Typically hand-picked, soft, and juicier than most, the Biloxi blueberry is the perfect addition to a delicious morning muffin. This low- to no-chill berry is a cultivar of the highbush blueberry variety that has firm, plump fruit with a sweet taste.
If this is the first time you’re hearing about Biloxi blueberries, this ultimate guide will cover everything there is to know about them, including delicious, mouthwatering recipes you can try!
History of the Biloxi Blueberry
Biloxi blueberries have been around for a long time, though their exact origins remain a mystery. They were first cultivated in the low country of the South and are named after Biloxi, Mississippi, which was rich in sugar cane plantations. Even with this great agricultural industry, it wasn’t until the early 20th century that the Biloxi blueberry really took off as home gardeners began exploring new varieties.
Many people believe that Biloxi blueberries are a variety of blackberries due to their similar chemical composition. However, the Biloxi blueberry is a high bush plant compared to low bush varieties like blackberries, which can be found in forests or thickets.
Characteristics of the Biloxi Blueberry
Biloxi blueberries are a medium-sized berry with a light blue hue. They are very firm and have a small scar where it’s picked from the vine. The Biloxi variety is firmer, juicier, and sweeter than other blueberries, making them ideal for baking or freezing, jams and preserves.
Because Biloxi blueberries are a low to medium chill berry, they typically need 0-150 of chill hours annually. Without the appropriate chill hours, buds and leaves will form erratically, and fruit will lack their typical luster.
Though the Biloxi blueberry ripens early in the season, they have a very long harvesting season (April – July).
Biloxi blueberries are small, firm and sweet with a mild tartness. They also have thicker skin which makes them ideal for freezing. This is why most Biloxi blueberries are sold for the U-pick industry.
Biloxi blueberries are medium-sized. While they have a smaller fruit size than wild highbush blueberries, they’re still larger than most high bush varieties.
Biloxi blueberries are ideally grown in Zone 8-10. Consult the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to ensure your area is within the right zone.
Size And Spacing
Biloxi bushes are typically smaller (average height of 4-6 feet) than other blueberry varieties. They are grown in the form of group cultivation. This means that you can plant more than one Biloxi bush into the same area, but they must be spaced at least 6 feet apart to accommodate their spreading roots.
Biloxi blueberries do not require a pollinator. However, planting at least two Biloxi bushes is recommended to increase fruit production.
Blueberry Shrub Care
Blueberry bushes are evergreen and don’t require any specific maintenance. That said, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when it comes to looking after your biloxi blueberry shrub.
For a more detailed guide, take a look at our article on caring for your blueberry shrub.
Biloxi blueberries need half to a whole day’s worth of sunlight. If you live in a cold area, you can plant blueberry bushes in full sun or light shade.
Blueberry bushes prefer fertile and well-drained soils with a pH between 5.5-6.4. To ensure your Biloxi blueberry bush thrives, use a combination-type soil that includes coco peat, organic matter, perlite, and sand.
Blueberries are a shallow-root plant, which means they need soil that can hold water. However, they don’t need much water. Let them dry out completely before watering again to avoid root rot.
Fertilizing your blueberry bush once a year is recommended. You can do this with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in the spring or organic fertilizers like compost. You can also use foliar feed to give them a quick boost of nutrients.
Pruning blueberry bushes is very easy, especially if you use a variety that’s resistant to black rot. Simply remove any dead or diseased branches and prune out those that are about to die. That said, the best time to prune blueberry bushes is during their dormant period. If you choose to prune them during the growing season, use sharp metal clippers and trim only above active growth.
The most common disease affecting Biloxi blueberry bushes is called bacterial canker. You can easily identify this disease with the presence of white to green pustules on the stems, leaves, and fruit.
Mites and aphids are the most common pests for Biloxi blueberries. Mites can be easily identified by the small white cottony spots that appear on the leaves. Aphids look like tiny ants and infest the leaves, stems, and fruit of your blueberry bush. If you notice these pests on your plant, use a pesticide to eliminate them and prevent further damage.
For more information about how to identify, eradicate, and even deter pests, read our blog post on common blueberry pests.
When to Harvest Biloxi Blueberries
With Biloxi blueberries, you can harvest between April to July. The best time to harvest them is during the afternoon when temperatures are steady and close to 18 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you find a good spot that’s sheltered from the wind and air circulation, you can pick them much earlier in the morning.
Here’s a more detailed guide to know when it’s time to pick your berries.
Common Uses for Biloxi Blueberries
Biloxi blueberries are commonly used for cooking and baking. You can use them for pies, cobblers, muffins, pancakes, jams, and jellies. In fact, the Biloxi blueberry is commonly used commercially in cereals or granola bars.
What Does This Blueberry Taste Like?
Biloxi blueberries have a mild and sweet taste. Compared to other popular blueberry cultivars, Biloxi blueberries have a more balanced flavor since they’re not very tart.
Biloxi blueberries are often used as a sweetener substitute in tea. They’re also good dipped in chocolate like the popular chocolate-covered blueberries sold at most food stores across the country.
Biloxi blueberries are great for cooking and can be used to make desserts and pies. There are many ways to use these berries for delicious tasting treats. But did you also know that blueberries are great for savory dishes too? They pair well with all sorts of fish, pork, chicken, and red meat (like the lamb pictured below!)!
Biloxi blueberries are delicious when eaten raw. You can toss them into a smoothie, add them to your cereal or use them as a simple snack.
Biloxi blueberries should be stored in glass jars, plastic, or freezer bags for a year. You can also preserve them by drying, freezing, or canning them.
Here are some of the most popular recipes that use Biloxi blueberries
Health Benefits of Biloxi Blueberries
Blueberries are a nutrient-rich food containing anthocyanins, which gives them their vibrant color. Blueberries also contain antioxidant properties, fiber, and vitamin C.
Blueberries help prevent cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes. They promote healthy eyesight, brain function, and memory. Biloxi blueberries can also fight against the common cold and help protect the body against oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
Where to Buy Biloxi Blueberry Plants
You can find Biloxi blueberries in most nurseries and garden centers throughout the country.
Where To Buy Biloxi Blueberries
You can buy blueberries at most local farmers’ markets during their harvest season.
Wrapping Up the Biloxi Blueberry
Very little measures up to the joy of turning home-grown fruits into delicious treats—be it pies, jams, muffins, and more. So if you, like us, love growing fruit on your property but aren’t sure how try the Biloxi blueberry. With their sturdiness, low chill hours, and low maintenance, they are a grower’s dream!
We hope our guide has helped you learn more about the Biloxi blueberry and what conditions this sumptuous fruit thrives in.
If you have tips to share for Biloxi blueberries, don’t be shy. We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below! For more information about blueberry varieties, click here for our other blueberry blog posts