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Best Potting Soils For Blueberries

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Today we’re going to talk about the best potting soils for blueberries, sharing some favorite commercial options and review data, and we’ll also go into fertilizers, DIY options, and more! Whether you’re a veteran grower or a relative newcomer to these lovely plants, we’ve got a little something for everyone.

There’s nothing quite like growing your own blueberries. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing and delicious, but they also happen to be fairly easy to grow – provided that you start off with a strong foundation!

If you’re in a hurry, here are our top pics of soil and fertilizer for blueberries.

If you’ve got more time then read on and we’ll tell you what you need to know about the best potting soil for blueberries!

Best potting soil for Blueberries

Our favorite commercial soil would have to be Coast of Maine’s Organic compost potting soil blend, with our favorite fertilizer being the Down to Earth 4-3-6 mix and we’ll discuss the reasons in the sections that follow. That said, you can make a nice homemade mix for your potting soil with 3 parts potting soil, 1 part pine bark, and 1 part perlite in a pinch! 

What kind of soil do blueberries thrive in, anyways?

Blueberry plants like an acidic soil that has a high organic matter content, drains well, and is fairly loose. While it will do well in a range between 4.2 to 5 pH, some growers find that 4.5 – 4.8 is the ‘sweet spot’ for berry volume and flavor. 

Where do Blueberries grow naturally?

Blueberries are quite hardy and thrive in many locations coast to coast throughout the United States, although the majority of U.S. blueberry production occurs in these states:

  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Texas
  • Washington

If you happen to live in one of these states, then you may well not need to purchase potting soil at all, but you’ll want to be sure to test the pH of your local soil first to make sure that it is ideal. 

Typically, you’re targeting a range between 4.2 and 5 and if your local soil isn’t up to snuff on its own, then you can add acidifiers such as granular sulfur to lower the pH. Just keep in mind that about 1 pound will reduce soil pH for about 50 square feet of soil, so this may not be ideal for all locations.

Growing blueberries in a container 

While you might well be able to simply grow them in your garden, growing blueberries in containers is still a very attractive option. With such a small and manageable space, you can really tweak the soil acidity to perfection and have exceedingly granular control the whole time. 

This results in faster growing blueberry bushes and can have an enormous impact on the flavor and volume of your blueberries. Just a little something to consider!

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best commercial potting soils and fertilizers that can help you to get well on your way to your first home grown blueberry crop!

Best commercial soils from Blueberries

If you are in a location that is not quite friendly for hosting blueberries, then don’t sweat it – you can certainly buy commercial soils that can help you host a dwarf blueberry plant in a container. We’ve compiled a list of the top 3 commercial soil options to help you get started, and we’ll even include some review highlights (best and worst) for each for a little ‘added flavor’.

One important note before we proceed – When buying acidic soil mixes, one thing to keep in mind is that they will arrive with soil and additives to increase the soil acidity. This is by design – acidic soil buffers can break down over time, so to prevent you from getting ‘acidic’ soil that is inferior, soil providers will give you a mix that comes with acidic additives which break down naturally to create a perfect soil medium.

That said, here are our 3 favorites! 

1. Dr. Earth Acid Lovers Organic Potting Soil Mix

Established in 1990, Dr. Earth is a popular brand and for good reason! In this particular instance, it’s for an acidic soil that’s designed to give you a pH of 5.5 that also happens to be all natural – no synthetics and no GMO chicken manure to taint your soil.

Dr. Earth also employs mycorrhizae, nutrients, and soil microbes that will break down over time to ensure that you not only have the proper pH, but that your growing medium is also nutrient-rich for maximizing your blueberry plant’s growth potential. 

Review Highlights – Best and Worst

One of the top reviews that came from a blueberry grower comes courtesy of Jvet9, who advises that this Dr. Earth soil mix brought their near-dead blueberry plant back from death’s door! That’s pretty resounding praise, so let’s take a look at the flipside.

In the ‘worst’ of the bad reviews, 3 out of the 92 reviews had a problem with the pH of the product, advising that the proper range was NOT achieved with this product. While we don’t have a lot of data besides the reviews on how often this occurs, there are a number of positive reviews where the pH fell in the desired range – so make of this what you will.

2. Coast of Maine Organic Natural Compost Potting Soil Blend for Acid-Loving plants

Another fine producer of organic soils, Coast of Maine Organic products was established in 1996 and specializes in their own proprietary compost-based potting soil blends that definitely get the job done! Their Acid-loving plant mix is no exception, and is specially formulated for hydrangeas, hollies, ferns, blueberries, and other plants that need a little ‘bite’ to their soil to grow their very best.

Ingredients include peat moss, lime, aged bark, and compost, so if you’re looking for a natural blend that uses tried and true ingredients, Coast of Maine is definitely worth your consideration. Let’s see how it rated in the reviews! 

