How to Plant, Grow, and Care for ‘Pink Lemonade’ Blueberries

Instead of ripening to a deep purple-blue, ‘Pink Lemonade’ berries turn a dark pink or almost red when they are ready to eat, making them a colorful and unique addition to your edible garden. Gardening expert Madison Moulton explains everything you need to know about growing and harvesting ‘Pink Lemonade’ blueberries.

A close-up reveals 'Pink Lemonade' blueberries nestled amidst green leaves on a bush, the delicate pink hue of the berries contrasting beautifully with the foliage. The lush foliage and ripe pink blueberries evoke a sense of freshness and tranquility.


If you haven’t started growing blueberries yet, you’re really missing out. The berries are a delectable snack, and they work with so many recipes in the kitchen. The plants also have a unique ornamental value in your landscape.

Blueberries are ideal shrubs for almost any position in the garden, from beds to containers. They make perfect edible hedges if you want to foodscape your garden, and they can grow on patios in small spaces.

When it comes to ornamental value, you certainly can’t go wrong with the ‘Pink Lemonade’ variety, known for its colorful berries. These shrubs are not difficult to grow or manage. Just follow this guide to find out how.

‘Pink Lemonade’ Blueberries

‘Pink Lemonade’ blueberries:

  • have a sweet, citrusy flavor
  • thrive in containers or in the ground
  • boast year-round ornamental appeal
  • grow all in zones 4-8

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Plant Overview

A close-up of 'Pink Lemonade' blueberries, their delicate hue contrasting against lush green leaves. In the background, a gentle blur hints at the verdant foliage surrounding the vibrant blueberries, creating a serene natural tableau.
Vaccinium ‘Pink Lemonade’ is a berry plant belonging to the Vacciniaceae family.
Plant Type Berry
Family Ericaceae
Genus Vaccinium
Species x ‘Pink Lemonade’
Exposure Full sun to partial shade
Height 5’
Watering Requirements Moderate
Maintenance Moderate
Soil Type Acidic

What are ‘Pink Lemonade’ Blueberries?

A pristine white bowl sits atop a matching table, its contents revealing 'Pink Lemonade' blueberries nestled within. Delicate pink-blue berries spill out from the bowl onto the table, interspersed with scattered green leaves.
This variety stands out with its pink berries and subtle citrus flavor.

‘Pink Lemonade’ is not your typical blueberry, particularly when it comes to the word blue in the name. That’s because the berries on this bush are actually pink! Like most blueberries, they start out green and then blush pink. But instead of ripening to a deep purple-blue, these berries turn dark pink or almost red when they are ready to eat. 

They also set themselves apart when it comes to flavor. The berries are distinctly blueberries but with a subtle citrusy taste, hence the hybrid name ‘Pink Lemonade.’ The bush is a rabbiteye cross developed by plant geneticist Mark K. Ehlenfeldt. He crossed a commercial blueberry with an experimental variety, eventually coming up with ‘Pink Lemonade’ in 1996 and releasing it to the public in 2005.

This variety’s unique look makes it sought-after for its ornamental value. The edible berries are obviously the highlight, but the changing foliage and blush pink flowers mean they’re good for more than just harvesting. These shrubs also look great in the garden, ideal for things like foodscaping or food forests.

In the kitchen, ‘Pink Lemonade’ blueberries are known for their high sugar content. They are one of the sweetest blueberries you can grow, perfect for snacking fresh. They also work well in desserts or preserves, but it will be hard to resist eating them immediately as you pick them off the bush.


A 'Pink Lemonade' blueberry bush showcases its lush foliage, featuring ovate leaves and clusters of delicate pink berries. The sunlight cascades down, highlighting the vibrant hues, casting a warm glow over the verdant scene.
The blueberries prefer USDA Zones 4-9 with acidic soil around pH 4.5.

Blueberries are not fussy shrubs and adapt well to a range of environments. However, planting them in the ideal location will greatly simplify care and ensure your plant can focus on producing delicious berries.

When it comes to climate, this hybrid can grow almost anywhere. They don’t like temperature extremes but grow well in USDA Zones 4-9. Milder conditions are preferred for the best possible yield, but a little warmth or frost isn’t a problem for this shrub.

Before planting, you need to assess the soil carefully. Blueberries are acid-loving plants that require a low pH to grow successfully. If you don’t know your soil pH, conduct tests before planting. You should aim for a pH of around 4.5. Amend the soil if it’s below 4 or above 5.5.

Once you’ve purchased your tree, give it some time to adjust to your garden environment before planting to limit stress. You can do this by:

  • Keeping the plant in its container and placing it in a shady, sheltered area away from high winds.
  • Ensuring it’s watered adequately – the soil should be moist but not waterlogged.
  • Monitoring the plant for any signs of distress and allow it to adjust for a few days before planting.

Plant within seven days after receiving the tree. Start by digging a hole about twice as wide as the root ball and a similar depth, encouraging the roots to grow outwards and establish in the soil. Plant and backfill with soil, pressing down gently around the roots to settle the plant in place. Water thoroughly and apply a layer of pine needle mulch around 3-4 inches thick around the base after planting.

