Blueberry bushes dropping berries

momfromthenorthMay 29, 2010

For the 2nd year in a row, my blueberry bush is loaded and yet I'm seeing lots of unripe berries on the ground underneath. When I touch the bush, several berries drop off. They are shriveled up. What is causing this? We are in N. Ms and have plenty of rain this spring. Is there a fertilizer we should apply?

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If the berries are green & wrinkled, it is a sure sign of dry roots. The shrub needs water ASAP. They draw more water when they are fruiting, and for whatever reason, your shrub has exhausted the available supply. It could be that your soil is draining away the water rapidly. Our blueberry shrubs are all mulched with about 6 inches of shredded maple leaves, to help retain soil moisture.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 3:52PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

One of mine is dropping berries. I'm thinking lack of pollination because the plant looks great and is growing like gang busters.

My southern highbush, Star, Santa Fe, and Southmoon set all berries regardless of bees or pollination. But the new variety Brigitta is dropping fruit. This is it's first year fruiting. I set it out with others hoping for bees but they weren't interested. About 75% of the fruit are falling off.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 4:07PM
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I have had this happen when the roots go dry too. When I purchased new plants this year I set the pots in a large saucer. It creates a little reservoir and helps to keep the soil moist between waterings.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 7:16PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

My Southmoon got so dry once this spring that the berries were shriveled. That's the only time I've neglected the water that badly. Anyway, it didn't drop any berries and the crop looks good now. I'm sure if it got dry enough the berries would drop but for what it's worth mine didn't.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 7:48PM
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Mulch. I should have thought of that! Thanks so much - project tomorrow :)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 9:23PM
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We grow blueberries in our yard, here in Madison, Wisconsin. The varieties we grow are suited to our local climate, and include St Cloud, Patriot, Bluecrop, and Friendship. I have seen shriveled berries, due to lack of water. One shrub is located too close to a maple tree, and the tree always wins the competition for water. Since you are in Mississippi, you are no doubt growing varieties that I am unfamiliar with. I can't say for sure that your shrub is suffering from lack of water. One way to find out would be to get your hands in the soil around the roots, and see for yourself. How do the leaves look?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 11:44AM
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