Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Patriot’ is a cold hardy fruiting bush that grows best in hardiness zone’s 3-7.  It is favored by home orchardists for it’s plentiful bounty and perseverance in many different soil types. The ‘Patriot’ produces an abundant crop of large, almost quarter-sized, deliciously sweet berries suitable for eating, canning, jellies, and endless other applications.

It gets even better! All of this deliciousness comes with a bonus… As a prized ornamental specimen, the Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Patriot’ bursts with a profusion of pink-tinged white flowers.  The green deciduous leaves are oval shaped and about 3 inches long. During the fall, it musters deep shades of orange, rust red and golden yellow, before losing it’s leaves for the winter.

Though technically a highbush variety, the Patriot is smaller than most other highbushes because of the influence of the lowbush in it’s genes.  It can still, however, grow into a nice hedge, which can be used creatively in a landscape.  The berries can be harvested from the hedge or left to the birds who devour them.  This delectable quality that we appreciate it for, can make it a target for more birds and deer than one might want around… so care should be taken to avoid the local fauna running off with your produce.   If you live in an area rife with feather and fur covered crime, fear not, as netting over the bush can help repel the thieves.

Vaccinium corymbosums are self-pollinating, but will produce more sets of larger fruit when able to cross-pollinate, so if possible, plant others nearby.  Blueberry plants live for 40-50 years under ideal conditions.  They like full sun, or partial shade but need to spend at least ¾ of their time in the sun.

Possessing a relatively shallow root system, it thrives in well-drained soil that is kept consistently moist.  Chemical fertilizers are not needed, but it is recommended to mix some peat moss or other organic matter into the soil before planting with a top layer of mulch to keep the moisture in.  They grow to a height and spread of 3-6 feet so spacing between 2-3 feet is recommended.  They are one of the largest of the early mid season fruiters, ripening in June.

If you want berries for many months, consider planting a variety of Vaccinium corymbosums that ripen in a staggered pattern.

Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Patriot’