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Save the Blueberries

Hello fellow gardeners,

Two years ago I tried to grow blueberries and failed miserably; I don’t have a lot of gardening experience so didn’t use ericaceous soil.  :D

This year I tried again and purchased two blueberry plants, both planted in ericaceous soil in fairly large pots before the summer. 

Over the summer they grew great and even gave us some blueberries, so I was a very happy gardener. 

However, over the past few weeks one of the plants leaves have slowly turned red/purple. At first I read it could be just changing colour for the winter, but it now closely resembles what my plant looked like 2 years ago and I’m worried it’s going to die, or is too late to save it. 

They say a picture paints a thousand words so I’ll stop waffling and hopefully someone can offer some advise...

Thank you,


  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,889
    They look alright to me. They are deciduous plants - they lose their leaves in autumn - and the colouration looks normal, I think. The fact the leaves are still glossy as they change colour is a good sign. Though they will shrivel up and drop off eventually, dying leaves usually shrivel and go crispy very quickly. Falling leaves go through a slower process of colour change and then dying.

    Don't panic. Don't let them get frozen solid over winter. See what happens in the Spring  :)
    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,918
    I'd agree with R'girl - but I also think you might need bigger pots for them.  :)
    They don't look big enough for the size of your plants. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Mine look just the same ... don't panic ... enjoy the gorgeous autumn colour .... and yes, bigger pots ... quite a bit bigger.  :)

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • 4th'd! :) Yours is a Vaccinium corymbosum sometimes called a 'highbush blueberry' and these can have super autumn colour.  Some details at the RHS site:

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • BibluBiblu Posts: 27
    I've come back to the forum for some pear advice and realised that I forgot my manners back in Sep 2018, so sorry its a little late but thank you @raisingirl @Fairygirl @Dovefromabove and @BobTheGardener

    You were completely right, they were fine and last year we enjoyed a summer or blueberries. So much so that we added two more 'Pink Blueberry' plants to the two we already had. 

    Note:I'm acutely aware they're probably too close together, and have so far ignored the advice to put them in bigger pots, but this is the only free patio space in the garden.

    Unfortunately, it's not all good news. As you might spot, the second from right looks a little worse for wear (read: I think its dead). Any ideas for an autopsy so I can learn from whatever we did wrong? I assume that seeing as the others are still alive it at least hasn't infected them too?

    The eagle eyes among you might notice that one of the pink blueberries lost many more leaves over the winter - is that something to be concerned about (unlike the blue-blueberries, I think the pink are supposed to be evergreen?)
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