Translating blueberry bushes is usually hit or miss. It usually depends on the plant’s age, species, and the soil conditions they’re planted in. Some aged blueberry bushes aren’t even worth transplanting as they won’t product a large amount of fruit in the future. However, if you have a moderately young plant (10 years or so) it will probably be very successful.
Safe to transplant?
For whatever reason, the younger the plant the better it will do after a transplant. Most of the time the bush will survive, that’s not the problem. It seems older plants have a rough time after they’re transplanted. A lot of the time they will produce little if any fruit in the future. Along with lack of fruit production, they stop producing young healthy canes which is needed to stimulate fruiting in the future. However, if you have no other option but lose the plant or transplant it, do not be discouraged. I have personally seen bushes that have been successfully relocated that are 30 years old. There are so many factors that can affect the outcome: age, soil, climate, species, and health of plant prior to transplanting. Give it a shot, the worst that can happen is it reacts poorly to the stress and doesn’t have a high yield.
The process of transplanting itself is fairly easy. Dig around the edges of the plant with a spade shovel trying to get as much as the root ball as possible. Depending on the consistency of your soil the root ball will stay intact while you’re transporting it. However, if your soil is loose (like it should be!) you’ll need to wrap some burlap around it.
You should prep the hole before you move the plant. Make sure the soil is the correct loose consistency and that it’s slightly acidic. Have your mulch ready and the hole pre-dug. If you’re not sure how to prep the hole, check out my step by step instructions on how to plant blueberry bushes.