If you’ve ever bitten into a cherry, you know there is no doubt that cherries have seeds. When it comes to blueberries, on the other hand, it may not be so obvious.
Blueberries from all varieties of blueberry plants contain seeds, including highbush and lowbush varieties. There are currently no seedless varieties of blueberry. The seeds are small, however, and can safely be eaten raw.
Do Blueberries Have Seeds?
The blueberry plant produces small, reddish-brown, edible seeds.
These seeds are about the size of a poppyseed and are located in the center of the blueberry. The seeds are not harmful, and there should be no concern with eating them raw and right from the berry like nature intended.
Although blueberries have seeds, the seeds are relatively small, easily digestible, and not harmful. They are similar in that regard to strawberry seeds, which are commonly eaten even though you can see them all over the outside of the fruit.
Some people with diverticulosis may be concerned about blueberry seeds causing them issues, but these concerns are generally based on old misconceptions about what caused diverticulitis attacks.
There should be no concern about eating blueberry seeds for most individuals.
Do Seedless Blueberries Exist?
There are many types of blueberries, but all of them have seeds. Gardeners haven’t really focused on growing seedless blueberries because blueberry seeds are already so innocuous.
A lot of effort went into turning bananas into ‘seedless’ plants, for instance, and there’s not much difference between a banana seed and a blueberry seed in terms of eating experience.
Because of this, the effort that would be necessary to breed a new, seedless variety of blueberry hasn’t been seen as something that would pay off.
How Many Seeds Do Blueberries Have?
An average blueberry will contain about 50 seeds per plant, according to research published on the NIH website.
Depending on how ripe the blueberry is, how the blueberry plant was pollinated, and other things, not all of these seeds will be viable, however. The number of viable bluebrery seeds in a berry will vary from plant to plant and even berry to berry.
Because of this, if you’re going to try to grow blueberries from seed, you’ll probably want to use a few seeds per hole and then thin them out once they germinate.
Can You Grow Bluberries From Seed?
Growing blueberries from seed can be a fun experiment. To grow blueberries from seed, you need to gather fresh berries that haven’t been frozen.
The best option is to gather blueberries from your own bushes, if you have them. If not, try to get blueberries from a farmer’s market or a high-quality grocery store.
If you’re going this route, you’ll want to look on the packaging for some indication that the blueberries were grown locally where you live.
If you can go to a farmers market and get blueberries from a trustworthy farmer (that isn’t just going to buy them from the store and repackage them), that is often the best option.
This will also let you ask the farmer what type of blueberries they are so you will know what you are growing and can look up how to take care of them. You will then want to make sure the blueberries didn’t come from hybrid plants (so the new plants will be true to type and you won’t grow something completely different) and aren’t a patented variety.
Even if you don’t get them from a hybrid variety, though, the fact that blueberries are cross-pollinated means that you may not get blueberry plants that turn out the same as the parent plants.
Because not all seeds will be viable, you’ll want to germinate a few seeds for each plant that you plan to keep in case some of the seeds don’t germinate. With proper care, the seeds that are viable will generally gereminate within 1 month.
Of course, one thing to keep in mind is that while blueberries will often start producing fruit when they are only 2-3 years old, they may not reach peak production until they are as old as 7-8 years.
This is one point in favor of getting pre-grown blueberry plants, which can often produce fruit the first year you have them in the ground.
How to Extract Blueberry Seeds from Blueberries
While you can just smash a blueberry and stick it in the ground, often you will get better and more predictable results by extracting your seeds from the blueberry and growing them properly.
Unfortunately, getting blueberries to give up their seeds can be a bit of a process. It’s not necessarily hard, but it can be time consuming.
Step 1: The first thing you want to do when extracting blueberry seeds is to mash up the blueberry to make it easier to separate the seeds from the rest of the fruit. This can be done in one of a few ways.
- Mashing Them By Hand – The first way is to just take a fork, potato masher, or other readily available kitchen utensil and mash the blueberries by hand. You want to mash them as thoroughly as possible so that the seeds can be gotten out of the fruit pulp later.
- Using a Food Processor or Blender – The next way is to stick the berries in a blender, cover them with water, and run the blender for long enough to completely chop up the blueberries. 10-20 seconds should do. Using a cheap blender is good here, as you want something that isn’t powerful enough that it will liquidate the seeds.
Step 2: Put the berries in a jar and cover them with water (if you went the blender route, add a bit more water). Leave them there long enough for the fruit pulp to start separating from the seeds and floating to the surface.
Step 3: After the pulp has floated up to the surface, you’ll want to gently pour it off. Add more water to the jar and repeat this process until you are left with clean seeds.
Step 4: Drain the water and lay the seeds out on a paper towel to dry. From here, you can proceed to germinate and grow them.
Yes, all blueberry plants do have seeds. You can grow new blueberry bushes from them if you want! If you’re more into eating them, there is no need to worry about blueberry seeds as they are completely safe to eat – even for people with diverticulosis.