Blueberry Bush help

I planted a Patriot blueberry bush last year (in ericaceous compost) and it grew well, producing a handful of berries last summer and I was really looking forward to this year's harvest. Everything seemed to be fine in the Spring,  it flowered abundantly but then all the potential berries dried up and fell off and the few  leaves started turning red as they did in the Autumn, most of the leaves haven't developed properly, last year it was really bushy. And most recently the stems have started going black from the ends inwards. See the photo below. Is it stem blight? or something else? can the bush be saved?

 image

I'd be grateful for your thoughts as this is my first attempt at growing blueberries.

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  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 27,226

    Has it been kept well watered?

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Alex 9Alex 9 Posts: 11

    perhaps not as well as it could be, could that be the problem?

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 27,226

    I think that is a distinct possiblity. image Especially when the fruits are forming.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • Alex 9Alex 9 Posts: 11

    ok, thank you, I will get watering, I hope it will be enough to save the plant at this late stage!

  • Aster2Aster2 Posts: 629

    Could something be eating the roots?

  • IamweedyIamweedy Cheshire East. Posts: 1,364

    I have two such bushes one really failed last year the other was  fine. I half suspect it might have been vine weevils chewing at the roots. I tried vine weevil grub killer and it is still surviving but not as strong as the unaffected one.  It is certainly getting enough rain at present.

    Last edited: 28 June 2016 17:14:32




    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • Alex 9Alex 9 Posts: 11

    how would I tell if it is a problem with the roots? Do I just treat it and hope for the best?

  • Aster2Aster2 Posts: 629

    Take it out of the pot and have a look.

  • IamweedyIamweedy Cheshire East. Posts: 1,364

    I have been Googling. It appears that vine weevils are such a severe problem in commercial blueberry farms that the Canadian government has published papers on how to manage  this.

    imageWeevils Identification and Management in Blueberrywww2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural...and.../phu-weevils-blueberry.pdfIn blueberry field surveys in 2007 and 2012, 5 ... Seven weevil species have been recovered in blueberry fields in surveys ...

    This is speculation  but I wonder if once a lot of the roots have been chomped away close to the stem it probably takes a long time for them to grow back enough to support much top growth.

    I wonder if hard pruning both the plant roots and top growth would help. Too much vegetation giving off moisture on top of a very poor root system  might cause the plant to be even more stressed. Does that make any sense?




    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • Aster2Aster2 Posts: 629

    If you need to treat for vine weevil, be careful, because the root-drench kind of treatment can't be used on edible crops.

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