they might die.
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Pink Blueberry Facts

They do best in zones 4-8
Prefer slightly acidic soil pH of 6.1

They can grow 4-5 feet high and 3 to 4 feet around
They are a full sun plant, needing 6+ hours of direct sun per day
They need a lot of water during the fruiting season

Winter Chill Hours

The pink blueberry is a rabbit eye type of blueberry, most rabbit eyes need 500-1000 hours of winter chill time for best results but the pink lemonade only needs 300 hours of of time below 45º F.

Once established they will produce a lot of delicious fruit. After they’re done fruiting in the fall their leaves will turn a bright scarlet red before falling off in early winter as the dormancy stage begins.

Pollination

They are the same as blue blueberries when it comes to pollination. A pink blueberry will pollinate a blue blueberry plant and vice versa.

As with all blueberries they will do much better with ‘friends’ nearby. You must have at least two blueberry plants near each other, ideally of two different varieties for the best pollination. I consider this a great ‘problem’ because you have to buy more blueberry plants!

One large container has enough space to have two plants together in it. Just remember that once it’s been planted and had time to establish itself they shouldn’t be moved or replanted. They have a very tender root system and can die easily if they are moved without care.

Pink Blueberry Pests

Thankfully when blueberries are planted in a favourable environment they are usually pest free. The best part is that birds in my area don’t recognize the pink blueberries as food so they don’t eat them. The birds will have completely cleaned off my blue blueberry plants while the pink ones sit there untouched!

Hopefully the birds in your area don’t figure it out!

If you have deer in the neighbourhood though, you’ll need to protect your delicious pink blueberry shrubs from them. Bunnies will happily eat your blueberry shrub as well.

Sometimes birds can still be a problem, they love the fruit too. If you have issues with birds, they are easily kept at bay by using commercially made bird netting that you loosely string up and over the plants.  

Also, the red shiny Scare Tape that glitters in the sun is a great way to deter birds too. It interferes with their radar and then they have trouble seeing where to land on the tree, so they fly to somewhere that’s easier to land.

Another alternative to the Scare Tape is bird repellent disks. They kind of look like earrings for you tree. They use the same glittering and radar interfering method as the scare tape just with a different look.


Stacy’s Secret for Success: Always buy the largest plant you can afford


The more established this or any plant is when you take it home the better off it will be…and the sooner you’ll see results and a yummy harvest.

Tiny plants need a lot of care and protection in order to thrive and produce fruit. They may be cheaper in the beginning but the chances of it dying are much greater than if you pick a large plant right from the beginning.

I really don’t recommend starting blueberry plants from seed, unless you’re just interested in the amusement of sprouting seeds.

Growing a blueberry shrub from seed is very time consuming and labour intensive. They require a lot of care and it will also be a minimum for 3 years before it will produce fruit, if you can make it survive that long.

It’s best to let the growers and the nurseries do the hard stuff and produce healthy young fruit stock for us to take home once it’s a few years old. It’s more rewarding and much easier when you buy a thriving young plant that’s already well on it’s way to producing delicious fruit. 

I highly recommend adding a few delicious pink blueberry plants to your own unique backyard garden.

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One thought on “Pink Lemonade Blueberry

  1. Wanda

    June 2, 2017 at 4:14am

    I was going to ask about my Pink Lemonade blueberry’s lush appearance without any blossoms so far this season! From the above comment I can see I have to dig up some patience! I planted several last fall and because they had blooms and a couple of fruit when I bought them, I expected some this year. Best laid plans eh?

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    • Stacy

      June 5, 2017 at 6:38am

      They definitely require a little patience for the first few seasons. It’s not easy but the reward will be well worth it though. The first year I had my plants they didn’t produce anything at all, the second year there were about 3 berries on each plant, then the third year and every year since then they have produced hundreds and hundreds of berries each growing season.

      Your plants should stabilize and get comfy with their new home in the next year or so and begin producing very well. Give them a bit of berry fertilizer to help them along if you like. You can always throw in a blue blueberry plant for additional and varied pollination.

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  2. Dr.Raid

    March 10, 2017 at 10:29am

    Hi
    I planted today a lamonade burry
    I live in BAGHDAD
    And temp in summer may reach 50 cent more than125 F
    Can this olant live in such high temp
    Thanks
    Dr.RAID
    AL RUBAYEE
    ÌRAQ

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    • Stacy

      March 12, 2017 at 4:33pm

      I’ve never tried to grow a pink blueberry in temperatures that high but if you care for it closely it should work. Did you put it in a container or the ground?

      I think the most important thing for the plant in that heat is to have a constant water supply. Either from a drip irrigation system or if it’s in a container that you can lift then have it sitting in a tray of water. Keep the water fresh each day. The plant needs quite a lot of water while it’s bearing fruit.

      It is also important to keep it protected from the direct sun. Plant it under a shade cover or in a greenhouse that offers a barrier from the direct rays that will easily burn the plant.

