The Misty Blueberry is a California native with blue-green foliage in summer and burgundy-purple in fall, allowing it to serve as an ornamental feature in your garden, in addition to providing a crop of tasty fruit each year. This southern highbush variety of blueberry plant is known for its attractiveness and high fruit yield. Its blueberries are sweet and have a sky blue hue, preceded by small pink and white flowers.
In this article, we’ll explore what to expect from your Misty Blueberry bush and how to care for it. We’ll also provide links to growing guides that will help you make this blueberry a focal point in your garden that produces fruit that you can enjoy in all sorts of recipe ideas. If we had to sum up the Misty blueberry, it would be “hardworking multi-tasker that ticks all the boxes.”
History of the Misty Blueberry
The Misty Blueberry bush was first introduced to the blueberry world in 1989. While this particular blueberry has subsequently made way for many new varieties, it is nonetheless a hardy and high-yielding southern highbush blueberry. This blueberry bush is self-pollinating but prefers to be a team player and likes to be placed near other blueberries like the Southmoon blueberry for cross-pollination to maximize fruit yield.
Its botanical name is Vaccinium x ‘Misty’, and like most blueberries, it is native to eastern North America, though blueberries are grown throughout the world.
Characteristics of the Misty Blueberry
The Misty Blueberry shrub is evergreen in warmer climates with jeweled blue-green tones and pink and white flowers that give way to sky blue blueberries. In cooler temperatures, during the fall, the foliage turns burgundy-purple before dropping. Misty blueberries are medium to large with a sweet and spicy taste and a firm texture.
Misty blueberry shrubs succeed best in moderately acidic soil (pH 5.5 to 6.5) that is well-drained. While it likes other blueberry plants nearby, this particular breed of blueberry shrub requires space and is not really suitable for hedging. You can expect fruit after 1.5 to 2 years.
The Misty Blueberry can handle 300 chilling hours and will tolerate mild bouts of frost.
The Misty blueberry ripens either early or late season, depending on your plant, and early summer is the most common time for harvest. A mature Misty Blueberry plant can yield approximately twelve (12) pounds or more of fruit per season. Read more about the right time to pick blueberries here.
Misty blueberries have a mild but sweet and spicy flavor. They are delicious to eat!
The Misty Blueberry plant produces medium- to large-sized fruit.
Planting Zones of the Misty Blueberry Bush
The Misty Blueberry plant grows well in USDA zones 5-10 and is extremely popular in California, though you can plant this blueberry bush all the way to Washington. Minimum temperatures in zone 5 vary between -20° to -10°F, and in zone 10 the temperature variation is 30° to 40°F.
Size and Spacing
This upright plant will reach between 6 to 8 feet in height and 4 to 5 feet in width at maturity. Plant this blueberry shrub at least 5 feet from other plants to allow for growth and 20 ft from any walls. This particular hybrid of southern highbush is well suited to tunnel agriculture.
Like other blueberries, the Misty Blueberry is self-pollinating, and you can produce fruit with only one plant. However, this particular variety of blueberry yields more fruit and does better with cross-pollination. You can plant Misty blueberry bushes alongside other southern highbush types like Southmoon, Biloxi, and Star. To ensure compatibility, pick blueberry plants from the same species or subgroup to plant together.
Having a garden, especially one that allows you to harvest fruits and vegetables, is fulfilling, but it requires a certain amount of commitment and attention to ensure success. There are several aspects to consider when planting blueberry bushes, so let’s break down the relevant areas. You can read all about growing and caring for your blueberries here.
With a name like Misty, you would think some shade would be in order, but this blueberry likes sunlight — eight hours or more to do its best work. Some shade is okay, but this plant is a sun-worshipper. In warmer climates, Misty Blueberries remain evergreen but do not be put off if you live in areas with cooler weather.
This blueberry plant should be well watered, up to two to three times a week (or more if you live in a hotter region). Less if you live in a wet area. Keep the soil moist but don’t allow it to become soggy. Watering affects your harvest. Too little and your yield will be small with smaller berries; too much, and you run the risk of your blueberries being tasteless.
This blueberry plant likes to be trimmed, and you will need to prune well because they grow vigorously. If you live in an area where your blueberry bush will be evergreen, you can prune them shortly after harvesting in late spring or early summer. If you live in a colder climate where the leaves drop, you can prune your plants in winter. Remove older and broken canes. Read more about pruning here.
You should layer 2 to 4 inches of mulch around your blueberry plant to protect it from more extreme weather and to prevent the soil from losing too much moisture.
Diseases & Care
While blueberry shrubs are generally pest and disease resistant, root rot from overwatering or stem blight from spores infected with fungus is possible. Read more about blueberry diseases here.
Birds may be a problem; you can put up a net to protect your blueberries, depending on the severity. 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 Misty Blueberry
What can I say? Misty blueberries are good to eat! The plants themselves have been used in several scientific studies across a wide variety of topics, from pollination to tunnel agriculture. Practically, the most common use for blueberries is in food preparation, and you can find out more about blueberry nutrition here.
Like the plants themselves, Misty blueberries are attractive fruits. They add color to dishes and are suitable for baking and cooking. Combine them with other berries for a mixed berry pie — a blueberry muffin makes a nice addition to your lunchbox. Blueberries can even be used in savory dishes (for example, paired with meat like fish or pork). For more ideas on cooking with blueberries, check out our recipe section here.
If you prefer blueberries with a milder flavor, then this would be an excellent choice. Add them to your morning cinnamon crunch, or pop them on a charcuterie board with strong cheeses and biscuits, or grab a handful as you pass by the fridge.
Canning / Freezing / Drying
Misty blueberries can be frozen, dehydrated, or canned, depending on your yield. Blueberry jam is always a nice addition to the breakfast table, and mint and blueberry sorbet is a little effort but refreshing in the summer heat.
Health Benefits of the Misty Blueberry
The health benefits of blueberries are numerous, and that’s why if you want to grow and harvest fruit in your home garden, blueberries should go under the seriously consider column. This fruit is an excellent anti-oxidant and serves your immune system well with a boost of vitamins. To find out more about their health benefits, click on this link.
Where To Buy The Misty Blueberry Shrub
If your garden needs an ornamental feature with the added benefit of a fruit harvest, then head on over to the Nature Hills site and order your Misty blueberry bush today.
Where To Buy Misty Blueberries
You should be able to purchase Misty blueberries commercially, as they are prolific producers, or from your local farmer, depending on where you live. You are most likely to find them to buy in Southern California.
Wrapping up The Misty Blueberry
Growing blueberry plants isn’t for everyone, but if you have a large garden and a yen for blueberries, then the Misty blueberry is an excellent plant to start with. This variety of blueberry plant offers you fruit production while also making your garden more attractive.
Do you have a Misty blueberry in your garden? If so, tell us about it in the comments section below! And for more information about blueberries, click here to read other other blueberry-related blog articles.