Blueberry Bushes Forever – and Identified

The two blueberry bushes are on the east side of the house and have produced abundant berries.

This editor has received help from three sources, in helping to identify the two blueberry plants that are doing so well in her back yard.

Initially, this editor planted the bushes after chatting with the late George Wolfberg and learning blueberries could be grown in Pacific Palisades. The first spot was too shady, and the two bushes didn’t produce.

This editor moved them to a spot where they get half day sun on the east side of the house.  The combination of a rainy spring and the new location has produced abundant berries.

As this editor bragged about her “crop,” many wanted to know the variety—and I couldn’t remember, so I put out a plea to my readers, who are smart and informed.

The first person to respond was George Wolfberg’s widow Diane, who wrote: “My notes indicate that our Santa Monica Canyon blueberries are Highbush blueberries, vaccinium corymbosum: one variety is called Misty, the other may be O’Neal.

“They were planted in full sunlight in 2006—and only doing poorly the past two years, because I’ve neglected them. I don’t think we’ve ever fertilized them,” Wolfberg said and added, “We have more overcast weather in the Canyon than higher up in the Palisades.”

Another reader wrote she had taken notes from an earlier CTN newsletter:  in which George Wolfberg’s daughter had responded. “I am pretty sure they are either: Misty, O’Neal, or Sunshine Blue. All are supposed to do well in Southern California coastal areas. They do best when they have another blueberry plant close by.

“Climate change is impacting where they grow well. They seem to do best in pots with regular watering and good drainage. They have to have soil acidifier (sulphur) added regularly to produce well.”

That reader also wrote that “A few years ago, a gentleman representing Monrovia Nurseries spoke at the Palisades Garden Club. One of the topics he spoke on was blueberry bushes and the new variety Monrovia had that grew well in this area.”

The speaker said the bush could be found on Armstrong Nurseries on Wilshire and, “That bush has given us (and the birds) luscious blueberries with no effort now for years.”

Finally, a third reader gave a tip that might help in future plant identifications: “Download this app on your phone: PlantNet. Then take a picture of the plant or just the leaves and upload it to the site. You will get an answer on the exact blueberry plant you have. Or at the very least it will suggest one or two and then you can do further research.”

Thank you all.

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2 Responses to Blueberry Bushes Forever – and Identified

  1. Lynn says:

    This entire edition was excellent! Thank you.

  2. Mary kinzelberg says:

    PICTURE THIS is also an app that will identify plants, flowers, trees, fruits, etc. I even use it from my car window for a tree identification pretty far away.

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