Do Blueberries Like Mushroom Compost?

Do Blueberries Like Mushroom Compost

Reading Time: 5 minutes 🍃

Growing blueberries is popular among landscape gardeners and as a food crop, and they prefer acidic soil to thrive. Do blueberries like mushroom compost as a suitable growing environment and to provide nutrients to the plant, or should you choose an alternative compost?

Blueberries do not like mushroom compost. Mushroom compost adjusts the soil pH to the alkaline side of the scale, which is not good for blueberries. The best soil pH for blueberries is between 4.5 and 5.2, which can be achieved with a sulfur treatment before planting or using peat moss compost.

Whether you grow blueberries for the tasty fruit or the beauty of the plant, it is important to provide the right growing environment to ensure the plants are healthy and grow to their full potential. Providing the right nutrition, drainage, and soil acidity is crucial to 

Can You Use Mushroom Compost On Blueberries?

Blueberries are a common garden favorite because they are a beautiful plant with exquisite flowers and foliage, and the fruit is sweet and delicious!

Blueberries are versatile and can be grown in the ground or in pots with good success as long as you give them the best possible growing environment.

Mushroom compost is a popular compost type that many gardeners may think will work well for blueberries because they have had success with other plants using mushroom compost.

Blueberries are part of the azalea and rhododendron plant family, the Ericaceae family, which has soil requirements quite different from most other plants.

Although mushroom compost is a great soil amendment and nutrition solution for a wide range of plants, blueberries are not one of those plants.

Blueberries do not like mushroom compost, and it should not be used on your blueberries, whether growing them in containers or in the ground. 

Why Is Mushroom Compost Not Good For Blueberries?

If you are familiar with growing other plants in the Ericaceae family, you will know that these plants prefer acidic soil compared to most other plants.

The best soil pH range for growing blueberries is 4.5 to 5.2, which is very acidic compared to most other plants that prefer soil in the 6.0 to 7.0 pH range.

Mushroom compost is an alkaline compost that increases the soil’s pH level to be less acidic, moving towards the neutral or more alkaline spectrum of the pH scale. While this is good for most other plants, it is not good news for acidic-soil-loving plants like blueberries!

Mushroom compost is great for supplying aeration, good water retention, good drainage, and nitrogen from the organic matter, which is good for blueberries, but it is the alkalinity of the compost that will be detrimental to the blueberries’ health.

Can You Use Mushroom Compost As Mulch On Blueberries?

Mushroom compost works very well as a mulch for most plants because the organic material in the compost helps retain moisture, preventing moisture loss via evaporation, and helps to keep the soil warm in winter and cool in summer.

However, the alkaline nature of mushroom compost will begin to affect the upper layers of the soil, which will filter down the root level of the blueberries.

This pH change will cause problems for the blueberries, and you will notice a decline in the plant’s health over time. It will not flower and fruit as prolifically, and the foliage quality will begin to decline. If the pH of the soil is not rectified in time, it could result in the blueberry plant dying.

What Compost Is Best For Growing Blueberries?

Mushroom compost is a good soil adjuster, but it adjusts the soil the wrong way on the pH scale for blueberries. So, what would be the best compost to use that will adjust the soil pH in the right direction for your blueberries to thrive and improve their growing environment?

Blueberries have shallow root systems, which make them vulnerable to soil that dries out too quickly. Blueberries also need a good supply of nitrogen and organic matter and, of course, an acidic growing environment.

The compost used for blueberries must tick the boxes of good moisture retention, rich in nitrogen and organic matter, and low pH. 

Compost which includes a generous amount of peat moss in the mixture is what you need to provide the required acidity in the soil for blueberries. Peat moss has excellent water retention ability and offers the moisture retention needed to keep the plant roots adequately hydrated.

Some gardeners believe that adding pine needles, pine needles, or oak leaves adds enough acidity to the soil to support blueberries. These organic materials are good for the soil but do not provide enough acidity over the long term to sustain the blueberries.

You can make your own blueberry growing medium, which can be used for in-ground growing and container growing. Create a mixture of 40% peat moss, 10% general-purpose compost, and 50% good-quality topsoil.

How To Acidify Your Soil For Blueberries

If your soil is strongly alkaline, you may need to treat the soil before planting your blueberries. An organic sulfur-based soil acidifier may be required to modify the soil sufficiently

These products can be sourced from your local garden center or plant nursery in powder or pellet form. The pellet form is generally cheaper and poses less of a health problem for the gardener from breathing in the fine sulfur powder.

Adjusting the soil pH with sulfur must be done with caution and scientifically to avoid over-acidifying the soil, so following the instructions carefully and testing the soil pH after treatment are crucial. If you over-acidify your soil, you can add mushroom compost to reduce the acidity level.

Understanding your soil type is important before treating it with sulfur to lower the pH. Sandy soils need less acidifier adjustment than clay soils.

You should perform a sulfur soil amendment at least 2 to 3 weeks before planting the blueberries to allow the soil pH to settle to the appropriate level.

Over time, the soil’s pH will revert back to its natural levels, so it is necessary to check your soil pH every two years to establish if it is still in the acceptable range for blueberries. You may need to re-adjust the soil pH again with sulfur pellets if the pH level is starting to rise.

Check out: Coffee Grounds For Blueberries


Mushroom compost is not the right compost to use on blueberries because it makes the soil alkaline, and blueberries prefer acidic soil. 

Blueberries may seem intimidating to grow if you do not have naturally acidic soil, but modifying the acidity or using peat moss compost is not as difficult as it sounds. Why not give it a go when you plan your next growing season and try growing some blueberries; you will be glad you did!


Was this article helpful?

Team Leafy

Hi! Thanks for reading our article, we hope you enjoyed it and helps make your garden grow greener. If you found this article helpful, please share it with a friend and spread the joy. Plant small. Grow big!

Recent Posts