Vaccinium macrocarpon is the major source of cultivated cranberries. It is an evergreen shrub growing under 1 ft and as wide as 3-4 ft at a medium rate. Best grown in damp, acidic (pH 4.0-5.2), organically rich, well-drained soil in full sun. Self-pollinating.
The commercially grown cranberry is a low-growing vine which is grown in wet bogs that periodically can be flooded to provide winter protection, control weeds and pests, and facilitate harvesting of the crop.
Cranberry can be grown in garden soil in somewhat the same manner as blueberries. It features fuchsia-pink flowers in spring which give way to bright red cranberries that mature in September-October. If massed, plants can form a carpet of green foliage. This plant can be grown for the food crop, as an ornamental or both.
Cranberries are typically subject to chlorosis problems if soil pH is too high.
Grow in the fruit or vegetable garden for the food crop. Ornamentally, may be grown as a small scale ground cover for sunny areas or in the shrub or mixed border in front of other acid-loving plants such as azaleas and rhododendrons.
It is very cold hardy (zone 3-9).