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11 Standout Blueberry Bushes For Fruit In Less Time (1st Year)

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Home » Fruit Trees » 11 Standout Blueberry Bushes For Fruit In Less Time (1st Year)

Blueberries are delicious and as a bonus, incredibly good for you.

I have them in smoothies for breakfast every morning… YUM!

Find a quick fruiting variety below and there is a good chance you will eat blueberries in the 1st year after planting.

Which blueberry bush will you choose? Why stop at one!

Beautiful Quick Producing Blueberry Bushes

1. Legacy Blueberry Bush – Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Legacy’

The Legacy blueberry is not just known for its deliciously sweet, medium to large-sized blueberries, but also for its attractiveness as a landscape plant.

The white spring blossoms not only add beauty but also attract bees, leading to the production of nutrient-rich blueberries nestled among vibrant green foliage that transitions to stunning orange-red in the fall.

This variety is known for its consistent and high yield, making it a favorite among gardeners.

It’s self-fruitful, but planting it alongside another Legacy blueberry bush or varieties like Reka & Bluecrop can extend your harvest period and increase yield, enhancing your garden both aesthetically and productively.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5-8
  • Mature Tree Size: 4-6 ft tall, 3-4 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: Can Fruit 1st Year
  • Avg Growth Rate: Moderate-Fast
  • Chill Hours: 800-1000
  • Self Fertile: Yes, however planting multiple blueberry bushes will enhance yield.

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2. Pink Lemonade Blueberry Bush – Vaccinium ‘Pink Lemonade’

The Pink Lemonade blueberry has exceptionally sweet berries, described by many as having the best flavor among blueberry varieties.

Its distinctive pink berries mature late in the summer and offer a prolonged harvest through to early fall, creating a delightful spectacle in any garden.

Beyond their delicious taste, which some liken to a subtle kiwi flavor, these berries are a visual treat against the bush’s lush greenery, transitioning to stunning bronze hues come autumn.

This variety, easy to grow and self-pollinating, is not just a fruitful bearer but also an ornamental gem, enhancing gardens with its spring blossoms, summer fruit, and fall foliage.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4-8 Outdoors, 3-11 Patio
  • Mature Tree Size: 4-5 ft tall, 4-5 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: Can Fruit 1st Year
  • Avg Growth Rate: Moderate-Fast
  • Chill Hours: 200
  • Self Fertile: Yes, however planting multiple blueberry bushes will enhance yield.

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Fast-Growing-Trees, Nature Hills, My Perfect Plants or Starkbro’s

3. Premier Blueberry bush – Vaccinium Ashei ‘Premier’

The Premier blueberry is a gem for gardeners in warmer climates, specifically zones 7-9, looking to savor the taste of fresh, home-grown blueberries.

This variety thrives in the southern heat, boasting large, dark-blue berries that are both sweet and nutritious.

Remarkably heat tolerant and requiring just 500 – 600 hours of chill time, Premier blueberries are a low-maintenance choice, flourishing without the need for pruning and facing minimal pest issues.

Not only delicious, but these blueberries are also packed with health benefits, offering a bounty of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants.

For an abundant harvest, pair the Premier with a Powderblue Blueberry, another Rabbiteye variety, to ensure effective pollination.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 7-9 Outdoors, 3-11 Patio
  • Mature Tree Size: 6-10 ft tall, 6-8 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: Can Fruit 1st Year
  • Avg Growth Rate: Fast
  • Chill Hours: 500-600
  • Self Fertile: No, Powderblue, Brightwell & Climax are great pollinating partners

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4. Brightwell – Vaccinium virgatum ‘Brightwell’

The Brightwell blueberry bush, is loved for its robust growth, ease of care, and deliciously plump fruit.

This Rabbiteye hybrid thrives in the Southeast, requiring minimal effort to yield a substantial harvest.

Hardy and resilient, it resists pests and diseases, ensuring a bountiful supply of sweet blueberries perfect for any dish.

Its berries, notable for their size, firmness, and sweetness, mature just two months after flowering, offering an early and rewarding crop of up to 15 lbs annually.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 7-9 Outdoors, 3-11 Patio
  • Mature Tree Size: 6-12 ft tall, 6-10 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: Can Fruit 1st Year
  • Avg Growth Rate: Moderate-Fast
  • Chill Hours: 300-400
  • Self Fertile: Yes, however planting another Brightwell blueberry will increase yield.

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5. Sweetheart – Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Sweetheart’

The Sweetheart blueberry is a unique variety that delivers not one, but two crops each year, ensuring a steady supply of delicious berries from late spring through summer.

This robust plant, a blend of Southern and Northern Highbush blueberry varieties, is well-suited for zones 4-8 and matures to a manageable size of 3-6 feet in both height and width.

Its medium to large berries are celebrated for their sweetness, juiciness, and firm texture, making them perfect for both fresh eating and culinary uses.

Remarkably self-fertile, the Sweetheart still benefits from the presence of another bush to maximize its yield, which can reach up to 15 pounds annually with proper care, including meeting its chill hour requirements of 750-800.

