Are Blueberries Blue or Purple? Everything You Need to Know
Are blueberries blue or purple? – Despite their name, blueberries are not blue. They may appear to be a shade of evening blue on the outside, however when you open or mash them up as part of a fruit smoothie, a deep purple color is released from the flesh.
In fact, blueberries are the closest fruit you will get to a naturally occurring blue fruit. Unfortunately, this can be confusing (and slightly disappointing) for children who are hoping to dye their tongues blue when they eat fresh blueberries, but you should still encourage them to include them in their diet.
What Gives Blueberries Their Color?
Blueberries receive their unique color from beneficial plant compounds called anthocyanins. Anthocyanin is actually a powerful antioxidant that is extremely beneficial to humans – we’ll discuss this in more detail in the next section.
The good thing about blueberries is that the longer they are allowed to ripen under the sun, the higher concentration of anthocyanin the fruit will develop. And the deeper blue / purple color they will become.
Benefits of Eating Blueberries
Not only are blueberries delicious to eat, they also have many benefits that can benefit your health and diet.
High in Antioxidants
Blueberries are known to be jam packed full of antioxidants that can help your body fight against the risk of disease. The antioxidants attack the free radicals floating in our bodies, thereby reducing the damage that is caused by oxidation. The diseases that antioxidants help the body to fight include heart disease and particular cancers, thereby improving heart health and brain health.
Boost of Vitamin C
It is a well known fact that vitamin C helps to keep our immune systems strong. This helps to reduce the susceptibility of our bodies to foreign attacks from bacteria and viruses. The good news is blueberries also have high concentrations of vitamin C. So throw a few blueberries into your morning cereal to help your body stay strong.
Another benefit of blueberries is the anti-inflammatory properties they can deliver to our bodies. This helps us cope with ailments such as arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and even obesity and psoriasis.
Who ever said healthy foods aren’t tasty?
A Quick Guide on How to Grow Blueberries at Home
Blueberries have to be one of our favorite foods to grow in the garden. They are easy to grow and easy to harvest.
Just make sure you have the proper protection in place, because those blue (or, as we established earlier, purple) blueberries aren’t only tasty to us. Believe us when we say there are a lot of common garden pests around that will oblige themselves to a midnight snack while you are asleep. We’ve witnessed first hand mischievous Indian Myna Birds work their way under bird netting to raid our ripened wild blueberries.
Here are the steps for successfully growing blueberry bushes in pots (from bare-rooted small stock):
- remove your blueberry bush from its packaging and soak the bare roots in water that is room temperature for 30-45 minutes. This allows your blueberry to soak up plenty of water to survive the transplanting process, giving it the best chance for success.
- While it is soaking, fill a 400 millimeter wide pot halfway with potting mix that has an acidic composition. Many ready-made potting mixes specifically made for azaleas and camellias will be suitable for blueberry bushes. In the middle of the pot, create a small mound of soil. This will help the roots grow in an even and structured form.
- Gently place the blueberry bush onto the small mound of soil. Spread the roots evenly around the mound so that there are roots on every side of the mound.
- Hold the blueberry bush up while you backfill the soil, gently patting it down once the soil reaches approximately an inch from the top of the pot.
- Place your blueberry bush in a sunny position, away from any strong wind tunnels (to prevent any pots accidentally blowing over).
- Give your blueberry bush a nice healthy watering. Ensure the excess water freely drains from the bottom of the pot.
Blueberry Plant Care and Maintenance
Now that we know that we want blueberries in our diet, and we know how to plant a blueberry bush in a pot, let’s learn the basic husbandry care that comes with cultivating blueberries.
Watering your blueberry bushes in pots will be your main responsibility because blueberries are not drought tolerant.
If you are lucky enough to have an irrigation system, this would be the best solution to guarantee your blueberries receive plenty of water.
Those that are relying on manually supplying their blueberry bushes with water should do so daily in the growing seasons. The best time is in the early morning before the sun hits them. Watering morning and evening is advisable on extra hot days.
The best fertilizer to use is an organic slow release fertilizer one or twice a year. Blueberries can be a bit sensitive to over-fertilization, so try not to over feed them. We like to supplement the slow release fertilizers with some worm wee or worm castings to enrich the organic content of the soil.
Some gardeners sprinkle pine needles on the topsoil beneath their blueberry bushes. Not only does this act as a good mulch to help retain the moisture in the soil. Pine needles are also slightly acidic, and help to maintain the ideal pH levels in the soil.
Final Thoughts About Are Blueberries Blue or Purple?
By now you should be comfortable answering whether blueberries are blue or purple. They only appear blue on the outside once they have been allowed to mature in the sun.
However, once you cut into the blueberry fruits, they reveal a deep purple flesh that is delicious and extremely beneficial for you.
Blueberries will give you a boost in antioxidants, vitamin C that will help your body combat diseases and viruses.