Review Highlights – Best and Worst

In the positive reviews, Christine advised that this soil was both perfect for her blueberries and easy to use, while a customer called ‘pk d.’ says it perked up their dying ferns literally overnight! Moving to the dark side, it’s interesting to note that there were no 2-star reviews and among the 1’s, the biggest complaint was similar to Dr. Earth’s, in that a handful (3 of the reviewers) received a product with an insufficient pH. Overall, however, reviews were quite glowing for this product.

3. Espoma Organic African Violet

Espoma is a name that most of us know and trust, likely because they have been in business since 1929! Their Organic African Violet potting soil mix is a great example of their quality soils and just so happens to be a good fit for blueberries with a little acidifier addition on your part.

As there aren’t a lot of blueberry-specific soil mixes, we’re including Espoma as a nice ‘tweakable’ mix that you can use with an acidifier on your own. 

In its current blend, 35 to 45 percent of the product consists of limestone and sphagnum, known for boosting the acidity of the soil their hosting, and the target pH it gives goes as low as 6.0, so that you can easily add a little lime or ph modifying additions of your choice to make it perfect. Don’t believe us? Bob Vila’s website recommends Espoma as well, so we aren’t the only ones that have found this lovely product.

The Espoma blend also includes perlite for superior drainage and yucca extract to help ensure a fertile soil that does not disappoint, so how did it do in the reviews? Let’s take a look!

Review Highlights – Best and Worst

Reviews on Amazon were all African Violet-centric, however the soil was definitely well-received, with 78% giving it 5 stars and another 15% giving it 4 for a 93% positive slue of reviews. Only 2% of the reviews were at a 1 star level and for these, we had 3 complaints from customers who got ‘buggy’ batches of the soil. As this was a very small percentage of reviews, this likely won’t be a problem for you, but we would be amiss if we did not mention this. 

The best commercial fertilizers for Blueberries

So, we’ve covered the best soils, but what about fertilizers? Well, in this section, we’ve compiled our 3 favorite blends for giving your blueberries a little extra boost so that you can help them to grow up healthy and strong. As with the potting soils, we’ll give you some general information about each fertilizer, as well as a glimpse into some real feedback from other blueberry growers who’ve used it!  

4. Dr. Earth — Acid Lovers –Azalea, Camellia, Rhododendron & Maple Fertilizer

Dr. Earth does it again, this time in fertilizer form. This organic fertilizer contains components like land and aquatic plants, minerals, fish, and fish bones to help promote the growth of blueberries, azaleas, and more. As a bonus, you only have to use it every 6 weeks, so if you want a powerful, low-maintenance fertilizer for your blueberries, this is an excellent choice. Now let’s see how it did in the reviews!

Review Highlights – Best and Worst

On the solid side of reviews, KenD said that he added this fertilizer to his high bush blueberries and that they responded ‘resoundingly’, and Darlaina Dancer assures us that her blueberries say ‘thank you’ when she uses this. Flipping the review coin, Bargn Hntr only gave the product 2 stars, advising that it didn’t change the pH of the soil but that it also didn’t hurt their blueberries, either. Not bad as far as bad reviews go (at least in our humble opinion).

5. Down to Earth — All-Natural Acid Mix Fertilizer 4-3-6

Down to Earth was established in 1977 – so we’re off to a promising start, as far as product confidence goes. So, what’s this fertilizer all about? Well, it’s ideal for raspberries, blueberries, azaleas, and more, and it’s made of quality ingredients, such as fish bone meal,  langbeinite, cottonseed meal, and kelp.

If you want an all-natural fertilizer from a company that’s weathered more than 40 years in the biz, then this one comes highly recommended!

Review Highlights – Best and Worst

We have some great positive reviews on Amazon for this mix, with CM claiming that this brought their blueberry bush back to good health following a scorching summer, and B in Tacoma saying that this helped their 5 existing bushes to start producing a higher volume of berries. 

There was one negative review, where user ‘rose’ said that she put the product in her soil and the pH didn’t change right away, however these things can take a little time, so we’re hoping that her blueberries took a turn for the better later on! Beyond this, this product was definitely well-received.

6. Espoma Organic Berry-Tone 4-3-4

Espoma makes the list once again and for good reason – this ‘all berry’ fertilizer is amazing stuff. Packed with good ingredients, such as feather and alfalfa meal, poultry manure, bone meal, sulfur, and more, it’s definitely the good stuff – good enough that you only need to use it twice a year! 

Let’s see if the reviews matched the hype.

