Skip to Content

The Kestrel Blueberry

Kestrel blueberries are aromatic and juicy, making a fantastic addition to your cooking or baking. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about the Kestrel Blueberry variety– from how much space they need per bush to knowing when harvest season starts. If you’re considering adding a new specimen to your home garden, keep reading to see if the Kestrel Blueberry is right for you.

Closeup of ripe blueberries similar to the fruit of the Kestrel Blueberry.

History of the Kestrel blueberry

The University of Florida created and released Kestrel Blueberries in 2009 when they were trying to create a southern highbush blueberry able to withstand low-chill temperatures. It is too low and they will be susceptible to damage. They flower and ripen quickly, making them a great early season blueberry.

Planting your Kestrel blueberry plants

If you are planning on planting in your backyard, be sure to find a blueberry bush for your location. While kestrel blueberries can grow in a low-chill zone, they prefer acidic soil growing conditions when possible. If you’re not sure what type of blueberry plant is best suited for your yard space- consult with an expert at your local nursery to determine which blueberry will do well for your yard. These are typically found within Florida because of its ideal temperatures.

Size and spacing of your Kestrel blueberries

Kestrel blueberry bushes grow very tall and require a spacing of eight-ten feet per blueberry bush. The blueberries themselves are medium in size, making it important that these blueberries have enough space between them to promote optimal growth.

A blueberry shrub with large, ripe blueberries on it.

Pollination for your Kestrel blueberries

Even if you’re not sure about blueberry pollination, Kestrel blueberries are self-pollinating, making it unnecessary to find another blueberry bush in your neighborhood. Kestrel blueberries don’t require cross-pollination with other blueberries but will produce much more when two or more blueberry bushes are present to aid in the process.

Closeup of a bee pollinating a blueberry blossom. The Kestrel Blueberry is self-pollinating, but will produce more fruit if another blueberry is planted nearby.

Caring for Kestrel blueberry plants

If blueberries are grown in the right conditions, they will produce delicious fruit for your enjoyment. While kestrel blueberry plants require little care and maintenance (beyond providing adequate sunlight and proper soil), it’s important to keep them watered during summer months when blueberry bushes need more water. Be cautious though. Too much water can make them unhappy.


Kestrel blueberries require a good amount of sunlight to grow and produce fruit. Be sure that they receive at least 4-5 hours of sunlight per day (more is better) but know that blueberry bushes can grow in shadier conditions. They’ll also need to be kept away from any housing foundations and tree roots for proper growth.

Watering blue

As blueberries are one of the most drought-tolerant fruits, kestrel blueberry plants need little water. They require enough water to make the soil moist. Any more than that and you risk root rot or other diseases.


Kestrel berry bushes will need to be pruned at least once a year, and while they’re dormant. The best way to do this is to use a hand pruner to cut back the dead and dying stalks. Ensure you’re looking for the right shoots, as the new ones in the winter will look much different from the older branches.

Diseases & Care

Blueberry bushes are susceptible to a variety of diseases, but luckily you can prevent them from spreading by cutting out the affected branches. Stem blight is a major type that needs attention if its symptoms show up: wilt-like damage on your blueberries will turn yellow before dying back at an angle, so be sure not to let this happen!


It’s not just people who love blueberries and, chances are, you’ll end up dealing with a pest or two (or more). For information about how to identify, eliminate, and deter pests, read our blog post on the 9 common pests you’ll encounter with blueberries

Common uses for the Kestrel blueberry

Cooking, canning, and drying for snacks are all ways that any blueberry can be used. Kestrels are prized for their aromatics and can be used in pies, sauces and other foods which have an aromatic element to them. They’re also great on their own as a snack, blueberry smoothie, or in a centerpiece Christmas charcuterie board.

Blueberry cheesecake bars.

What does the Kestrel blueberry taste like?

Plump, firm, and aromatic, these medium-sized berries are great for those that enjoy a firmer berry. They’re juicy and delicious, making them easy to use in any cooking or baking.


Blueberries are a delicious and versatile fruit. They can be used in place of any other food, such as apples or bananas, for example! But if you want the freshest taste, then using the Kestrel blueberry is great because they offer more flavor than some other varieties out there—so don’t miss out on those wonderful benefits by trying something else like ambrosia (a popular recipe).

Eating raw

Blueberries are one of the most delicious fruits you can snack on. They’re not only healthy, but they also have a lot going for them that makes snacking with blueberries more fun. You’ll love eating these anytime, anywhere – even as an after-school treat or if you need something quick before bedtime.

Canning blueberries

If your crop of Kestrel blueberries is especially large, consider canning them to make jam or preserves that will last throughout the winter. The best way for each type varies depending on its needs, but there are some general guidelines — follow those canning instructions carefully!

A jar or blueberry jam or preserves.

Freezing blueberries

Freezing blueberries is a fantastic way to preserve your crop this year. Simply wash them off the next day and place them in an airtight bag or container until you’re ready!

Drying blueberries

Drying Kestrel blueberries is another terrific way to preserve them once they’re harvested. Wash your berries off and place on a cookie sheet lined in parchment paper at 225 degrees for 3 hours, then transfer into airtight bags or containers until ready to eat.


You can dress up a Kestrel blueberry, but the best way is by using its sweet juicy flavors. One of those ways would be to make things like Blueberry Coffee Cake and Blueberry Banana Bread with an extra twist that will delight your taste buds! (Browse our Recipes section for delicious blueberry recipes.)

Health benefits of the Kestrel blueberry

Closeup of a cluster of blueberries.

If you had to pick one food that is so great for you, it would be the humble blueberry. Not only are they packed with antioxidants and vitamins, but have been shown to reduce inflammation in our bodies by fighting off free radicals, which can cause cancerous cells. With regular consumption of these little juicy gems, many people find them to be the perfect all-around fruit.

  • Bone health
  • Great antioxidants
  • Reduce DNA damage
  • Helps with cholesterol
  • Helps prevent heart disease
  • Blood pressure
  • Maintain memory and function

Check out this link here for more information on how blueberries can help with your wellbeing!

Where can I buy Kestrel blueberry shrubs?

Planting blueberries is an excellent way to add fruit in your garden. Many nurseries sell them. If you’re looking around for the right type of nursery that specializes in this sort of thing, make sure they have a variety based on where your zone falls as well as what kind/amounts of care you’d like to put into them.

Where can I buy Kestrel blueberries?

You’re unlikely to find these for sale in your grocery produce department, so specialty produce stores, farmers markets, or even blueberry farms are going to be your best bet. Call around to see if anyone grows them in your area.

Wrapping up the Kestrel Blueberry

Closeup of ripening blueberries.

Kestrel Blueberries are a fun little plant that can be added to any garden. If you’re looking for something healthy and delicious in your home or yard, Kestrel blueberries are the perfect fruit! The next time you’re shopping for blueberry plants, remember these little beauties too– they have so many benefits beyond just tasting good.

Excited for more blueberry content? Then check out our blueberry page to learn all about how to grow, care for, and harvest this delicious fruit!