This blueberry bush’s ease of care and prolific fruit production make it an invaluable addition to any home garden.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4-8
  • Mature Tree Size: 3-6 ft tall, 3-6 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: Can Fruit 1st Year
  • Avg Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Chill Hours: 750-800
  • Self Fertile: Yes, but benefits from a companion plant for optimal yeild.

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6. Climax – Vaccinium Ashei ‘Climax’

The Climax blueberry bush is an early ripener suited for hot, humid climates, making it a great addition to southern gardens.

Known for its heavy production of sweet, large berries, it’s an ideal choice for a variety of dishes or simply eating fresh. Requiring around 450 chill hours, it flourishes in USDA zones 7-9 and prefers acidic soil and full sun for optimal growth.

Its versatility allows for ground planting or container growth, with a mature size ranging from 6 to 15 feet tall.

For a bountiful harvest, it requires cross-pollination with early-blooming varieties like Tifblue or Austin, making it essential to plan for companion planting.

This blueberry’s ease of care, combined with its delicious and nutritious fruit, makes it a rewarding choice for gardeners.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 7-9 Outdoors, 3-11 Patio
  • Mature Tree Size: 6-15 ft tall, 3-10 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: Can Fruit 1st Year
  • Avg Growth Rate: Moderate-Fast
  • Chill Hours: 400-450
  • Self Fertile: No, Tifblue, Powderblue & Austin are great pollinators.

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7. Aurora – Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Aurora’

The Aurora blueberry bush is rapidly becoming a favorite among blueberry enthusiasts and gardeners alike, thanks to its substantial yield of large, sweet berries and its stunning autumn foliage.

Known for producing some of the largest homegrown blueberries, with berries up to an inch in diameter, the Aurora variety astonishes with both size and taste.

These berries not only excel in sweetness but are also a powerhouse of antioxidants and vitamins, making them beneficial for health well beyond their delicious flavor.

Suitable for both container and outdoor planting, this cold-hardy bush thrives in zones 4-7 and can withstand temperatures as low as -20 degrees F.

Beyond its fruitful bounty, the Aurora Blueberry Bush offers visual appeal with its lush summer greenery and vibrant red and orange fall colors, making it an excellent choice for those seeking both beauty and utility in their garden.

This self-fertile plant promises a quick start to fruit production, often within its first year, and planting another Aurora can significantly boost your harvest.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4-7
  • Mature Tree Size: 5-6 ft tall, 5 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: Can Fruit 1st Year
  • Avg Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Chill Hours: 800+
  • Self Fertile: Yes, however additional blueberry plants will increase yield.

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8. Top Hat – Vaccinium ‘Top Hat’

The Top Hat blueberry bush, bred for its compact stature and exceptional fruit production, is an excellent dwarf hybrid perfect for container gardening or as a charming border plant.

Celebrated for its abundant white blossoms in spring and sweet, pea-sized berries ripening by mid-summer, the Top Hat Blueberry is a garden gem.

Its ornamental value extends into fall with fiery red-bronze foliage, making it a year-round delight.

This self-pollinating variety, while impressive on its own, yields even more fruit when paired with another blueberry bush, ensuring a sizeable harvest of nutritious, antioxidant-rich berries right from your garden or patio.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3-8
  • Mature Tree Size: 1-2 ft tall, 1-2 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: Can Fruit 1st Year
  • Avg Growth Rate: Moderate-Fast
  • Chill Hours: 1000-1200
  • Self Fertile: Yes, however additional blueberry plants will increase yield.

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9. Toro – Vaccinium corymbosum ‘Toro’

The Toro blueberry is not just loved for its delectable berries but also for its striking beauty throughout the seasons.

From the warm bronze hues of new growth and the red stems in spring to the delightful racemes of white and hot pink bell-shaped flowers, Toro is a landscape showstopper.

As a Northern Highbush variety, it peaks in mid-season, offering clusters of large, sky-blue berries that win taste tests with their sweet complexity.

Whether enjoyed fresh, in smoothies, or baked goods, Toro’s berries are a treat.

The plant, with its bushy, upright form, transitions into a display of bold red foliage in fall, making it a year-round ornamental treasure.

The Toro blueberry is ideal for container gardening or as a part of the landscape, Toro is self-pollinating but produces even more when paired with another blueberry plant.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3-8
  • Mature Tree Size: 4-8 ft tall, 3-6 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: Can Fruit 1st Year
  • Avg Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Chill Hours: 800-1000
  • Self Fertile: Yes, however additional blueberry plants will increase yield.

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Fast-Growing-Trees or Nature Hills

10. Tifblue – Vaccinium Ashei ‘Tifblue’

The Tifblue blueberry, known for its strong branches and sizeable harvest, is a garden essential that thrives across a wide range of climates, especially suitable for zones 7-9.

Its origins trace back to innovative hybridization work at the University of Georgia, yielding a bush that stands out for its resilience to colder temperatures and its capability to produce a hefty yield of medium-sized, flavorful berries.

Perfect for a variety of culinary uses—from breakfast cereals to desserts—and easy to freeze for year-round enjoyment.

