For an excellent mid-season, low-chill variety with strong, upright growth and outstanding production, the Abundance Blueberry comes highly recommended. This bush also shows promise as a good candidate for mechanical harvesting and presents firm, crispy-textured berries that grow in long, exposed clusters.
The berries on this high-yield variety are large with good flavor, color, and scar. They generally ripen a couple of days after the Star Blueberry. And they are pretty easy to pollinate. And if you’re looking for a variety that grows tall, Abundance more than lives up to its name on that account! Let’s examine this unique berry in more detail.
History of the Abundance Blueberry
The Abundance Blueberry belongs to the Vaccinium corymbosum variety, and it was developed at the University of Florida. This berry is a cross between FL90-4 (unpatented) and FL93-70 (unpatented) and was created in a greenhouse in Gainesville, Florida, in March of 1993. The bush’s seeding first produced a high-density yield in April 1995. Plants were then propagated using softwood cuttings on a 15-plant plot for commercial blueberry planting in January 1999 at a farm in Windsor, Florida.
They were able to propagate the clone and successfully plant several hundred bushes in January 2001 in Archer, Florida. This variety inherits many of the traits of Southern Highbush blueberries. Some of the Abundance Blueberry’s unique features include:
- Vigorous, upright growth
- Medium-sized berries
- Small picking scar
- High firmness
- Ideal for southern climates
Abundance Blueberry / Fruit Characteristics
Here are a few more in-depth characteristics of the Abundance Blueberry.
- Berry cluster: Loose
- Number of berries per cluster: Average 5 to 6
- The average number of flowers per cluster: 4
- Best harvest method: By hand
The Abundance Blueberry requires 300 chilling hours.
Abundance ripens just before May 20 if planted in the early season.
You can also reference our helpful guide detailing the best time to pick blueberries on the Minnetonka Orchards website.
- Surface color of mature berry on bush: Vapor blue
- Surface color of mature berry post-harvest: Steel Gray
- Surface color of mature berry post-polishing: Shiny Black
- Berry Surface Wax: Medium in persistence and amount when the berry is handled.
- Berry flavor: Sweet with slight acidity.
- Berry texture: Good with small seeds and thin skins.
- Berry firmness: High
- Berry height: 14.3 millimeters (mm)
- Berry width: 18.1mm
- Berry weight: Average 3.1 grams (g) per berry.
Abundance blueberries should be grown in Zone 7-10 in areas that have mild winters.
Also, we recommend consulting the USDA Hardiness Zones when planning your orchard or garden.
And for more information about the growing Abundance Blueberries, we recommend checking out our guide: “How to Grow Blueberries.”
Size and Spacing
Abundance Blueberry bushes grow between six and 16-feet tall, and they are prolific producers.
A good rule of thumb is to plant your bushes as far apart as they are tall. For example, if your bush is five feet tall, you should have at least five feet of space between the bushes. If you’re growing in rows, it’s best to allow for eight to ten feet of space between your rows; this also depends on the equipment you use for mowing or cultivating.
This variety requires cross-pollination with at least two to three types for maximum yield and berry quality.
These plants are grown from a tissue culture, which means they are exact replicas of a healthy mother plant.
Abundance Blueberry Bush Care
Abundance doesn’t require additional care if grown in the proper zones.
Abundance, as with all blueberry varieties, needs fertilizer rich in nitrogen. The best forms of nitrogen are urea, sulfur-coated urea, cottonseed meal, and ammonium sulfate. And you definitely don’t want to use fertilizers with nitrate since it’s toxic to blueberry plants.
You want to fertilize your Abundance bushes once during early spring and once more in late spring. You can also use organic fertilizers like blood meal and cottonseed.
Abundance Blueberry plants thrive in soil that’s both rich and well-drained. Ideal pH levels are between 4.5 and 4.8. It’s also best practice to have soil rich in organic matter. When planting blueberry bushes directly inground, we recommend mixing in organic matter such as aged-composed-enriched soil with the top six inches of native soil.
Pine fines and peat moss are also good for your blueberry bushes. A good mix is four bags of pine fines and one bale of peat moss for every ten blueberry plants.
Abundance Blueberry bushes require tons of sunlight, at least eight to ten hours of unfiltered, direct sunlight each day.
Also, avoid planting them near trees if at all possible, as trees often have roots that will take away nutrients from your bushes. Trees can also transmit diseases that impact your plant’s air circulation and are often host to birds, some of which will gobble up your blueberries.
