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Blueberry Plant is All Leaves and No Berries This Year

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May 13, 2013, 11:06 PM
dnamertz
Blueberry Plant is All Leaves and No Berries This Year
I have three blueberry bushes that are each at least four years old. One of them starts getting ripe berries in early June, the middle one a few around early July, and the third in mid-to-late July. All three bushes have had a lot of berries the last couple years. The early and late bushes already have flowering berries forming, but the middle one only has leaves so far. It is completely full of healthy looking green leaves, but only a few berries forming...maybe only about 2% of the berries it had last year. What would cause it to have plenty of leaves but no berries?
May 14, 2013, 06:19 AM
owie
Did you check the ph of the soil? It should be acidic. Maybe that is the problem.
May 14, 2013, 12:47 PM
Loonie
The different times of production suggests you have different varieties of blueberry. That's good....blueberries do better when cross-polinated --even if they are a variety that self-polinates.
The fourth year is the year that pruning should be carried out.
Prune down to the ground the older branches---they will appear grayish--new branches appear more reddish.

This cutting back renews the plant. If you do this every other year, the plants will produce better.

The pH of blueberry is 4.0 - 4.5...so you can see the soil must be very acidic if you hope to keep producing. A soil test done by a laboratory is recommended. If your local state funded university has an extension service, they might be contacted to do a soil test; otherwise, a private lab will do it.

To get the pH down to acidic level garden sulfur is recommended. Use of pine needles will help maintain the acidity and will improve drainage.
Birds will often come and pick buds as they appear...so you might need a netting over the plants to keep the birds away.
The usual pests can also be expected and fungus attack might show. A fungicide can be used on blueberries.
Like rhubarb blueberries like water--2" per week is necessary to satisfy them.
Fertilizer -- such as that used for azalea or rhododendron can be used.

AS the pH can change year to year, use of an acidifier can be expected to be needed.
May 14, 2013, 10:18 PM
ga.karen
denamer, if you google how to prune a blue berry you will find you should never cut off more than 1/3 of OLD growth.

You don't give your location so it is hard to figure out what your problem might be, however, if you have had a hard freeze or a very heavy frost when the bush was ready to bloom...the blooms may have gotten frozen off.
This has happened to many of us this year with many fruit producing plants/trees. We just have to learn to accept it & hope for better conditions next year.


"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
May 15, 2013, 11:06 AM
zone9alady
We have a lot of blueberry farmers here in our area. Last weekend we had our first Blueberry Festival downtown. The article in the paper said that they prune their plants 1/3 every year to boost production.


Whether You Think You Can Or You Think You Can't..... You're Right - Henry Ford
May 15, 2013, 03:10 PM
ga.karen
quote:
Originally posted by zone9alady:
We have a lot of blueberry farmers here in our area. Last weekend we had our first Blueberry Festival downtown. The article in the paper said that they prune their plants 1/3 every year to boost production.


Us too Zone9. Blue berries now bring in more ag dollars than peaches do in Ga.!


"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion