The Pink Lemonade (Vaccinium 'Pink Lemonade') is a unique blueberry bush hybrid. There are four types of blueberry plants: northern highbush, southern highbush, rabbiteye, and lowbush. Northern highbush blueberries are hardy in USDA Zones 4 through 7 and bear large fruits. Southern highbush blueberries bear large fruits while hardy in Zones 7 through 10. Lowbush blueberries, bearing smaller fruits, have more of a groundcover growth habit. Blueberry 'Pink Lemonade' is a rabbiteye blueberry. Rabbiteye varieties are more compact.
Hardy in Zones 4 through 8 and sometimes 9, pink lemonade blueberry bushes produce well in cold climates and areas with mild winters. In spring, pinkish white, bell-shaped flowers attract butterflies and form pale green berries. While all "blueberries" are actually pale pink before they ripen, this variety matures a pinkish-red in mid-summer. The larger crop typically comes mid to late summer, followed by a smaller crop steadily through October. Many gardeners and fruit lovers say the pink lemonade blueberries taste twice as sweet as regular blueberries, both of which are high in antioxidants. Glossy foliage turns golden yellow to bright orange to deep burgundy color in fall, giving way to reddish-brown twigs in winter. It grows 4 to 5 feet tall and wide.
|Botanical Names||Vaccinium 'Pink Lemonade', Blueberry 'Pink Lemonade', Pinkberry, Vaccinium 'Pink Sapphire', Vaccinium 'Pink Fizz'|
|Common Name||Pink lemonade blueberry shrub|
|Plant Type||Hybrid blueberry cultivar, semi-evergreen|
|Mature Size||4 to 5 ft. tall, 4 to 5 ft. wide|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun, Partial Sun|
|Soil Type||Sand, Loam|
|Soil pH||Acidic (pH 4.5-5.5)|
|Bloom Time||Late spring|
|Flower Color||Pinkish white|
|Hardiness Zones||4-9, USDA|
|Native Area||North America|
|Toxicity||Fruit is non-toxic and edible|
Pink Lemonade Blueberry Shrub Care
Grow as a hedge, as a specimen in containers, or as a less formal shrub in native plant gardens or woodlands. Plant in mixed shrub borders among Rhododendrons and Azaleas, which share similar needs for acidic soil, in city gardens, cottage gardens, or coastal gardens. While blueberries are self-fertile, cross-pollination produces larger berries and larger yields. If possible, plant more than one variety that will bloom at the same time.
Give this shrub full sun to part shade.
Pink lemonade blueberry bushes prefer well-drained, organically rich, acidic soil. Plant in a sheltered site and add four to six inches of good organic mulch to retain moisture and cool the roots. Avoid areas where water might collect after rain, or plant the shrub on a mound to encourage the good drainage needed by the plant's shallow, fibrous roots. If the soil is not naturally acidic, mix one cubic foot of peat moss into the planting site.
Water regularly, two to three times per week in the first season after planting. Then water at least once per week unless there is heavy rain. Water more often in extreme heat or drought.
Lightly fertilize each spring. Use the minimum recommended amount listed on the container of fertilizer for acid-loving plants. Pink lemonade blueberries grow especially fast and prolifically in soils rich in organic matter and need just a little fertilizer if compost is added to the soil surface every year.
Temperature and Humidity
All rabbiteye blueberries can be grown in colder climates. Pink lemonade blueberry shrubs only require 300 hours of temperature below 45 degrees Fahrenheit for best growth, while other rabbiteyes require about 500-1000 hours.
Harvest pink lemonade blueberries when the fruit is dark pink and starts to somewhat soften.
As needed, prune in late winter starting in the third year after planting. Cut back the branches to about half their length. Remove any dead or diseased wood. After harvest, cut back bushes to maintain a height of four to five feet.
Propagating Pink Lemonade Blueberry Shurbs
Softwood cuttings, four to six inches long, can be taken in late spring. Semi-ripe cuttings can be taken in early summer.
Common Pests and Diseases
Fortunately, there are no serious pest or disease issues. Even so, keep an eye out for vine weevil, powdery mildews, and chlorosis (yellowing of leaves occurring in high pH soils, signaling manganese and iron deficiencies). Birds do love this fruit. If birds become an issue, cover and stake netting over the shrub as the fruit starts to ripen.