Blueberries stopped ripening mid season?

homey_birdJuly 1, 2012


I have grown these blueberry plants in a large pot for more than 6 years now. Lately, for past couple of seasons I noticed that the container soil began to show some lack of nutrients, most notably iron, that made the plants suffer.

Anyway - I bought iron in liquid form and immediately after saw the plants put out active growth. I applied a second application (both at half the recommended strength to avoid overdosing), and now I found that there is plenty of vegetative growth but all pre-existing blueberries have kind of stopped ripening.

Typically, this time of the year is peak production time for them and now I see lots of plump berries getting plumper but not turning blue.

Should I be patient or is this a well known issue with excess iron application?

Thanks in advance!

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Any chance of posting pictures?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 2:44PM
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I don't know about the iron, but I do know my blueberries stop ripening once the heat hits. Whatever stage they are in--green, blue---they just stop, and that's it for the rest of the year.

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 6:19PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

Really Carla?That sounds odd to me.What varieties? Brady

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 12:50AM
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Just wanted to post an update for my question earlier.

My blueberries did look like they were not ripening but they did continue a healthy growth. It's just that the berries were not turning color, they were just putting on bigger size. This went on for a month or so, and finally now I am seeing lots of blue ripe berries on the plants.

So my guess is this: due to iron deficiency my plants pretty much stunted and went into hibernation. When I applied iron, they did begin growth like sleeping beauty awakening from her sleep :-). In all, between the time that symptoms occurred and corrective action taken, there was a a lapse of one month that shifted the whole cycle by a month or so.

So this has been an important lesson for me : I've seen this on multiple occasions with even established blueberries: they basically sulk when things go wrong. If no action taken then they begin the slow decline to death. For young plants this is a faster process but even for established plants it is important to keep watch on their progress.

Thanks all for the pointers!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 8:03PM
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I have two plants that got about half way to blue and then stopped, no idea why. I finally harvested the berries because they were starting to shrink and fall off.

The plants look totally healthy and are growing great, no idea what happened.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 8:32PM
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Hi Riverman, your experience is interesting. Could it be that the berries stop ripening due to season change? All in all, blueberries are a strange lot indeed!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 10:39PM
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I had a powder blue do that this year and Im pretty sure it was from lack of chill hours. We had a very warm winter and I hope thats not going to be the new norm!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 8:26AM
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