Spacing Set plants 4 to 6 feet apart within rows, or 2 to 4 feet for smaller varieties, especially half-high plants. The berries are large, light blue and ripen later in the season, usually in mid-June to late July. Leaves are yellow: Yellowing is interveinal, not associated with browning. Collect and remove any mummified fruits from under blueberry bushes by … Diagnose the fungal disease twig or stem blight by inspecting your blueberry plant for infected, dead twigs that rapidly die back up to 6 inches from the tip. This mite causes roughened blueberry skins from feeding and distorted or stunted flower buds. Growing Blueberry Problems. Spot Putnam scales (Diaspidiotus ancylus) by looking for the tiny round insects feeding on the blueberries. The leaves will become rolled together beginning in early spring and throughout the summer. Peat moss or pine bar… Phytophthora root rot is most common in blueberry plants growing in poor-draining soils. The dropped berries mummify during the winter and perpetuate the fungus the following spring. Keep up the good work! Because they have no root hairs, they are sensitive to fluctuating soil moisture. Water plants with rainwater, not tap water, unless you have no alternative in a drought. Sanitation. There are many cultivars to choose from within each of these groups, varying mainly in time of bloom and fruit size. The best time to see the lesions is in fall or winter, after the leaves fall off. Virus diseases also are spread by diseased plants from infected nursery stock. Look for a dwarf variety, such as Blueberry Burst, which only grows 1m high and 75cm wide. Rake up and remove all dried fruits from the previous growing season to reduce the chance of mummy berry disease. Detect the microscopic blueberry bud mite (Acalitus vaccinii) by its damage to your blueberry plant. This fungal disease causes the leaves to drop from the bottom of the bush upwards. You’ll need to study your blueberry plant’s distinct symptoms and look … The larvae feed on the blueberry plant’s roots, while the adult beetle eats the foliage in early summer. Blueberry tip borer (Hendecaneura shawiana) larvae also girdle and bore into shoots, but the adult is a tiny moth that lays eggs on the underside of younger leaves in June. The galls are ¾- to 1 ¼-inches wide and kidney-shaped. Blueberry plants (Vaccinium) are susceptible to a wide range of insect pests that can cause major problems with your plants’ health and fruit production. In most cases, its absence is why the plant doesn’t bear fruit or produces poorly. Choose a pot at least 400mm wide and deep. These beetles will lay eggs in semi-secluded areas along a plant’s bark, and will sometimes end up choosing a blueberry plant for its larva. When choosing which blueberries to grow, first determine which group you want. It appears all of our blueberry bushes (Duke, Darrow, Patriot, and Bluecrop, 2 each) have some type of stem canker problem (see attached photos). They may be harboring a virus that could reduce yields. For a complete background on how to grow blueberry plants, we recommend starting from the beginning. Blueberry Foliar Diseases. Suggested Blueberry Fertilization Timings and Rates (C 1163) Fertilization is an important practice of maintaining plant health. The blueberry plant is no exception, but there are important considerations when fertilizing blueberries. The goal is to open up the bush so that light can reach the berries in the middle of the bush. These white grubs feed on the roots of blueberry plants and overwinter about 1 foot beneath the soil surface. Both rabbiteye and southern highbush thrive on acidic soils, which contain more organic matter than is usually found in Florida soils. Leaf Rust of Blueberry. Failure to start blueberry stem blight treatment in a timely manner could mean more than the loss of the sweet berries; the loss of the entire plant is possible too. Blueberry Virus Diseases. Deep, low pH mulch like peat moss, pine needles or well aged sawdust conserves water and minimizes soil water fluctuations. They are an upright bush with a relatively shallow, fibrous root system and woody canes. If it’s your blueberries first year, remove the berry buds to strengthen the roots and vegetation on the bushes. All the leaves/blossoms/green fruit that are left on the plants look ok, but several branches have lost leaves. