Hi, I just received a gift of three young blueberry plants in late October. Is it better to plant them now or store them somehow until spring? If storing is the best option, how should I do that?
Thank you for your question for Toronto Master Gardeners. The short answer is that the blueberries must be planted in the spring.
Keeping them alive until spring will require some work. From what I have read burying the blueberry plants in the soil is the only way to give them a chance to survive.
Here is a helpful guide from University of Wisconsin Horticulture:
“Because containers do not provide adequate insulation from the cold, be sure to protect container-grown blueberries during the winter to prevent root damage. In mid- to late October, bury containers in the ground at a site where snow is likely to accumulate and where plants will be protected from cold winter winds. Mulch the soil surface with four to eight inches of straw in mid-November or cover the bushes with burlap. Prevent rabbit damage by placing chicken wire fencing or hardware cloth around the bushes. During early to mid-spring, remove containers from the ground and place them in full sun. Alternatively, containers can be left buried in the soil as long as the containers have proper drainage holes and the site where the containers are buried is well drained and exposed to full sun.”
Good luck with your gardening.