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Blueberry plant leaf disaster! Help?

Hi all,
I bought three blueberry plant cuttings this winter and planted them out about a month ago. a couple of weeks ago they began budding a beautiful healthy leaves appeared. All seemed well. They are planted in good ericaceous compost in large plastic pots with hole drainage on a south-facing balcony. I water them a couple of times a week, but never drenched.

On wednesday this week the lovely new leaves suddenly started to curl, pucker, bubble and develop brown markings on all the leaves. One plant has long dark lines on the leaves, another plant has generally browning leaves from the edges. But they all are affected. I am truly gutted. 

My neighbouring mint plant recently had aphids, and so I sprayed them with soapy water as a precaution. I think I saw 1 aphid on the blueberries, but not a massive infestation.

I am really worried that they've developed some aphid-born virus, or root rot? I don't really know what is going on, but it's been three days now and still no healthier growth emerging and the existing leaves are all curling up on themselves and looking progressively more frail and worse for wear. 

Can anyone help with a diagnosis and rescue plan?  pictures below.


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,897
    I don't know the answer, but to me it looks like a case of delicate new foliage that's been damaged by cold nights then lots of daytime sun.
    I've been growing blueberries in pots for 4 years and apart from getting a bit too dry in the summer now and then, I haven't had any other problems with them

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • mail300mail300 Posts: 2
    Interesting! Thanks Pete.
    I was wondering that too, because the other week was very cold at night. But I didn't realise it could be that bad.
    Would you recommend keeping them in shade ? bringing them indoors? Or is it just something they have to grow out of? At the moment they are in direct sunlight for much of the day.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    Agree with Pete.8, likely either that or a bit of transplant shock, neither of which you can do anything about and I'm sure they will be fine.  Blueberry leaves do show a browny-purple tinge when affected by a cold spell.  They are generally pest and disease free with cultural issues like watering (eg only use collected rainwater, never letting them dry out completely, ensuring the pot drainage holes remain clear) being the only issues I have experienced on the dozen or so plants I have been growing for the last decade or so.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,897
    They're young plants and will soon toughen up, I'd leave them be. We've had some very chilly nights, and it's now baking hot around here during the day.
    As Bob says above, most important not to let them dry out and to use rain water unless your tap water is very soft.
    I feed mine once a month during the growing season with feed for azaleas.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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