Blueberry questions

bshef(pacific)March 25, 2012

Hi everyone (blueberry fans/growers)

I've got a total of 7 bushes (different varieties/ages), now...... all in containers with the typical 1/3 mix each of Peat, pathway bark and azalea soil mix (w/ just a tad pinch of sulphur for good measure and then a layer of mulch on top.

I'm concerned about one bush in particular (Misty), that looks like it's lost almost every leaf except for half a dozen or so. Right now, it is just now starting to get some buds on the tips of some branches.

This plant is about 2 or 3 years old and most of the canes are green, some green/brown.

Is this typical of the Misty variety or should it be full of leaves?

What should I do to help it along?

They are kept on the south side of the house in full sun...and I'm in So Calif near the beach so it's not crazy hot in the summer like some get inland from us.

Thanks

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

shef:

In your location it's good to keep the leaves all winter if possible. It's also good to get as much chilling in winter as possible. You need chilling so that they will leaf out strongly in spring especially if they do lose last years leaves. So in winter I'd move them out of that warm location into a cooler spot. Then move them back to the warm spot in February.

If Misty leaves strongly as it blooms you are in good shape. If it has more fruit than leaves then thin off as much fruit as needed to restore balance.

Misty is known as a variety that can set so much fruit that the eating quality suffers. Some fruit or fruit bud thinning, or pruning out small twiggy wood, may be needed most years.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 6:21PM
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bshef(pacific)

ah...great suggestions.
This is just the start of my 2nd year into this project,....so I'm not familiar with how the Misty variety leaves should behave from season to season.
But I will keep my fingers crossed and a close eye on any new developments as spring progresses.
My other varieties consist of
2 very young new additions of:
-Southmoon
-Sharpblue
These seem to be doing very well in their new home and are rapidly developing good leaf growth. I'm picking any and all flowers off of these guys as they show up to get all their energies concentrated to the root foundations.

1 year old:
-O'Neil (looks great and getting the same treatment as those above)

2-3 year olds...in slightly larger pots.
-Jubilee (loaded with buds and leafs)
-Bountiful (same as above)
-Southmoon (ditto)
-Misty (which is my problem child).

I'll keep you posted and hope to contribute more here.

Thanks for the reply!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 7:22PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Blueberries are more likely to evergreen if they have lots of nitrogen and are growing strongly in fall. If low on nitrogen and weak on vigor they are much more prone to drop leaves in winter. But don't overdo the nitrogen or vigor on older plants. I fertilize about once a week on first year plants that I'm pushing to fruit asap. On mature plants once a month is plenty.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 9:20PM
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