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      • Dr.Raid

        March 13, 2017 at 11:24am

        Thank you
        I wiil irrigate it by pipe timer system
        I wii protect it from durect burning sun light
        Wait & see

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        • Stacy

          March 13, 2017 at 5:58pm

          I’ve been talking to some people who’ve lived in your general area. It could very well be too hot for the plant to survive outside during the high temperatures.
          You might be up for a bit of a challenge to make it live and be healthy.

          Another possibility that might work is to bring it indoors. You could get away with it living in a container inside your home.

          The pink blueberry is self pollinating so you should be able to get berries with it inside. The Top Hat (blue) blueberry is suitable to grow indoors so I think it’s likely that the pink one will too. It’s worth a try if you have a place for it inside.

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  3. jess sleight

    January 30, 2017 at 10:18am

    Ihave looked everywhere to find how or even why pink bueberries were firsst grown…how did they turn pink. was something added to the soil? thank you

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    • Stacy

      February 2, 2017 at 2:44pm

      Hi Jess
      The pink blueberry began development about 20 years ago. It was developed over a span of about 10 years by the USDA. It’s really only been available to us since 2007.

      They are a cross between an experimental blueberry and a Delite blueberry. The Delite blueberry variety often has some pinkish berries among the blue ones even when they are mature and ripe. Over the years the growers slowly bred out the ‘blue’ and selected only the pink characteristics for the new variety. It was named Pink Lemonade in 2007.

      The pink blueberry is its’ own plant and isn’t a regular blue blueberry with something added to the soil. That’s a great question since it’s possible to change the colour of a hydrangea from blue to pink using soil additives.

      As far as why did they develop it, I’m not sure but I think it’s as simple as most odd things, they did it because we can!

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  4. David4

    May 28, 2016 at 9:56am

    I have been growing them since the first year I saw them for sale in a catalog. I have 15 other blueberries that do fine in the small yard and I haven’t had a single berry ripen. This year it was loaded with flowers, nothing formed. Not a single berry. I have never had any issues with the other 10 I planted (The first 5 were planted by my dad.) I’m not sure what the problem is.

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    • Stacy

      June 6, 2016 at 1:40pm

      Do you have one plant of the pink lemonade variety and the rest are blue blueberries? Or do you have more than one pink one? (How many of each colour do you have?)

      Do you remember how many years it’s been since you’ve started growing the pink plant(s)?

      It sounds like not enough pollination or that the plant might be under stress. They’ll drop their flowers if they get stressed due to lack of watering or being moved/transplanted or even dramatic weather changes and temperature fluctuations can cause this to happen.

      Let me know some details and hopefully I’ll be able to dig up some more answers for you.

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  5. Michelle Terrana

    May 12, 2016 at 9:19am

    We’ve had our pink lemonade established for at least a year, but have not seen a single berry. Its in morning sun and late afternoon shade. Just like our regular blueberry next to it. The regular blueberry is producing about 2 cups of berries and has been established same amount of time! HELP!!!!!

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    • Stacy

      May 14, 2016 at 8:52am

      In my experience with the pink lemonade blueberry, they require a good solid dose of patience. Make sure it’s sitting/planted in a spot that gets maximum number of sun hours, more sun produces sweeter berries. Give it water through the dry spells and a little fertilizer once or twice a year and then wait.

      Mine are about 5 years old now. The first year I got 0 berries, the second year I literally got 3 berries, the third year the plant made it up to about 30 berries, then the 4th year it just exploded in to hundreds and hundreds of berries from a fast growing plant that just wouldn’t stop producing. Three of us were eating from it for the entire summer last year and it looked like we never touched it. The berries never ran out for months, it was crazy.

      You haven’t done anything wrong, the pink ones just seem to take a little longer to get rolling than the blue ones. It’s absolutely worth the wait, guaranteed.

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  6. Myron

    April 13, 2016 at 12:33pm

    Will a pink lemonade highbush blueberry grow in toronto. Will it be able to survive the harsh winters. I want to plant it in the ground. Is it advisable to do so.

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    • Stacy

      April 13, 2016 at 3:13pm

      The pink blueberry could be a little bit too tender for Toronto without some cold protection. Toronto is generally considered a zone 6. The pink lemonades that I have were sold as hardy in zones 7-10. But I found other sources that sold them labelled as hardy down to zone 4. I bet it would probably work and they’d live with a little help.

      I would totally try it! Put a small greenhouse over the bush after you plant it in the ground. Do you have one plant or more? You can buy (or make) a slender greenhouse that can fit over the one plant. This would provide shelter and a bubble of warmer air around the plant to help protect it from the cold.

      Also, if you haven’t already bought it I recommend buying the largest plant you can find (and afford) and plant it soon so that it has the most time to get settled in the ground before winter comes again. Good luck! Let me know how it goes.

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