Gardening in 2016 should be inspirational and eclectic and fun! What better plant to add to your garden than one that exhibits four seasons of interest and produces fruit for your cereal bowl! No more boring gardens stuffed with static plants that are not earning their keep – plant a new blueberry to spice it up.
‘Perpetua’ – introduced by Fall Creek Farm & Nursery – is a double-cropping blueberry, meaning that it flowers and produces fruit two times a year – once in spring at the traditional time and again in fall when canning the fruits of the garden and jam making is underway. Berries are small and sweet and produced on 4-5-foot branches, which is the perfect height for easy picking of the harvest. As with all plants in the Ericaceae (heath) family, acidic, well-drained but moist organic-rich soils are best. Full sun is required for best flowering and fruit production. To add to the ornamental charm of this plant, new growth is bright yellow with red stems in winter. Leaves are dark green, curly and shiny in summer and turn to red in autumn. Look for this new introduction and others in the BrazelBerries® series this spring in your local garden center retailer.
Common Name: Perpetua blueberry
Botanical Name: Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Perpetua’
Blooming Period: Two seasons of bloom –spring and late summer
Type: Deciduous shrub
Size: 4-5 feet in height with upright vase shape
Exposure: Full sun
Hardiness Zone: 4-8
When to Plant: Plant in spring or fall
Soil: Acidic soils
Watering: Requires well-drained soil with even amounts of moisture to produce best fruit.
When to Fertilize: Fertilize with acidic fertilizer, such as those formulated for azaleas/Rhododendron.
In Your Landscape: Add to the vegetable garden or shrub border as a fruiting plant with four season of interest.
A version of this article appeared in print in Carolina Gardener Volume 28 Issue 2.
Photography courtesy of Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, Inc./Brazelberries.