And too much shade can lead to your blueberry bushes producing fewer flowers and far less fruit.
Blueberry bushes have very shallow roots that don’t develop as quickly as other plants. Due to this factor, it’s necessary to make sure you water your bushes deeply and routinely so that they can grow vigorously.
If you have a drip irrigation system set up, just make sure you have even moisture levels throughout your planting area.
Annual pruning is an excellent way of maintaining your bushes’ productivity by encouraging the growth of new berry-producing stems. It also removes dead or otherwise unproductive branches, and increases your fruits’ overall quality as your shrubs put energy into making more fruit, not more leaves.
You can also learn more about pruning your blueberry plants by reading our website’s insightful guide titled “How to Prune Blueberries.”
Diseases & Care
Fungicidal sprays are necessary for commercial plantings in more humid climates to ensure maximum yields.
Please consult our in-depth website guide for more information about diseases and pests that impact your blueberry bushes.
Common Uses For the Abundance Blueberry
On top of making juicy and delicious fruit, Abundance Blueberry bushes are also excellent landscaping plants since they can grow in significant proportions.
And of course, Abundance blueberries are incredible in all kinds of recipes, from muffins to cakes to even alcoholic or non-alcoholic cocktails.
What Do Abundance Blueberries Taste Like?
Abundance blueberries have a sweet flavor with just a bit of acidity or tartness.
Some folks might be surprised to learn just how well blueberries cook with certain dishes such as beef, poultry, pork, and seafood. Dishes like pork tenderloin with blueberry sauce and venison with blueberry sauce are just a few examples of the amazing meals you can cook with blueberries.
And of course, blueberries are wonderful in many popular desserts, such as pies, ice cream, and cake.
The Abundance blueberry tastes terrific fresh off the bush and makes for a tasty addition to any bowl of oatmeal, cereal, or yogurt. They can even liven up your salad!
Canning isn’t the best way to preserve blueberries. However, if you’re interested in making jams and preserves, you can find lots of great recipes using your fresh blueberries online.
By far, freezing is the best method for preserving your blueberries. To get started, first, you’ll need to wash and rinse your berries.
Next, lay them on a cookie sheet layered with a few sheets of paper towels.
Using more paper towels, blot them dry as much as you can.
Finally, carefully arrange each individual blueberry on a cookie sheet, ensuring that there’s space between them. Without adequate space, your blueberries may become a big frozen clump and lose their shape.
Now, you can place your tray in your freezer for storage.
The most efficient method for drying blueberries is using a food dehydrator. But, you can accomplish the same results using a conventional oven.
First, you want to place your berries on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Next, bake them at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for three hours. Make sure your berries cook thoroughly before removing them from the oven to cool.
Once your berries are cool enough, transfer them to airtight containers or a few ziplock bags.
Recipes for Abundance Blueberries
You can find several amazing blueberry recipes on our Minnetonka Orchards website. Even those that don’t use blueberries can be adapted by simply substituting your blueberries for the fruit listed. Here are a few delicious examples:
- Rustic Cobbler Recipe
- Almond Fruit Cheesecake
- Blueberry Coffee Cake
- One-Bowl Fruit Bread
- Easy Crumble Recipe
- Vanilla Almond Cake
- Rustic Fruit Tart (Galette)
- Easy Muffins
Health Benefits of the Abundance Blueberry
Blueberries are more than a tasty snack. These little blue wonders are also one of the most nutrient-rich superfoods on the planet.
Blueberries are full of vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, manganese, potassium, and tons of antioxidants.
Here are just a few health conditions helped by consuming blueberries.
- Weight control
- Cognitive disabilities and dementia
- High blood pressure
- Stroke recovery
- Colon cancer
Where To Buy Abundance Blueberry Bushes
To buy an Abundance Blueberry plant, you can check with your local nursery, or you might want to try contacting a Florida-based nursery.
You can also find other comparable blueberry plant selections on the Nature Hills Nursery website.
Where To Buy Abundance Blueberries
As for the Abundance blueberries themselves, you might have luck finding them at specialty grocery stores and farmer’s markets if you live in the right zone. Otherwise, get in touch with your local nursery or a nursery located in Florida.
Wrapping Up the Abundance Blueberry
The Abundance Blueberry is certainly one that lives up to its name. The bushes provide an excellent yield in low-chill environments and produce very large, sweet berries. If you’re looking for a crop that thrives in southern climates, the Abundance Blueberry is certainly worth a look.
For more blueberry reading, click here for our other blueberry-related blog articles (including recipes).