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The Pink Icing Blueberry

The words Pink Icing Blueberry conjure the idea of a confection rather than a shrub or fruit tree. I’m here to tell you all about this semi-evergreen shrub and its accompanying blueberries. If you stick with me (and this article), you will find out all you need to know about this plant, including how to care for it, what makes it so pretty, and most importantly, whether Pink Icing blueberries are edible.

Closeup of blueberries in various stage of ripeness.

History of the Pink Icing Blueberry

Here is a little history lesson before we get to the care and growing of the pink icing blueberry. Blueberries are an ancient fruit, and their origins are lost to us today. Blueberries are thought to have first been gathered, eaten, and eventually cultivated by Native Americans for a long time. Outside of this, blueberries were experimented with and later grown as a crop as early as 1893, and today they are a valuable and versatile commercial fruit.

The Pink Icing blueberry is crossbred from three blueberry varieties, Ivanhoe, Toro, and Earliblue, and was patented in 2013 by Brazelton and Wagner.

The genus of the blueberry is vaccinium, and for the Pink Icing blueberry specifically, the scientific name is vaccinium ‘ZF06-079‘. The blueberry genus is shared with cranberries, huckleberries, and bilberries.

Characteristics of the Pink Icing Blueberry

Closeup of pale pink blueberry flowers similar to the flowers of the Pink Icing blueberry.

The Pink Icing blueberry shrub is one of the few blueberry plants considered semi-evergreen, meaning it holds its leaves for longer. One of its main characteristics is the beautiful pink foliage, with leaves of blue and green. In cooler weather, the leaves may become more turquoise-colored and lavender-hued in autumn.  These plants succeed best in slightly acidic soil (pH 4.8-6) that is well-drained.

Chilling Level

The Pink Icing blueberry is hardy and can cope with 500 chilling hours or less.

Ripening Season

These blueberries ripen in mid-season (late May to early June).

Fruit qualities

Pink Icing blueberries are robust, firm, and flavorful. They are both delicious and safe to eat, and you can grow your own!

Berry size

These blueberries are large and attractive. Read more here about when to pick your blueberries!

Planting Zones of the Pink Icing Blueberry Shrub

Ripe blueberries on a shrub.

The Pink Icing blueberry shrub grows well in USDA zones 5-10. The average minimum temperature in zone 5 is -20° to -10°F, and in zone 10, it is 30° to 40°F. Therefore, these blueberries and their shrubs are suitable for many climates.

Size and Spacing

At maturity, these blueberry shrubs reach 3 to 4 feet in height, and there may be some mounding. The width of this blueberry shrub is the same as its height. The Pink Icing blueberry shrub is suitable as an attractive hedge or in planters. Pink Icing blueberry shrubs are compact, so if you don’t have a lot of space, this blueberry bush is suitable for you. In terms of spacing, plant them three apart from the center.

Pollination

You will be pleased to know that this blueberry bush is self-pollinating, and its growth rate is moderate. Your blueberry shrub should start to bear fruit within 1-2 years, and the crop is plentiful, with some reporting crops of up to four pound per plant. Planting other blueberry bushes nearby may help increase the yield through cross-pollination.

Tree Care

An important aspect of being a fruit tree or shrub owner is knowing how to care for your plants correctly. Let’s break down the main areas that contribute to the overall care of your blueberry shrub that will allow it to thrive. I mentioned it earlier, but this blueberry needs slightly acidic (pH4.8-6) and well-drained soil to produce its best fruit. Click here to read more about growing blueberries.

Sunlight

This blueberry plant requires full sun to succeed. While some shade is not a deal-breaker, all-day sun is preferred. They should also be in an area of your garden that is sheltered from harsh wind. Mulching will protect your plant from extreme temperatures. It is best to plant your Pink Icing blueberry, where possible, in either spring or fall.

Watering

Your blueberry plant should be watered well when planted and two to three times per week thereafter if you do not receive regular rain in your area. This blueberry shrub will not tolerate standing water, so your soil must be well-drained. If you choose to put your Pink Icing blueberry plant in a pot, this is a reminder that the soil will dry out faster in a pot and may require additional daily watering, especially in high summer.

