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Blueberry bush dying

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dirtdobber blog photos
Joined: 3/30/2008
Location: Middle Georgia
Posts: 272
Posted: Apr/29/2008 4:50 PM PST

Help! I think I am losing one of my blueberry bushes! I have 3 that I planted early this spring. They all have blueberries coming out. On one of the plants though, I have noticed that the blueberries are drying up and falling off. It is also turning yellow and losing some leaves. I had noticed a week ago that something was nibbling on the leaves, so I sprayed with a soap that is for fruit trees. Could that have done it? One of the other plants looks like it may be starting the same thing? I really hate to lose them the very first year I have ever had blueberries. Any answers out there?
stereoman blog photos
Joined: 3/17/2008
Location: beautiful southern appalachians
Posts: 2168
Posted: Apr/29/2008 5:47 PM PST

How's your pH? soil drainage?
MamaBearBSA photos
Joined: 8/14/2002
Location: Altoona, Iowa (near Des Moines)
Posts: 4993
Moderator
Posted: Apr/29/2008 6:45 PM PST

I agree with Stereoman. Blueberries need acidic soil and good drainage.
CarolineC blog photos
Joined: 7/14/2007
Location: SE Pennsylvania zone 6b
Posts: 393
Posted: Apr/30/2008 4:09 AM PST

Hmmm... I am new to growing blueberries too, having just planted some a month ago. The yellowing leaves sounds like the pH was not acidic enough, which can in turn prevent the blueberries from absorbing Iron and cause and Iron deficiency. For a quick fix, you may be able to add some Iron (I have no idea where you would get such an additive, sorry ) Other than that, you might want to either topdress with sulfur so long as the temps won't get above 75 degrees in the next two weeks which can cause the leaves to burn, or add some peat moss to the soil around the root balls. The berries sound like mummified berries which is caused by some sort of spore. I have read that you should remove and discard any such berries so that it won't carry over in the winter. I don't think the bug spray did in. In fact, I have read that bug spray is sometimes necessary for Japanese beetles and other pests. I am by no means an expert. Here's web page that seems to have some good info.

http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/hortcult/fruits/groblu eb.htm

In the link above, remove the space between the "u" and the "e" in the word "groblueb.htm"
HeavenlyBlue photos
Joined: 4/13/2008
Location: Plymouth MA
Posts: 30
Posted: Apr/30/2008 5:02 AM PST

I bought blueberries for the first time this year, too (from Cottage Farms). My problem is that they were shipped too early for my area (zone 6). They arrived two weeks ago in full flower, but at that point not a leaf nor a bloom had opened up (Spring was nowhere in sight). I've been putting them outside by day in a sunny, sheltered corner by the garage and inside the garage by night. The flowers have since dried up and fallen off and now the top leaves are tuning reddish brown. Trees and Spring flowers are out now, and I will plant the blueberries this weekend, but I guess I shouldn't expect much for this year, except to hope that they make it.
CarolineC blog photos
Joined: 7/14/2007
Location: SE Pennsylvania zone 6b
Posts: 393
Posted: Apr/30/2008 5:09 AM PST

HeavenlyBlue, flood the planting hole with water while planting, then put the soil in, then water it some more, and prune off 1/3 of the bushes right after planting, and add a bunch of peat when planting. This is what you're supposed to do anyway, but especially so, I would think, since they've been out so long. And keep them as moist as you can in the meantime.
dirtdobber blog photos
Joined: 3/30/2008
Location: Middle Georgia
Posts: 272
Posted: Apr/30/2008 5:34 AM PST

Thanks for all of the tips. I am off work today and I plan to try to solve the problem. Have a good day everyone.
carolyncat353 blog photos
Joined: 4/29/2008
Location: Westlake, La
Posts: 10091
Posted: Apr/30/2008 6:45 AM PST

I have heard from a grower here that blueberries should not be heavily fertilized and a lot of people make that mistake. Perhaps did you heavily fertilize when planting?
dirtdobber blog photos
Joined: 3/30/2008
Location: Middle Georgia
Posts: 272
Posted: Apr/30/2008 9:12 AM PST

Maybe I didn't fertilize enough. I only used some cow manure.
mcmartian
Joined: 4/29/2008
Location: NY State
Posts: 121
Posted: May/01/2008 6:00 AM PST

since you used cow manure another question is how fresh was it? if it was too fresh it will kill the plant

I haven't planted blueberries yet but i've heard that you should put something to make the soil acidic in the whole with it when you plant and then do a soil additive yearly after that if your soil's not acidic.

but what you describe from the leaves makes me think ph problem.
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