There are many types of blueberry varieties available for blueberry lovers to taste and plant. One such variety is the Ozarkblue Blueberry. If you live in the upper part of the South, this blueberry is a great choice for you. The Ozarkblue has produced high yields of fruit when other cultivars only delivered partial harvests or had complete crop losses.
But it’s not just about the fruit with this blueberry because it also makes for a pretty landscape plant. In the spring you’ll be treated to beautiful pink and white blooms before the fruit sets. In the fall, you can look forward to seeing the deep green-colored leaves change to yellow, orange, or red hues.
If you want a blueberry bush that yields good quality fruit of an ideal size, then you may want to consider getting this one, Let’s find out more about the Ozarkblue Blueberry.
History of the Ozarkblue Blueberry
The Ozarkblue Blueberry was first released by the University of Arkansas blueberry breeding program in 1996. Development and release were led by Drs. John Clark, Jim Moore, and Arlen Draper (whom the Draper Blueberry is named after).
This program started in the 1970s in cooperation with the US Department of Agriculture. This program was to focus on blueberry plants that could successfully grow in the climate and soil of the upper South in the US.
The Ozarkblue Blueberry is a southern highbush plant. It is a cross-pollination between two other types of non-patented blueberries (G- 144 and 4-76). It is also known as the Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Ozarkblue’. It’s developed to thrive in climates with hot summers.
Ozarkblue Blueberry Characteristics
This plant requires 800 to 1000 chill hours. When other plants have been damaged by a late frost or a freeze, the Ozarkblue has been able to provide consistent fruit yields.
When this plant ripens, you can expect a constant and a high rate of production. Expect to pick this blueberry in the late season (late summer, July- August). After planting the shrubs, it will take about 2 – 3 years to bear fruit.
Ozarkblue Blueberry shrubs produce excellent-sized fruit of good quality. The berries are known for being easy to pick and very aromatic. The berries have a firm texture in addition to a delicious taste.
With an Ozarkblue, expect to have plenty of blueberries to harvest each year – especially if you cross-pollinate with another type of shrub (like an O’Neal).
The blueberries are light blue in color.
Zones 5 to 9 are the locations where these blueberries thrive. So if you live in the south, you’ll be able to grow blueberries.
Size and Spacing
An Ozarkble Blueberry shrub will reach 2-4 feet tall. If planting multiple Ozarkblues, plant them 3-4 feet apart.
The plant is self-pollinating but you can pollinate with a different crop for even larger blueberry production. The O’Neal Blueberry is a great cross-pollination candidate.
Blueberry Shrub Care
Ozarkblue Blueberries need 6-8 hours of a sun a day. Make sure your blueberries are not exposed to high wind, which will dry them out.
Plant the shrubs in soil that is moist but well-drained. The ideal soil has an acidic pH of 4.5 – 5.
Make time to regularly prune mature blueberry shrubs — it will go a long way toward having better crops the following year. Learn more about pruning blueberries from our guide.
Diseases & Care
There are a number of pests to be aware of that target berries. It pays to be vigilant throughout the growing season so that you, and not the pests, get the reward of your blueberry crop at harvest time. Aphids, blueberry gall midges, various beetles, and weevil are some of the insect pests to worry about. Birds and deer will also snack on your blueberries, if given the opportunity.
For information on identifying, treating, and even preventing pest invasions, consult this article.
Common Uses For The Ozarkblue Blueberry
As mentioned before, the Ozarkblue blueberry is sweet, with a firm texture. These large, sweet berries are ideal for snacking, as well as for cooking or storing.
Since these blueberries are naturally sweet, they make flavorful smoothies and tasty garnishes for desserts like ice cream.
Freezing blueberries will come in handy when you have a high-producing bush such as the Ozarkblue. By freezing your blueberries you’ll have plenty to eat well into the winter (think, blueberry pancakes on a chilly weekend morning).
Here are some delicious recipes to try from our website:
You can even substitute blueberries in this recipe for Cherry Turnovers
Health Benefits of Blueberries
These blueberries are not only good for your taste buds, but they are also good for your health. Regardless of what variety you use, blueberries are some of the healthiest fruit you can buy.
After you harvest your Ozarkblue blueberries, enjoy them for fiber, vitamin C, antioxidants, and more. This fruit also provides vitamin A and B 12, among others.
For more about the health benefits of blueberries check out this blog post.
Where To Buy Ozarkblue Blueberries
If you are looking for this specific blueberry, it may be easier to grow it yourself or look for farms that grow the fruit. Remember it grows in zones 5 through 9. So, if you’re traveling through those areas in July or early August, you may be able to buy Ozarkblue blueberries at local farmers markets and fruit stands.
Fruit Facts / FAQs
What happens if you eat blueberries every day?
If you eat this healthy fruit on a daily basis, you will not only boost your immunity, you will reduce your risk for heart disease.
Is it bad to eat a lot of blueberries?
Overall, blueberries are very healthy and contain a lot of fiber. While fiber is very good for you, an excess amount may cause bloating or flatulence. The natural sugar content is a factor to take into consideration if you suffer from diabetes, so you’ll want to use portion control — 3/4 cup of fresh blueberries or less is safe for a diabetic to have on a daily basis.
Are frozen blueberries still good for you?
Yes, frozen blueberries are just as good as fresh ones. When you freeze blueberries they still maintain their nutrients and antioxidants. They do lose some of their original texture from being frozen, so use them in a smoothies or bake with them.
Where do blueberries originally come from?
Blueberries originated in North America. Blueberries have grown wild for over 10,000 years in areas such as Maine and Canada.
Wrapping Up the Ozarkblue Blueberry
The Ozarkblue Blueberry plant allows blueberries to be grown in gardens with summer temps that are too hot for northern blueberry varieties. After planting, an Ozarkblue will take a couple of years to start producing fruit. But once it starts, get ready for a bountiful harvest year after year.
Do you have an Ozarkblue Blueberry in your garden? If so, tell us about it in the comments section below! To read about other blueberries, click here for our blueberry blog posts.