Pruning

This plant is low maintenance, and not much pruning is required. You can prune in late winter or early spring, removing the dead and overcrowded branches to maintain size. By pruning, you allow your plant to focus on fruit production. Read more about pruning your blueberry tree here.

Diseases & Care

The biggest concern for your Pink Icing blueberry tree is birds, and you can put up bird netting if it becomes a problem, but other than that, this type of blueberry shrub is very pest and disease resistant. Click here to read more about blueberry tree diseases.

Common Uses for The Pink Icing Blueberry

Closeup of bowl of picked blueberries with loose blueberries in the background.

The Pink Icing blueberry, like so many other blueberries, is for eating. You can use them in a variety of ways in the kitchen. Blueberries are a superfruit, and eating them gives your body a boost of vitamin C (like citrus fruits) and antioxidants while being low calorie-dense. Read more about blueberry nutrition here.

You can bake blueberries into pies or muffins or make them into jam or preserves. You can toss them in the freezer and make smoothies, and they are a great lunchbox snack for anyone too. If you feel particularly industrious and have a large crop, you can also preserve then by canning them.

Unsurprisingly, they also historically made a good dye for cloth.

What Does a Pink Icing Blueberry Taste Like?

The Pink Icing blueberry is sweet, firm, and juicy, and it tastes precisely like how you would expect a blueberry to taste. This blueberry’s flavor, in a nutshell, is traditional blueberry.

Cooking

Plate of salmon with blueberry rosemary sauce -- a great recipe idea for the Pink Icing blueberry.
You may not realize that blueberries can be paired meat. Salmon and blueberries are an unexpected, but delicious, combination.

Blueberries are a versatile fruit for cooking, and they add flavor and color to many baked or sweet dishes. Done correctly, they pair well with some meats too. For inspiration, check out our recipes page here.

Eating Raw

These blueberries are great for eating raw by themselves or with other raw fruits and vegetables. They’re suitable for your morning oats or as an after-dinner treat with Greek yogurt. You can eat raw blueberries at any time of the day, and they add flavor and pep to traditional fruit salad.

Canning / Freezing / Drying

Blueberries can be canned, frozen, or dried (if you have a dehydrator). Blueberry jam is a delight on fresh bread or used as a filling for cakes and pastries. Dried blueberries can replace raisins or cranberries, and freezing blueberries is as easy as throwing them in a Ziploc bag and into the freezer. Remember to rinse thoroughly before using!

Health Benefits of the Pink Icing Blueberry

Overhead view of bowl of oatmeal with blueberries, banana, and walnuts.

Blueberries, in general, have several health benefits, and you can read all about them here. They are a natural antioxidant, have good fiber content, and contain Vitamin C to help boost your immune system.

Where To Buy The Pink Icing Blueberry Shrub?

If you would like to cultivate your own Pink Icing blueberry tree, click here, and it will redirect you to Nature Hills Nursery, a veritable one-stop-shop for all your plant purchasing needs.

Where To Buy Pink Icing Blueberries

If you don’t feel like waiting to grow your blueberries at home (and you should give it a try, it is very rewarding done right), you can look for Pink Icing blueberries commercially or from local blueberry farmers. Remember, they ripen in late May to early June, so that will be the best time to be on the lookout for this particular blueberry.

Wrapping up The Pink Icing Blueberry Tree

Woman's hands holding ripe, picked blueberries.

We’ve gone over a lot of information. Still, your main takeaway should be that you will be able to plant, care for, and grow your own pink icing blueberry bush with a little bit of research and the application thereof. By doing this and with a little patience, you can grow your own blueberry crop with its accompanying health, nutritional benefits, and delicious taste.

Do you have a tip to share about growing or enjoying Pink Icing blueberries? Leave it in the comments section below!

And for even more information about blueberries, click here for our other blueberry blog articles.