O’Neal Southern Highbush Blueberry
O’Neal Southern Highbush Blueberry is perhaps the earliest ripening of any southern highbush blueberry and often touted as the tastiest too! The berries are large, firm and incredibly juicy and sweet. The plants are upright, vigorous and have a gorgeous grey tint to the foliage. Very heat tolerant and somewhat drought tolerant, though all blueberries in our dry summers will need supplemental water. Only hardy to about 5°F so should not be planted outside USDA Zone 7.
Latin Name: Vaccinium ‘O’Neal’
Site and Soil: Blueberries like 1/2 day to full sun and well-drained, acidic soil.
Pollination Requirements: Highbush Blueberries are partially self-fertile. Plant another Southern Highbush variety for cross pollinating O’Neal.
Hardiness: Baby Blues is hardy to about 5° F.
Bearing Age: 1-2 years after planting
Size at Maturity: 5′ high and wide
Bloom Time: March-April
Ripening Time: June-July
Yield: 15-20 lbs.
Pests & Diseases: Blueberries are not bothered by significant pest or disease problems. Scare birds away with Mylar Flash Tape or deter them by covering your plants with netting.
USDA Zone: 7-9
Sunset Western Zone: 2-9, 14-17
Sunset Northeast Zone: 32, 34-43