Blueberry Varieties: The Best Type for Your Climate

Ripening blueberries with water droplets, hanging from a branch.

Different blueberry varieties grow better in specific climate zones. The USDA has established growing zones based on average annual winter minimum temperatures. Growing zones are in 10-F blocks and range from zone 1 at -50 degrees F in Alaska to zone 11 above 40 degrees F in Hawaii. There are four basic blueberry varieties that will grow well somewhere in zones 3 to 11, or in climates where the minimum temperature is between -40 degrees F to +40 degrees F. The different varieties of blueberries are listed below, along with the climate and zone where they will grow the best.

TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Susan Patterson adds, "All blueberries do best with a soil pH of 4.5 to 5.5. Be sure to take a soil sample before planting blueberries."

Highbush Blueberry

This variety is called highbush because these plants grow quite tall, sometimes as tall as 6 feet. This is a hardy variety of blueberry and grows well from zone 4 to 11, or from as far north as Muskegon, Michigan-Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota , covering the continental United States to the south.

Half-high blueberry

This type of blueberry is really a hybrid of highbush and lowbush blueberry varieties, and tends to be even hardier than highbush blueberries. They are a medium height plant and grow well as far north as Tomahawk, Wisconsin in zone 3.

TIP: Susan recommends, "Select varieties that ripen at different times so you have blueberries all season long."

Lowbush Blueberry

Lowbush blueberry varieties rarely grow taller than 1 to 1 ½ feet high and tend to spread over the ground more than grow into bushes. This variety grows well in colder climates and does well from as far north as Tomahawk, Wisconsin in zone 3, to around St. Louis, Missouri in zone 6.

Rabbiteye Blueberry

This is a very tall (up to 10 feet) warm climate blueberry variety that originated in the southeast, but will grow well throughout zones 7 to 9, or the area of the country roughly between the cities of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and south to around Brownsville, Texas.

Blueberries grow well throughout the United States if you are careful to pick the varieties that are suited for the climate where you live.

TIP: Susan suggests, "If you are unsure about which blueberry variety to select, contact your local Cooperative Extension Department."