Rabbiteye blueberries can be grown successfully in whiskey barrel sized pots in Central Texas. Because they require acid soils, use a quality potting soil mixed with 1/3 sphagnum peat moss. The pot should drain well, and no saucer should be placed under the pot to ensure thorough drainage.
Blueberries require full sun to produce well. Use a fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants, such as an Azalea/Camellia/Gardenia fertilizer. Do not apply any fertilizer the first year. Starting the second year, fertilizer in late winter to early spring. DO NOT use a barnyard fertilizer (manure) or Nitrate fertilizer on blueberries, as they are very sensitive to it.
Blueberries have very shallow root system, and no root hairs (which aid in water and nutrient uptake). Avoid cultivating around them and keep weeds pulled often to prevent competition.
Water blueberries regularly, as they are not very drought tolerant. Remember to water WELL when you water, filling the pot over and over again to thoroughly wet the peat moss, as it may be difficult to re-wet if allowed to dry. Mulching is recommended, as they require adequate moisture.
Rabbiteye blueberries are not self-fruitful, and will require two different varieties for cross-pollination and fruit-set.
Blueberries do not ripen after they are picked, and should be left on the plant until they are plump and dark blue. The fruit of most varieties will ripen over a period of 4-6 weeks. A mature bush can produce up to 15 pounds of fruit! You may need to use bird netting to keep from sharing them!
Rabbiteye Blueberries Varieties
Brightwell: Partially self-fertile. Austin and Premier are pollinators. Requires 400 chill hours. Harvest is in early June-early July.
Austin: A productive variety, it produces medium-large berries that are less firm than others. Climax and Premier are pollinators. Requires 500 chill hours. Harvest is in June.
Premier: Good production with medium-large fruit. Austin is pollinator. Requires 550 chill hours. Harvest is in late May-early June.
Tifblue: Productive, self-fertile variety with medium-large light blue fruit. Very winter-hardy. Bright well is a pollinator, if desired. Requires 650 chill hours. Harvest is in late June-late July. One of the best of the Rabbiteye varieties.