Review Highlights – Best and Worst

A review from Amz Shopper starts things off on a good foot, advising us that this increased the production of blueberries that were bigger, sweeter, and lasted for a longer season. Barbara H. seemed to back this up, saying that it made her strawberries explode – but in a good way, of course!

We did have 2 negative reviews, with both of them advising that the fertilizer has a bad smell, so this is definitely a consideration if you are considering this powerful fertilizer.

Mixing your own blueberry soil

Mixing up your own blueberry potting soil is actually quite easy to do. You’ll want to make a trip to the nursery to stock up on some ingredients and here is the formula that you’ll need:

  • 3 parts potting soil
  • 1 part pine bark
  • 1 part perlite

Alternately, you can also simply go with a 50 – 50 mix of potting soil and peat moss. Finally, in case you are curious, many blueberry farms recommend adding peat moss and pine fines, along with compost. While the amounts will vary based on the current pH of your soil, they usually call for a ratio of 1 bag of peat moss to 4 bags of pine fines for every 10 blueberry bushes.

Mixing your own Blueberry fertilizer

When mixing up your own blueberry fertilizer, there are a few components that come highly recommended. Here are some recommendations for different fertilizer functions:

  • Acidity – Coffee grounds, sphagnum moss, or white vinegar (more on this shortly!)
  • Nitrogen – Fish or blood meal
  • Potassium and Phosphorus – Powdered seaweed or bone meal

If you like bananas, save your peels to use as well – they will produce phosphorus, but they also come with magnesium and calcium, both of which are important for a healthy blueberry crop.

Barring this, you can also simply go with a commercial or homemade Azalea fertilizer and get some excellent results, so be sure to play around with these components or your favorite azalea recipe and see what happens – you might just be pleasantly surprised!

Raising the acidity of soil around your home for blueberries

One nice little ‘hack’ for raising the acidity of your soil is to get 1 gallon of water ready and add 1 cup of white vinegar to it, mixing it up well. This makes you a nice acidity formula that you can spray on the soil just enough to wet it – but not to saturate it – and then you can test it in 12 – 24 hours to see the adjusted pH.

Repeat as needed to get the ideal 4.2 – 5.0 range and just be sure to check the soil every now and again, so that you can maintain the proper acidity if you are growing blueberries in your garden outside.

It’s cheap, easy, and it WORKS, so be sure to file this little tip away to put to excellent use later!


Extra knowledge is never a bad thing, so before we wrap things up, we’ve collected some frequently asked questions about blueberry soil to help you in your quest to customize your own perfect blueberry soil blend. Keep what you find useful and be sure to experiment – it’s well worth the effort! 

What is the best soil for highbush blueberries?

Highbush blueberries love sandy loam soil and a little compost makes it just about perfect. If you are working with a soil that is heavy in clay, results may be less than ideal, but you can boost your chances with the addition of organic matter, such as sawdust, moss, or compost if you prefer to go with ‘home soil’ rather than the commercial variety.

Do blueberries grow better in pots or in the ground?

It really depends on where you live. If you’re in a ‘blueberry state’, then you’re going to get pretty good results anyways, but in most cases, the best results are going to come from container-raised blueberries. This is because you have so much granular control over the pH levels of the soil in a small, controlled environment like you find in a standard container.

Do coffee grounds help blueberries grow?

Yes, actually, coffee grounds are a well-known gardening ‘hack’ for blueberries, azaleas, and other plants that like their soil a bit on the acidic side. You’ll want to go with fresh grounds, as used coffee grounds have a fairly neutral pH so they won’t really help. Also, skip the coffee grounds if your soil is already high in nitrogen – as too much can actually stunt the growth of your berries!

Does the soil make a big difference in berry size?

While a proper soil helps your blueberries to grow up fast and healthy, for bigger berries you should consider raising at least two different varieties of blueberries. Cross pollination tends to result in bigger berries and you can also plant some pollinator-luring plants such as sunflowers or lavender for best results.

Are eggshells good for blueberry soil?

Yes, eggshells are great for blueberry soil, as they are a cheap and effective way to increase the overall acidity.

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are plenty of commercial and DIY options when it comes to the best potting soil for your blueberries. Brands like Dr. Earth and Espoma are there to help, as well as our favorites for today from Coast of Maine and Down to Earth.

From a DIY perspective, you can also simply go with 3 parts potting soil to 1 part pine and 1 part perlite and get some amazing results as well. Just be sure to use an acidifier to achieve the 4.2 to 5.0 pH range that your blueberries need and include plenty of organic matter.

Finally, don’t forget that you can get bigger berries if you are growing at least 2 species – cross pollination really works wonders, so this little nugget of wisdom can really make a difference. 

Once you’ve put these tips to the test then you’ll be able to witness the results firsthand and before you know it, you’ll be making your own ‘best’ blueberry soil all on your own!

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