- How to Plant
`Star` differs from other southern highbush cultivars in that it combines a low chill requirement, early fruit ripening, high fruit quality, and a very short harvest period. In contrast to most southern highbush cultivars, `Star` has a chilling requirement low enough to allow it to be grown as far south as Gainesville, Fla., with no delay in spring budbreak. The fruit of `Star` are medium to large, averaging about 1.6 grams per berry. Berries are dark blue in color. The small, dry pedicel scar and high firmness give the berries a long post-harvest life. Both flavor and texture are excellent. The medium sized bush has a moderately upright growth habit and have shown moderate resistance to Phytophthora root rot and stem blight. Hardy in Zones 7-10. USDA ZONES: Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9, Zone 10.
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STEP 1) First, decide on a planting location. Consider carefully what kind of sun, soil, and growing-space your tree or shrub will need.
STEP 2) Once you've located the perfect spot, the hole you are digging must be at least double the width and as deep as the root system you are planting.
STEP 3) Remove the plant from the pot and place the root ball in the hole. The top of the root system should be level with the ground. Before placing the tree or shrub in the hole, use your hands to gently break up the root system.
STEP 4) Once the plant is in place, backfill the hole with native soil and any leftover potting material.
STEP 5) Pack down the soil to eliminate any air pockets.
STEP 6) When finished, water thoroughly.
Water regularly, especially during dry periods. Keep an area approximately 4 feet in diameter around the bush clear of grass and weeds to minimize competition for water and nutrients. Mulch in spring and fall with approximately 4-6 inches of acid mulch (pine bark, oak leaves). Pull mulch a couple of inches away from the trunk for good air circulation. Do NOT mulch with mushroom compost. Routine pruning of blueberries is unnecessary until plants are 3 years old. During this time, remove dead, damaged or diseased limbs. Cut any leggy growth so the plant will bush up. Make all cuts flush with the limb or the next largest branch. Do not leave stubs. For established rabbiteye blueberries, approximately one quarter of the oldest canes are pruned each year to encourage cane renewal. Three to four year-old canes have maximum fruit production, declining with age. Blueberries can be lightly topped right after fruit harvest to hold down the height of the plant. All heavy thinning cuts should be made in the dormant season.