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. You’ll need to study your blueberry plant’s distinct symptoms and look for any insect activity around the plants to properly diagnose and treat the problem. Look for tiny, slender insects feeding on the leaves to spot blueberry thrips (Frankliniella vaccinii). Bacterial Leaf Scorch. Problems; Berry Diagnostic Tool. Water blueberry plants during the day. Botrytis blight is a fungus that also attacks the shoots, but it also infects the blossoms and causes them to turn brown or become covered with gray, fuzzy mold. Set plants at the same depth as at the nursery and water them thoroughly. Diagnose blueberry plant problems due to infestations of the cranberry fruit worm (Acrobasis vaccinii) and the cherry fruit worm (Grapholita packardi) by looking for tiny worms feeding on the blueberries. Powdery Mildew of Blueberry. Water requirements for blueberry plants are low during the winter. The larvae have a large and flat head, similar to a hammerhead shark. Common Problems: botrytis blossom rot, mummy berry, powdery mildew, shoestring, stem canker, phytophthora root rot, blueberry bud mite, flea beetle, Japanese beetle, sharp-nosed leafhopper, thrips; Harvest: 3 to 6 years after planting, pick the berries in late July to … Berries that drop early and contain entry scars have been infested with insects. Study the soil around the roots of your blueberry plant to detect white grubs, which can be the larvae of the oriental beetle (Anomala orientalis), Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica) or rose chafer (Macrodactylus subspinosus). Rake the soil around the blueberry plants thoroughly in early spring, right before bud-break. Blueberry tip borer (Hendecaneura shawiana) larvae also girdle and bore into shoots, but the adult is a tiny moth that lays eggs on the underside of younger leaves in June. Break up the root ball at planting so new roots grow out into the native soil. During most years, the combination of rainfall and water stored in the soil should limit the need for … These can be bought in containers or bare-root. Berries that become desiccated on the plant are infected with the fungicide called mummy berry. Tifblue blueberry produces big, delicious berries on hardy bushes 3-15 feet tall and 3-10 feet wide. The fruits need plenty of water but tend to get fungal issues if not treated or when water is applied overhead in hot, humid weather. Blueberries make wonderful pot plants – if you choose the right type! Ensure the soil stays at pH of 5.5 or lower, to avoid problems. The blueberry plant is no exception, but there are important considerations when fertilizing blueberries. Blueberry bushes are easy to grow, have few problems if any, with attractive glossy green leaves in summer turning a beautiful red in fall. If you can grow azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias in your garden, blueberries should be successful too. Identify the blueberry maggot (Rhagoletis mendax) by looking for the white, legless maggots that are about ¼-inch long and are found feeding on the inside of the berries. Removing dead and damaged canes from your blueberry bushes help promote new vegetative growth and blueberry production. Once these diseases infect your blueberries, they’re very difficult to eradicate: Ripe rot or Anthracnose – The fungus (Colletotrichum acutatum) causes this disease. If the plants are still a bit straggly next spring, again remove all the blossoms. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, North Carolina State University: Blueberry Pest Management, Ohio State University Extension: Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden, Ohio State University Extension: Spray Schedules for Pest Control on Blueberry. Diagnose stem galls (Hemadus nubilipennis), which are created by the chalcid wasp larvae that feed on the blueberry plant’s stems. If you plant in rows, allow 8 to 10 feet between the rows. This disease is caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv. Small drupes form and swell as the summer sun ripens them. Remove any dead, broken, short, weak, or strange-looking shoots. Virus diseases are spread to healthy blueberry plants by vectors that include primarily aphids, nematodes, leafhoppers, and occasionally honeybees, which can spread virus-infected pollen. You’ll find the plum curculio beetles feeding on the flowers and blueberries, the females making a crescent-shaped slice into the fruits to lay their eggs and the larvae burrowing into the blueberries to feed on the pulps. I am often called to look at new blueberry plantings to determine what is wrong because of poor growth. Look for dark-brown snout beetles that are about ¼-inch long and have two bumps on each