Tifblue not only promises delicious, antioxidant-rich fruit but also adds ornamental value to your garden with its lush foliage and later season harvest in mid-June to late July.

Although self-fertile, pairing with pollinator partners like Climax and Brightwell varieties can significantly enhance its fruit production.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 7-9 Outdoors, 3-11 Patio
  • Mature Tree Size: 3-15 ft tall, 3-10 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: 1-2 Years
  • Avg Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Chill Hours: 600-700
  • Self Fertile: Yes, however pollinator partners like Climax & Brightwell will increase crop size

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11. Powderblue – Vaccinium ashei ‘Powderblue’


The Powder Blue blueberry bush is loved for its sweet, late-season berries and stunning foliage, making it an ideal choice for both a fruiting hedge and a decorative garden element.

This bush thrives in full sun to partial shade, requiring around 500-700 chill hours for optimal fruit set.

As a vigorous Rabbiteye variety, it produces lots of light blue berries, promising a bountiful harvest for baking, smoothies, or eating right off the bush.

Not only does it offer delicious, antioxidant-rich blueberries, but its seasonal transformation—from spring blossoms to autumn colors—adds year-round visual appeal to any garden.

For maximum yield, cross-pollination with another Rabbiteye variety is recommended, enhancing both the garden’s beauty and fruit production.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 7-9 Outdoors, 3-11 Patio
  • Mature Tree Size: 6-15 ft tall, 6-10 ft wide
  • Time to Bear First Fruit: 2-3 Years
  • Avg Growth Rate: Moderate-Fast
  • Chill Hours: 500-700
  • Self Fertile: No. The Premier blueberry bush is a good option

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Fast-Growing-Trees, Nature Hills or My Perfect Plants

Do Blueberries Need Chill Hours?

Yes, blueberries require a minimum number of chill hours to produce fruit.

Some blueberry bushes only need 200-300 chill hours while others require over 1000.

It is important to always check your growing zone to ensure your plant will receive the required chill hours it needs to produce a good harvest.

If you are new to growing plants you may be wondering what a “Chill Hour” is.

Chill hours are the number of hours plants spend in cool weather, between 32°F and 45°F.

This cold time is crucial for many plants, like fruit trees, to rest in winter before they wake up and grow in spring. In simple terms it helps them know when it’s safe to bloom.

Before You Purchase

When thinking about adding a blueberry bush to your garden, it’s essential to recognize that often nurseries use different cultivation methods, including various rootstocks.

This means the same blueberry variety could be suggested for different growing zones at different nurseries.

Additionally, some varieties of blueberry bushes might not grow as tall and wide as a variety of the same name from another nursery.

Therefore, before buying any blueberry bush, it’s critical to select a variety from a nursery that matches your local climate and garden space to ensure optimal growth and fruit production.

Comparing Blueberry Bushes

Tree NameUSDA Growing ZonesMature Tree SizeTime to Bear First FruitAvg Growth RateChill HoursSelf Fertile
Legacy Blueberry5-84-6 ft tall, 3-4 ft wideCan Fruit 1st YearModerate-Fast800-1000Yes
Pink Lemonade4-8 Outdoors, 3-11 Patio4-5 ft tall, 4-5 ft wideCan Fruit 1st YearModerate-Fast200Yes
Premier7-9 Outdoors, 3-11 Patio6-10 ft tall, 6-8 ft wideCan Fruit 1st YearFast500-600No
Brightwell7-9 Outdoors, 3-11 Patio6-12 ft tall, 6-10 ft wideCan Fruit 1st YearModerate-Fast300-400Yes
Sweetheart4-83-6 ft tall, 3-6 ft wideCan Fruit 1st YearModerate750-800Yes
Climax7-9 Outdoors, 3-11 Patio6-15 ft tall, 3-10 ft wideCan Fruit 1st YearModerate-Fast400-450No
Aurora4-75-6 ft tall, 5 ft wideCan Fruit 1st YearModerate800+Yes
Top Hat3-81-2 ft tall, 1-2 ft wideCan Fruit 1st YearModerate-Fast1000-1200Yes
Toro3-84-8 ft tall, 3-6 ft wideCan Fruit 1st YearModerate800-1000Yes
Tifblue7-9 Outdoors, 3-11 Patio3-15 ft tall, 3-10 ft wide1-2 YearsModerate600-700Yes
Powderblue7-9 Outdoors, 3-11 Patio6-15 ft tall, 6-10 ft wide2-3 YearsModerate-Fast500-700No

Other Quick Fruiting Trees

Why not enhance your blueberry orchard with early-bearing fruit trees such as apricot, pear, peach, apple, cherry and avocado.

These additions will not only vary your delicious collection but also guarantee a steady stream of tasty fruits.

Happy Planting!

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Fern Berg - Founder

Expert Gardener & Horticulturist in Training

Fern has planted and currently cares for over 100 different native and exotic fruit, nut, and ornamental trees. She also cultivates an extensive vegetable garden, several flower gardens and cares for an ever-growing happy family of indoor plants. Fern has a special interest in biodynamic farming, food production and closed loop agriculture. Fern founded Tree Vitalize to help guide others with an interest in tree planting, identification and care.