Reddish/brown spots on blueberry leaves.

edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)August 21, 2012

Has anyone ever seen spots like this? I've got 7 bushes in containers, and this is the only one being affected. I'm hoping it's just end of growing season stress.

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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

Not to worry Ed!!! This time of year the mature leafs start to go bad with the stress of summer. They did there job already and you will probably start to see some falling in the next month or so. This cool front that sweept across us last week turned some of my leafs alittle reddish aswell. Just part of the seasonal change they go through.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 10:55AM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

I agree with Blueboy. Here the leaves start to look that way this time of year a little but we like to see the leaves stay on through Christmas.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 1:28PM
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riverman1

Mine get sunburn on them in late summer but it looks different than that..........the entire leaf will be dark red/purple instead spots of red like you are seeing. It's almost always on the leaves that are facing to the west where the sun gets the hottest.

RM

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 2:08PM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

One thing Ive noticed here expecially with Rabbiteyes is the spring flush of leaves usually dont stay on the plant through the fall. Its recommended to prune pretty hard after harvest because the summer flush tends to stay on the plants well into winter. Southern High Bush tend to hang on to there spring flush better than Rabbiteyes in my area. The leafs will look like crap buy October but they still hang on the bush while my Rabbiteyes usually only have leafs on the top 1/3 of the plant by October.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 4:55PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

OK thanks. A relief to know. Now I can just enjoy the way they look. This only my second year of growing them, and I'm up to 7 bushes in containers. They really grew well this year. Just beginning to get the hang of the pruning thing. A commercial grower also told me that the blueberry farmers in her area prune after harvest to allow the plants time to re-grow and set buds. I was under the impression that I was supposed to prune during dormancy. Oh well, so I pruned a little late this year. Thanks again for the feedback.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 10:01PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Ed,

You have to be careful as the advice from the southern folks is not always right for you frozen tundra people:) Here it is common practice to prune immediately after harvest as our growing season is long enough that it gives us an extra flush of new growth and that new growth has enough time to mature fruit buds for the following spring. If you prune after harvest your new flush won't have enough time to grow and mature it's buds so you will get less fruit.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 7:16AM
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2ajsmama

Hey, Ed. Up here we usually prune in March (I missed it this year since it was mid-70's in March!). Maybe Feb? Anyway, when they're dormant. HTH

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 8:26AM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

OK, so now I'm totally confused.

Bamboo.... good call, because it was a Southern grower that told me they prune after harvest to allow for the new growth..

So how much time does a new branch need to set fruit buds? This year I had an early crop due to overwintering in my garage, and I also felt that I had to prune/pinch a little because the plants grew so darn fast, and some branches and shoots were getting extremely long.

And ajsmama, thanks for reminding me about the pruning in March.

So if we prune in March/February up here in the north, I guess we won't see fruit on the new branches until the following year. By pinching/pruning after harvest I was hoping to add additional branches for next years fruit. But if there's not enough time for the buds to set, there's no point in it.......hence my question of how much time does it take a branch to set buds for next years fruit.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 6:27PM
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bamboo_rabbit(9A Inverness FL)

Ed,

It is just apples and oranges. Your plants wake up in May in zone 5? So you have May through September of good growth. Here the plants wake up in mid February and grow through December so we double your growing days so our pruning just does not work for you.

I have grown them in NW PA and here in Florida so know both worlds. Here things just grow quicker, is like we get two years in one. Just prune when dormant. If you want to pinch when the plants are growing do so but it will cost you fruit that next year so do some each year or just worry about growth for the first few years...that is really the best thing to do, though I know it is hard. Just take your satisfaction from the growth. Do everything you can during that growing season to maximize growth. Fertilize on schedule and I would apply foliar fertilizer as well, weak once a week during your season and don't miss the underside of the leaves. Here if we screw up or get lazy it does not matter nearly as much as it does up north.

It took me 10 years up north to get big head high bushes....here 3 years and just as tall as 10 years up north though not quite as wide by 3 years.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 7:55PM
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blueboy1977(TX9A/B)

I'm no expert by any means but I do know that new growth can set fruit buds in about 2 months on SHB. Mid Sept last year I prunned about 4 to 6 inches off of every branch on Emerald, Sunshine Blue and Bountiful Blue due to severe thrip damage. The plants put out another 6 inches of growth after prunning and had no problem setting fruit buds. From what I could tell Sunshine and Bountiful were dormant by the end of Nov. Emerald on the other hand didn't seem to ever go dormant. It was pushing flowers in Nov and continued all winter. Only a hand full of berries set but it exploded in Feb. So in the south they can set buds in 2-2 1/2 months.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 10:12PM
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