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Blueberries died!

Hi all,

I have a couple of blueberry plants in a large container, it is filled with ericaceous compost, topped with pine needle mulch. It has been brilliant this past summer, covered in flowers, then lots of blueberries. It also doubled in size with lots of vigorous growth, then about a month ago I noticed one of them suddenly start wilting slightly, then the other one started going too. And now they are pretty much dead as you can see in the photo. 



Do you know what could have caused this sudden death? The moisture level seems fine, it's lived happily there for a couple of years too and the death seemed too sudden to not be something sinister. My first thought was vine weevil larvae as we get the adults in the garden a fair bit but I have had a dig around and couldn't find any.

Anything I could be missing?

Thanks!

Posts

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,554
    Tip it out of the pot and see if its roots are still intact.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,653
    edited October 2021
    My first thought is that the pot isn't very big for two plants.
    Second thought - are they a deciduous variety or an evergreen one? Although to be honest it looks more sudden than normal autumn leaf fall.
    Third thought - have you tipped the root ball out of the pot and had a look at it? It can be difficult to properly water root-bound plants, or the opposite, if it's been consistently too wet the roots might have rotted. Or there might be grubs such as vine weevil larvae deep down where you can't see them easily.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198
    Compost on it's own isn't enough either, so if that's all it's had, and it's not been refreshed, that will have contributed massively. They need a loam based medium.  :)

    If there's 2 plants in there too, that's not enough room for them.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,732
    edited October 2021
    @MTB79

    I also think the pot size is a major if not the culprit.

    Here’s a couple of threads in the journey of progressing mine from bare root to in the ground that have some information you might find useful

    https://forum.gardenersworld.com/discussion/1032649/prune-and-or-re-pot-blueberries/p1

    https://forum.gardenersworld.com/discussion/1050777/blueberry-planting


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,093
    I agree that the pot is way too small. I started off my plants in 5L pots and they are now in 15L pots
    Unless your tap-water is naturally soft, they really need to be watered with rainwater and given fertilizer for ericaceous plants (I use Miracle Grow for Azaleas) about once a month during the growing season.
    Their sudden death could be for a number of reasons
    Too much water
    Insufficient water
    Insufficient nutrients (but that would cause a slow death)
    Vine weevils - you say you can't see any, but is there a strong root system? 2 plants in a pot that size, there should be a mass of roots
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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