Vaccinium vitis-idaea Beloved by Scandinavians, these hardy, low-growing evergreen shrubs are easy to grow and produce bright red berries against the glossy green foliage. Lingonberries are loaded with vitamin C and make the most delicious jams, pies, wines and more! Follow blueberry culture, placing them in well-drained sites amended with peat, bark or old sawdust.
After unpacking, allow the plant a few days to gradually acclimate to full sun exposure. Lingonberries are considered an understory plant and are closely related to blueberries and cranberries. Locate in an area in part shade to full sun with some protection from very hot temperatures. Dig a hole approximately 1 foot around and deep. Replace about 1/4-1/3 of the soil from the hole with moistened peat moss and mix well. Gently tease the outside of the plant’s root ball and position the plant so the soil line on the plant is slightly higher than ground level, mounding the soil well. Water thoroughly. Mulch with a 2-4 inch layer of straw, sawdust or wood shavings (not cedar). The mulch helps retain moisture, keeps the roots cool, suppresses weeds, and contributes to the preferred acidity of the soil. We recommend removing the first year’s blossoms as they appear. This diverts the plant’s energy and allows it to establish a strong root system. If you choose to keep your lingonberry in a pot, choose a container that is at least 1-gallon capacity for the first growing season, and plan to up-pot as the plant grows.
Water regularly during the first growing season, but do not allow the soil to become soggy. Fertilizing isn’t necessary, as the plants have low nutrition requirements. Each spring and fall, top dress with a layer of sand, sawdust or wood shavings. Lingonberries have shallow roots and appreciate about an inch of irrigation per week during the growing season and should be kept weed free around the plants. Prune plants every 3-4 years if necessary, to maintain shape or anytime to remove dead wood. Lingonberries require at least 200-300 chill hours to produce good harvests, but they can grow in warmer climates with limited production.
Start picking berries 1-2 weeks after the first deep red berries develop. Unripe fruit will be bitter but will continue to ripen off the plant if picked too early.
Lingonberries are self-fertile
Pests & Diseases
Cover plants with Bird Block Netting if birds are a problem, otherwise lingonberries are seldom bothered by pests or diseases if grown properly.
Lingonberries prefer moist, slightly acidic (approximately 4.0-5.5 pH), well-draining soil rich in organic matter. Peat moss, sawdust and composted oak leaves are good amendments to add humus and lower the pH of the soil.
Full sun to part shade.
1-2 pounds per plant
Spring and mid-summer