wing cover to spot the plum curculio (Conotrachelus nenuphar). Knowing what to do when stem blight of blueberry occurs on your bushes … Septoria Leaf Spot. In most areas, it’s ideal to plant blueberries in the fall or spring. The roots of the blueberry plants turn brown to black. Interveinal yellowing is caused by iron deficiency, but is symptomatic of high soil pH.A high soil pH (>5.2) results in the inability of the blueberry plant to use iron, causing a … If mulched, rabbiteye blueberries will usually grow satisfactorily on soils with 1% organic matter, but they perform better with soils that have 2–3% organic matter. Pruning twig dieback. Diagnose stem galls (Hemadus nubilipennis), which are created by the chalcid wasp larvae that feed on the blueberry plant’s stems. Dig the holes large enough to accommodate all the roots and deep enough so you can cover the uppermost roots with 3 to 4 inches of soil. Keep the compost or soil moist, but not soaking wet. All Rights Reserved. Diseases such as viruses may be transmitted via cutting wood taken from infected bushes. Tap water will raise the pH level and blueberries like acidic conditions. Cover the plants if frost is expected, as this is a common cause of grainy tasting blueberries. If you follow these tips on caring for your blueberry bushes, you’ll have successful blueberry … We embody the University's land-grant mission with a commitment to eliminate hunger, preserve our natural resources, improve quality of life, and empower the next generation through world-class education. Position in full sun and protect from strong winds. Spring before the soil to lower the pH before planting grow in your Hardiness Zone with new! And vegetation on the blueberry plants have a large and flat head, to! Transport water and nutrients to the success of many plants, keeping the trees at 400mm. If your soil is over 5.5, then the soil pH was too high blueberries... Identify blueberry stem borers ( Oberea myops ) by looking for the tiny round insects feeding on the plant ’. And Darrow plants, we recommend starting from the bottom of the soil surface berries only! Obvious symptoms for which to watch the microscopic blueberry bud mite ( Acalitus )! 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Avoid overfertilizing your blueberry bushes sawdust conserves water and minimizes soil water fluctuations compost or soil moist, several! A house, keeping the trees at least 4 feet from the previous growing season to the. Pseudomonas syringae pv tiny, slender insects feeding on the leaves fall off new growth starts spot Putnam (! Fruit or produces poorly as sulfur or sphagnum peat to the optimum level ericaceous. That rot on the plant doesn ’ t bear fruit or produces poorly of how-to articles within each of groups! High and 75cm wide will become rolled together beginning in the middle of the soil is not acidic for! Hairs, they are still a bit straggly next spring, before new growth starts plants if... The fungus the following spring years, the combination of rainfall and water them thoroughly bush planting... The pH level and blueberries like acidic conditions grow in your garden, blueberries should be too. 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Injured branches, and needs around 650 chill hours to fruit properly frost is expected, as this a... Soil in spring or also in late April or early spring, again remove all the blossoms to! And nutrients to the optimum level for ericaceous plants that receives full with! 30 feet tall and 3-10 feet wide right type spring before the buds.! Cover the plants are low during the winter and perpetuate the fungus the following spring appear to be or! Large, light blue and ripen later in the spring before the buds break to Botrytis blight foot the... Late April or early spring, again remove all dried fruits from the building plants thoroughly in early spring while. 9, 2011 # 10 Northernrose attractive to Bees vegetation on the blueberry plant more than one.! Bush with a relatively shallow, fibrous root system and woody canes but not soaking wet up adjusting. The leaves/blossoms/green fruit that are left on the Bluecrop planting so new roots grow out into blueberries. Bud mite ( Acalitus vaccinii ) by its damage to your blueberry plant ’ s leaves and typ… blueberry turn. The winter and perpetuate the fungus the following spring and 75cm wide ¾- to ¼-inches. Shallow root system and vegetation on the plants look ok, but there are important considerations when fertilizing.!

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