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The Tifblue Blueberry

The Tifblue Blueberry is a very productive and cold-hardy rabbiteye blueberry. The berries are light blue in color and larger in size. So not only are these blueberries delicious, the plants themselves are wonderful landscaping specimens. 

Keep reading about the Tifblue Blueberry to see if this will be a new addition to your garden this spring!

A woman holding blueberries that resemble the look of the Tifblue Blueberry.

History Of The Tifblue Blueberry 

Blueberries are native to North America and the Tifblue Blueberry was slowly introduced to the industry in the early 1950s to the 1960s in Georgia. The first commercial Tifblue Blueberry was released in 1955. 

Characteristics Of The Tifblue Blueberry

Rabbiteye 

The Tifblue Blueberry is considered to be a rabbiteye blueberry. These blueberries are grown in the southeastern United States and are favorites for use in the canning industry.

Physical Characteristics 

Reaching a height of 6 to 8 feet tall, this blueberry variety produces a high yield of berries. When in bloom, the shrub will produce small white flowers that ripen into beautiful berries in mid-June to late July. The plant foliage is shiny bright green in the summertime and turns a gorgeous burgundy in autumn. The blueberries tend to be on the larger size and will be tart in taste until fully ripened. The Tifblue Blueberry produces pounds of berries if cared for correctly — they are avid growers. 

Blueberries on a bush.

Chill Hours 

The chill hours for the Tifblue Blueberry are anywhere between 550-600 hours. Most fruit trees/shrubs need a certain number of hours where the temperatures are between 32 degrees and 45 degrees for the plant to go dormant. Then, in the spring the plant is able to wake up and produce foliage, flowers, and fruit. 

Ripening Season

The ripening season for the Tifblue Blueberry is late which means the tender light blueberries will ripen anywhere between mid-June to late July.

Tifblue Bluberry Qualities 

Taste: These blueberries are sweet and tart and range from small to medium size. The Tifblue was once the commercial standard for canned blueberries and it still produces great blueberries for baked goods. 

Fruit Size: These blueberries are small to medium in size. The longer you wait to harvest them, the riper they will become and they will be at their largest and sweetest. 

Planting Zones 

The Tifblue Blueberry is native to the southeastern United States are grows the best in zones 7 to 9.

Planting a shrub.

Size And Spacing

The Tifblue Blueberry will grow anywhere from 6 to 10 feet in height and around the same in width and will eventually need pruning to keep them from becoming unruly. When planting these blueberry bushes for a hedge you need to space them at least 4 feet apart from anything else so that they can get the proper nutrition. If you are not planting them as a hedge, plant your shrubs 10 feet apart.

Pollination

The Tifblue Blueberry performs best with a nearby pollinator. With cross-pollination, you will get an increased blueberry yield when it is time to harvest your berries. The best pollinators for the Tifblue are the Brightwell Blueberry or the Powder Blue Blueberry. 

Tifblue Shrub Care 

Now we will go over the basics of caring for your Tufblue Blueberry. For more detailed information visit our guide, “How To Grow Blueberries.”

Sunlight

The Tifblue requires full sun — at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight every day.

Blueberries on the branch in the sunlight.

Soil

The Tifblue Blueberry requires acidic soil to be at its best. When planting, clear a 4-foot diameter around the trunk to remove grass and weeds. Mulch twice a year in the spring and fall with an acidic mulch such as oak leaves or pine bark. 

Water

When first planted these berries need frequent waterings and need the soil kept moist at all times. As the bush becomes more established it needs regular waterings 2-3 times a week. During dry spells keep the top inch of soil moist. Tifblues are somewhat drought-resistant, but you don’t want to let the soil completely dry out. 

Watering a pant.

Fertilizer

The best fertilizer for this type of blueberry bush is a slow-release, which does wonders for all acidic soil-loving plants. For best results, feed once a year in the springtime with a balanced 12-12-12 or 10-10-10 fertilizer.

Pruning

Once the Tifblue is about 3 years old, give it a yearly pruning in late winter to manage its shape. For more detailed information about pruning, read our article about pruning blueberries.

Pruning a shrub.

Disease

As with most blueberries, diseases can affect the Tifblue and its berries. Some of the most common ones can be found in this article about how to identify and treat blueberry bush diseases

Pests

Unfortunately, any fruit-bearing plant attracts pests, some worse than others. Some common pests include yellow jackets, brown marmorated stink bugs, aphids, and scale insects. For information about how to identify, eliminate, and deter pests, read our blog post on the 9 common pests you’ll encounter with blueberries.

When To Harvest Tifblue Blueberries

The best season when growing any type of fruit-bearing plant is harvest season and the Tifblue Blueberry harvest season is mid-June to late July. The earlier these blue beauties are harvested the more tart they will be. When fully ripe, they will be sweeter.

Common Uses For The Tifblue Blueberry

Someone holding a handful of blueberries.

The Tifblue Blueberry is a medium to large-sized blueberry that is known for its balance of sweetness and tartness. 

Cooking

The Tifblue is the perfect blueberry for making compotes and jams because of its tart, yet sweet taste. 

Eating Raw

As long as you wait till the perfect time to harvest these berries, they’ll add a balanced blueberry flavor to anything: salads, smoothies, yogurts. There are a lot of possibilities with the Tifblue. 

Bowl of blueberries that resemble the Tifblue.

Canning

One of the main reasons the Tifblue Blueberry was produced was for canning purposes. They make a beautiful canned blueberry. If you have a Tifblue bush you may want to consider this practice since you will have an abundance of berries that you don’t want to waste. 

Recipes

Thinking of getting a Tifblue Blueberry bush? Wondering what you can use them for come harvest time? Here are a few recipes that the Tifblue would taste great in:

– Blueberry Smoothies

Healthy and delicious, the sweet and tart will add some extra flavor to your smoothies.

– Homemade Blueberry Pancakes

These sweet berries would be perfect in this homemade pancake mix. You’ll want to make these every morning.

– Healthy Blueberry Muffins

Looking for a healthier breakfast or snack? Use Tifblue blueberries in these super healthy muffins. 

– Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon and blueberries are an amazing combination and with the Tifblue these flavors will absolutely pop. 

These are easy and delicious recipes for your Tifblue blueberries. Give them a try and tell us what you think. 

Health Benefits 

Blueberries have amazing health benefits that they are considered a superfruit. They are full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can help with all sorts of diseases or health conditions. For more information, check out this article about the health benefits of blueberries. 

Blueberries in a heart-shaped bowl.

Where To Buy A Tifblue Blueberry Plant 

Tifblue Blueberry plants can be purchased online from Nature Hills Nursery.

The Tifblue is a popular blueberry variety so if you live in the southern US, you may be able to find them at your local garden centers or even big box hardware stores in late winter/early spring. 

Where To Buy Tifblue Blueberries 

The best way to find Tufblue Blueberries would be by contacting specialty produce stores, visiting a local farmers market, or getting in touch with nearby blueberry farms in the southern US.  

Wrapping Up The Tifblue Blueberry 

The Tifblue Blueberry is a very popular blueberry for its color-changing foliage and the high yield of sweet-tart fruit it produces each year, The shrub will grow approximately 6-10 feet in height and about the same size in width but can be kept in check with routine pruning. If you plan to grow a Tifblue, make sure you have the space and the sun to care for the Tifblue, as well as a nearby pollinator. 

Do you have any experience growing a Tifblue or another blueberry bush? Let us know! To read about other blueberries, click here for our blueberry blog posts.