Blueberry Flowers Dropping off

momotaroApril 2, 2008

I've had a blueberry bush (low type, bought from home depot) and back in Jan/Feb had a bunch of healthy looking flowers. Now more than half of them shriveled (turned brown).

I only have one blueberry bush and was told that you need two bushes in order for fruits to set. Last year I had a few fruits set even with no other blueberry bush around. I've also noticed that there are no bees around this time of year yet, so if I did have another blueberry bush around I don't see how they can pollinate without pollinators.

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debbysunshine(san diego)

I'm not sure if this will help you but liquid Kelp has saved my fruit trees this year because all the blooms and the small fruit buds in the past have all fallen this time of the year and this year have have millions of flowers on all trees and nothing has fallen in a couple of weeks and also have plenty of fruit. Kelp has really been making a difference in my garden especially the roses have a ton of blooms this year and huge, fragrant flowers.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 3:49PM
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I'll try it out.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 4:17PM
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Momotaro, the flowers drop off soon after they are pollinated. If they are not pollinated, the flowers will last a couple of weeks longer, then drop off. So what you are seeing is completely normal.

If you want fruit, you need to get at least one more variety. My experience is that the bees will magically appear if there are flowers that they like, even in cold weather. However, there are areas where there are almost no surviving bees.

There is a huge amount of information on the web. Just Google "blueberry pollination".

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 11:55PM
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There are some varieties of blueberries that don't require a 2nd plant for pollination. I have one (I wish I could remember the type) that produces very well. It is a low-bush variety that was purchased from Target 3 years ago and produced close to 200 fruit last year. I've since bought two other varieties that supposedly do not need separate pollinators. I concur with lilydude that it is normal that it is normal for flowers to turn brown and fall off but still produce berries...


    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 11:30PM
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Ugh, if you bought it from Home Depot it is most likely Bluecrop, a northern blueberry and not a Southern Highbush more adapted to our climate. It ticks me off that there are a dozen Southern Highbush varieties that do well here, and Home Depot still only stocks northern ones not adapted to our climate.

You didn't mention what you have it planted in. Bluecrop is very pH sensitive and it is difficult to amend the soil to make it acid enough; I usually dig a hole and replace the soil with the Dave Wilson mixture or put it in a big pot.

The blueberry huachuma mentioned is Sunshine Blue, which is a Southern Highbush and needs no pollinator. Bluecrop will cross-pollinate with it, but if you have lack of acid issues, the plant will die a slow, painful death.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 5:01AM
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Ha ha!! (as opposed to LOL). I'm not sure how applenut was able to determine that I had "Sunshine Blue" rather than any other variety by my description... I looked up the plant tag today and found that the plant I started with was labeled as "Misty". I misspoke that it was a low-bush it is actually a Southern Highbush variety.

It is grown in very acidic soil in a raised bed; half Camellia/Rhododendron mix and half peat w/a top dressing of pine needles...


    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 1:45AM
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No Mike, it was just from what I've seen at Target in the past (and Stater Bros. for that matter). It's pretty bad when Target and Stater Bros. carry more appropriate blueberry varieties than the nursery dept. at Home Depot. As you've seen, Misty does wonderful here. You may want to get Sharpblue to go with it. Nice potting mix by the way.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 9:14PM
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I need help...I bought a home that had 3 established blueberrie bushes (all different varieties). We have had a bumper crop for 3 years. All seemed fine this year too, lots of flowers growing well until...on the largest one some of the flower clusters began to shrivel up. I thought it was due to a late freeze so I snipped of the dying parts and to my horror the rest seems to be dying now. The pedal of the flowers have a whole side missing. It looks like large flies are eating them, but I really have no idea whats happening or what to do...HELP PLEASE.
Thank You....Laurie

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 2:20PM
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Hi Laurie, I have the exact same problem! my plants are 4 years old this year I grow 3 diffrent kinds, I have had this issue since day one I just thought my garden was too dry(I have a very sandy garden) and it was taking time to establish the plants but 4 years I think they are established by now and this spring there as been so much rain maybe hopefully some gardenwebers have some advice for us!!!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 2:17PM
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