The following are varieties for a season of fresh great tasting and keeping blueberries. This is a listing of some of the best tasting and keeping varieties listed according to ripening time (i.e. Early-Season, Mid-Season, Late Mid-Season, and Late Season) and variety type (i.e. northern and southern varieties). Northern varieties are generally plants for growing zones 3 to 7. Southern varieties are generally for growing zones 5 to 10 depending on the variety. Always select your plant by the growing zone for which it is suited. This list is based on reports from various users and does not claim to be exhaustive and complete. However it does give a good cross-section of good tasting and keeping blueberry varieties.
Best-tasting and keeping Early Season Varieties
a) Hannah’s Choice (Early season) this is a sweet blueberry with good flavor. It represents an improvement in sweetness, flavor and firmness over currently grown early varieties. It yields 10 to 12 pounds per bush at maturity. It is the best flavor of all early ripening northern varieties.
b) Patriot is an excellent flavored early variety. Its yield is high, averaging 10 to 15 pounds at maturity. Patriot is adaptable to many diverse soil types and performs better in heavier soil than some other varieties. This plant works well as a container plant. It is self-pollinating having an average height of 3 to 4 feet tall. Patriot’s low growing bush reflects its partial low-bush parentage.
c) Sierra is an outstanding edible hedge with large blueberries having excellent flavor.
a) O’NEAL will have yields of 10 to 20 pounds at maturity with large size fruit. O’NEAL is the major leading early southern variety. It is one of the very best flavored blueberries of the southern varieties with consistent quality throughout harvest
b) Star was the highest yielding early southern variety in one study.
c) Premier is a rabbit-eye type with early to mid-season ripening Large, light blue, good quality fruit; excellent flavor and it stores very well and is highly productive.
Best-tasting and keeping Mid-Season Varieties
a) Blue Gold is a beautiful, compact, rounded bush. It grows only four feet tall but bears large clusters of easy-to-pick berries. It has Very high production of truly superior fruit. Its fruit stores well. In test Blue gold blueberries have maintained good quality for up to five weeks! The beautiful blueberries form large clusters that are easy to pick and are superb for baking.
b) Draper is a recently developed, highly productive, early mid-season variety with outstanding flavored berries that have superior shelf life. The fruit are eaten fresh, frozen or processed into products like jams, and jellies.
c) Jersey is a mid-season medium size plant with sweet berries. The blueberries have a good shelf life
a) OLYMPIA BLUEBERRY is said to be the best tasting of all the blueberries
b) Hardy blue is known for its superior flavored, exceptionally sweet berry. Hardy blue is a tried and true variety that is known for heavy crops of berries. The fruit is perfect for pancakes and muffins. Hardy blue is known for being adaptable to many types of soil, including heavier clay soils.
c) Jubilee is a consistent producer of very high quality fruit even in dense soils and very hot summers and sudden winter cold. Its blueberries have good shelf life.. We particularly like the taste of these easy picking, bountiful crops.
d) Georgia Gem is an early to mid-season ripening variety. The fruit has excellent flavor and firmness. It is quite cold hardy, yet tolerant of high temperatures.
e) Tifblue is thought to be one of the best rabbit eyes. It has mid-season ripening. The Tiftblue blueberries are among the most flavorful rabbiteye blueberries. Tifblue is the most cold-hardy of all other rabbiteye blueberries varieties. It is often recommended to be the predominant rabbit eye variety in any planting.
Best-tasting and keeping Late Mid-Season Varieties
a) Brigitta is a mid-late season variety with large berries, good sweet flavor and tremendous keeping quality in your refrigerator. This makes Brigitta one of the best late season blueberries. In test this variety remained firm with high soluble solids for five to six weeks of storage
b) Nelson – Fruit quality very good. In test Nelson blueberries have maintained good quality for up to five weeks!
a) Legacy fruit has a mid to late-season ripening time. This variety has high quality fruit and stores well. It keeps its leaves through the winter in mild climates, offering a very different look for blueberries in the landscape. Its foliage will turn bright orange in colder climates. The fruit of this variety remains firm with high soluble solids for five to six weeks of storage. The variety seems to adapt to most soils and cold to moderate climates. Legacy was rated as one of the best flavored varieties in USDA trials.
b) Premier is a rabbit eye type with early to mid-season ripening. Its blueberries are large, light blue, good quality with excellent flavor and it stores very well. Premier is highly productive.
c) Ozark blue is a late mid-season variety. The quality of fruit is excellent and the shelf life of the fruits is superior. Its flavor is sweet to sub acid, which means high flavor. It can tolerate heat well and its irrigation requirements are not as great as some other blueberry plants. It resists spring frosts and is highly productive producing high quality blueberries. Ozark blue ripens just before the rabbit eyes. Ozark blue is usually listed as a southern variety, but its outstanding performance further north deserves consideration by growers in cooler climates.
d) Sunshine Blue is a semi-dwarf, versatile evergreen blueberry. It yields large crops of delicious blueberries. Sunshine Blue will better tolerate higher pH soils than many other blueberries. It is self-pollinating and is one of the most popular plants for container growing and landscaping. It has a low chilling requirement of 150 hours making it suitable for Southern California, but it is also surprisingly cold-hardy.
Grow your own blueberries
Purchase your own pesticide free plants from a reputable nursery and grow your own healthy blueberries. Select plants for your growing zone and plants with the flavor and keeping quality that suits you.