Blueberry Plant with Red Leaves

Bradybb(wa8)July 13, 2014

I visited some friends today and they have a raised bed that was amended with Peat moss,which has been planted with mostly Blueberries.The plants have been there for about two years.
One,a Northern Highbush Darrow,has an unusual amount of red leaves.The lady said it's been that way since they grew this Spring.I thought it might be a Magnesium deficiency,but am not sure.She said they were not fertilized this year.
I took a picture of the one in question and some of the others nearby.Some have slight tinges of red in little areas of their foliage,but nothing like the standout.
The bed needs a good weeding,but they're elderly and can't always keep at it.Brady

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


I don't know why so much red. Usual is cold wet soil and issues with P uptake. If you have some complete fertilizer for acid loving plants ask about applying some. The plants look short on nitrogen and that might be part of what's happening.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:33PM
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The bb with red leaves has set fruit, and it looks to be generally healthy. I suspect that this might be some sort of genetic variant, although I would be using a diluted general plant fertilizer to keep it fed. This year, I have been using Schultz Plant Food-Acidic Formula, on the blueberries. I don't give them a lot, 4 feedings per season, one tablespoon per feeding, dissolved in 4 gallons of water.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 10:23PM
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I believe this is a fungal disease called RedLeaf caused by fungi Exobasidium. The easiest way to figure out if this is a red leaf disease or a lack of nutrition such as magnesium or Phosphorous deficiency is to just look under the red leaves and if you see powdery or shiny development of white underside - spore production during late June-early July indicates there is the presence of fungi exobasidium.
Control for Red leaf
- Limit walking through patches on wet days during spore production to prevent spreading spores to other plants.
- Fungicides do not work to control disease since it is systemic in the plant
- Burning and pruning has no effect !! RedLeaf will reoccur even on new stem after burning or pruning.
- Herbicides can be used to remove red leaf plants, but
herbicide will likely also kill off adjacent plants by
movement of herbicide in rhizomes

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 10:40PM
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Thanks for your replies.
I offered some fertilizer,but she said they had some and will apply it.I told her to do it just once or twice this year.
That's interesting Inkfin,I've never heard of Redleaf.Definitely worth checking out. Brady

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 11:46AM
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Someone tell me what's wrong with these guys! They've only been in since April, haven't grown much and started with the red spots and are now almost completely red. And some of the leaves on 1 are starting to curl. I do have cedars all over, could that be it?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 8:57PM
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Ellenros, where do you live, what is the pH of your native soil, and what is the pH of the water you are using on these blueberry shrubs?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 9:29PM
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Zone 6, i think 7 and i didn't even know water had a ph!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:06PM
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Ellenros, your blueberry shrub is not thriving, that is for certain. I am not sure why. Here in Madison, Wisconsin, where I grow blueberries in our yard, getting the pH right is a bit of a challenge. Our native soil has considerable limestone content, with pH around 7.6. Our groundwater accumulates in layers of porous limestone, underground, so the water, supplied by the City of Madison, also has pH of 7.6. Blueberries grow best with pH around 4.5, but they will grow across a fairly wide range, 4 to 6.5. To grow blueberries successfully in Madison, you have to learn how to measure pH, and how to keep the soil pH low enough for blueberries to green up and thrive.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:31AM
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I made another visit and although not real healthy looking,the plant has lost a lot of it's red.The lady said she fertilized the Blueberries after my first time there.Maybe that was the problem. Brady

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:05PM
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