If you’re planting multiple blueberries – which is recommended to improve yield through cross-pollination – space the bushes around 5 feet apart. This will accommodate their mature size and limit problems with overcrowding or possible disease.

Planting in Containers

A purple pot sits, nurturing blueberry seedlings, as a blueberry label peeks from the soil. Nearby, black pots await their own verdant inhabitants, the dark soil promising growth and vitality in the garden.
Choose a spacious pot with drainage holes.

‘Pink Lemonade’ blueberries grow well in containers, great for those with limited garden space (or no backyard at all). The container should be large enough to fit the mature size of the bush, or you will be repotting far sooner than you like.

When looking for pots, make sure you choose a container with drainage holes. Blueberries like moist soil, but the roots do not appreciate waterlogging. Consider well-draining materials like terracotta or fabric grow bags to prevent any problems with root rot.

Your potting soil will also influence drainage, so pick a potting mix that isn’t too dense. To lower the pH, consider adding large portions of peat moss or pine bark to create the acidic conditions these bushes love.

Water immediately after planting in pots to maintain moisture levels. Soil dries out much quicker in containers than in the ground, so you’ll need to keep up with watering (especially in warmer weather) to prevent stress.

How to Grow

When planted in the right location, blueberries don’t require much fuss. They are not difficult shrubs to grow and aren’t considered high-maintenance.


A close-up of 'Pink Lemonade' blueberries nestled among leaves, showcasing their delicate blush hues. The sunlight kisses the berries, highlighting their juicy allure and creating a picturesque scene of natural freshness and vitality.
Position blueberry bushes in full sunlight for 6 to 8 hours daily.

For maximum yield, choose a spot in your garden with full sunlight exposure. This is around 6 to 8 hours of direct sun per day. Producing berries takes a lot of energy, so providing a full day of direct sunlight will give your shrub what it needs to grow successfully without stress.

Blueberries can also handle partial shade, particularly if you’re growing in warmer USDA Zones like 8 or 9. Some afternoon protection in harsher climates can create the milder conditions these bushes prefer. But I wouldn’t recommend giving them anything less than 4.5 hours of sun unless you’re willing to sacrifice yield.

If you’re struggling to find the right position, planting in containers is a good option. This allows you to adjust the container’s position as the sun changes throughout the seasons, ensuring the bush always has the perfect amount of sun for optimal growth.


A close-up of a 'Pink Lemonade' blueberry branch, adorned with lush green leaves and plump green berries. Each leaf and berry sparkles with tiny water droplets, enhancing their freshness and adding a touch of natural allure.
Maintain consistent soil moisture for healthy blueberry growth without waterlogging.

If you want to harvest juicy blueberries, ensure the plant has plenty of moisture. Blueberries appreciate moist soil, but not so much that it becomes soggy and limits airflow around the roots. They appreciate an additional top-up just as the soil starts to dry out.

Frequent and consistent watering is most important soon after planting. Consistent moisture will encourage the roots to spread out into the soil, establishing a strong root system capable of handling less frequent watering later on. It also limits stress, helping ease your blueberry bush into its new environment.

This usually translates to watering around twice per week, depending on your climate and the amount of rainfall in your region. Rather than watering on a schedule, check the soil regularly and water when the top few inches start to dry out.

After the first season, once the bush is well established, you can slow watering to around once per week, again taking rainfall into account. Give them additional water in warm weather or in containers where the soil dries out quickly.

While blueberries will adapt, it’s best not to miss a watering, especially while the fruits develop. Inconsistent moisture levels will impact the quality of the berries.


Dark, nutrient-rich soil teeming with organic matter, providing vital nourishment for thriving plant life. Its earthy aroma hints at the abundance of microorganisms and decomposed materials, fostering a fertile environment conducive to robust growth and flourishing biodiversity.
Maintaining optimal acidity between pH 4 and 5.5 is crucial for successful blueberry growth.

As mentioned, blueberries are acid-loving plants. While some plants tolerate various pH levels, acidity is one thing you need to keep in mind when growing blueberries. The ideal pH is 4.5, but anything between around 4 and 5.5 will provide the ideal conditions for growth and fruit development.

If you notice growth problems like lack of new growth or discoloration in the leaves, pH could be the problem. Test the soil before planting and amend if needed until you reach the ideal pH level.

Besides pH, drainage is also something to consider. Blueberries, like most plants, appreciate well-draining soil rich in organic matter. Amend the soil with compost before planting, and avoid heavy clay soil or areas where rain collects in your garden to prevent rot.

Temperature & Humidity

A vibrant 'Pink Lemonade' blueberry bush reveals delicate leaves and clusters of ripe pink berries. The gentle rays of the sun caress the foliage, casting a warm glow and enhancing the bush's natural beauty.
These shrubs may require sun protection in warmer climates.

‘Pink Lemonade’ blueberries prefer milder climates, but they handle cold well too. They grow in most regions (USDA Zones 4-9), appreciating some sun protection in warmer climates to avoid stress. Mulching is also vital to regulate soil temperature, particularly in the colder climates.

Humidity isn’t much of a concern, but high humidity can lead to potential fungal diseases like powdery mildew. If you live in a region with high humidity, consider spacing the bushes a little further apart and pruning dense areas to improve airflow.


A gardener in brown steel toed shoes stands confidently on moist ground covered in mulch, ready for a day's work in the garden. With each careful thrust of the rusty garden fork, he tends to the soil.
Fertilize blueberries annually with acid-loving plant fertilizer in spring and possibly summer.

For the highest possible yield, it’s important to fertilize your blueberries. They don’t require much feeding to produce well but will appreciate an annual top-up to replenish nutrients in the soil.

Every spring, just before new growth begins, apply a fertilizer specially formulated for acid-loving plants. You can give them another sidedressing in summer if you think the plants need an extra boost. Apply around the base of the bush, avoiding contact with the stem, and water in to ensure the nutrients reach the roots where they are needed.

Always follow the instructions on the packaging when feeding. Never apply more than recommended. Adding extra fertilizer won’t improve growth or give you more blueberries – it will actually have the opposite effect. Only apply what’s needed and add compost mulch on the top to increase microbial activity and organic matter in the soil.


A hand grips red pruning shears, slicing through a thick stem at the base of a blueberry bush, ensuring healthy growth. The earth below is adorned with a scattered array of dried leaves.
Prune blueberry bushes annually in winter to control size and improve growth.

Once your blueberry bushes get established, they won’t require much maintenance beyond watering and feeding.

In the second or third year, you can start pruning annually in winter when the plant is dormant. An annual trim will help control size and shape and improve growth in leggy branches. Remove dense areas of growth to improve airflow between the branches.

Once the berries start appearing, you’ll also notice the birds and animals in your garden are as excited about harvesting as you are. Use netting around the bushes in summer to protect the fruits from being picked off early by nearby wildlife.


A delicate hand in a white glove gently holds the verdant stems of a blueberry bush. Among the lush leaves, clusters of pink berries add a pop of color, promising sweetness in the upcoming harvest.
‘Pink Lemonade’ fruits ripen from mid-summer to fall when their color deepens to pinkish red.

‘Pink Lemonade’ is a mid-season blueberry. The fruits start ripening around mid-summer and into fall. They are ready to pick once the color darkens to a deeper pink or almost red.

Pick them off the bush gently, as the berries bruise easily. It’s also best to pick early in the morning before the heat of the day sets in. Refrigerate your blueberries immediately after picking them as they don’t last very long outside of the fridge.

If you can keep birds away, I would wait to pick the berries until you’re ready to use them. This ensures they are completely fresh and stops any going bad before you can eat them. You can also put the berries in the freezer if you have more than you can eat fresh.


Transparent jars hold blueberry seedlings, their delicate green shoots reaching for light. Cultivated under sterile conditions, these seedlings thrive through innovative in vitro technology, promising future bounties of juicy berries.
Propagate from softwood cuttings taken in late spring.

If you want to grow more ‘Pink Lemonade’ blueberries, propagate your bush from cuttings. The cuttings will take a while to mature and fruit, but it’s a great way to expand your stock at no cost if you’re willing to be patient.

Blueberries can be propagated from hardwood or softwood cuttings. Softwood cuttings have a higher chance of success, generally rooting quicker and developing new growth early. It’s not impossible to propagate from hardwood cuttings, but it does take longer and generally has a slightly lower success rate.

Take softwood cuttings in late spring, removing a branch around 6 inches long. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone, remove any leaves on the lower half of the cutting, and pot the cutting into a mix of peat moss and perlite. Cover the container with a clear plastic bag to trap humidity and keep the soil lightly moist until new growth appears.

Take hardwood cuttings in winter. Use a rooting hormone specially formulated for hardwood cuttings, keeping the container warm and moist to promote root growth.

Once the cuttings start growing and fill out their containers, transplant them to a larger pot with a potting mix for acid-loving plants.

Common Problems

Three metallic Japanese beetles with shimmering green and copper tones clings to the edge of a blueberry leaf. Their intricately textured exoskeletons gleam under the sunlight, displaying a mosaic of iridescent hues that blend seamlessly with the foliage.
Blueberries may suffer from aphids and fungal diseases like powdery mildew.

Blueberries aren’t majorly prone to many pests and diseases. Aphids and beetles may attack new growth, but they typically opt for tastier plants in your garden first. Fungal diseases like powdery mildew are also possible, particularly if your bushes are planted too close together.

One of the most concerning growth problems is lack of flowers or fruit. This is usually linked to incorrect environmental conditions, like lack of sunlight or soil that is not acidic enough. Identify which condition is furthest from the ideal and adjust accordingly.

Plenty of flowers but no fruits usually indicates a pollination issue, improved by planting another blueberry variety that flowers at the same time. You may also be losing fruits to birds or small animals, avoided by installing netting around your bushes.

Leggy growth is typically the result of lack of sunlight or lack of pruning if your bush is several years old. Discoloration or leaf drop may be caused by inconsistent watering, environmental stress, or pest problems.

Final Thoughts

‘Pink Lemonade’ blueberries are great for their fruits alone, but when you add all the other benefits of these shrubs, it’s hard not to want one.

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