Blueberry bush not producing

cowanMay 9, 2005

I have a blueberry bush that only produces fruit every

other year. Anyone know why? My other bush produces every year without fail. Nursery guy says not enough food

but I use aged manure and compost around it which should be enough.

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darlene87(z7 Wa)

How many bees do you have around? If not any, then you should check into getting orchard mason bees to help. They come out early for the berries.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 3:01AM
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Sorry - I should have been more clear. There are no blossoms on the bush at all - nothing for the bees to pollinate. Mason bees are very important here as the honey bees are not active when our fruits are in bloom. We have 4 nest boxes for them and they are mostly filled every year. Sometimes I even hand pollinate to ensure a crop.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 12:33PM
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frogsong(PNW z7b)

Have you tried putting peat moss around it? I know blueberries love acid, peaty soil.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 2:34PM
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ell_in_or(z8 OR)

You might try googling "biennial blueberry crop" (or replace crop with "harvest" or "fruiting"). Or try "biennial bearing problems".

One thought: the fruit/flower part is formed in the fall. Insufficient water at that time can cause low/no production of the part that fruits. Is there anything sucking the water away from that plant? Maybe a larger shrub or tree?

Here is one mention of a different biennial fruiting solution - pruning.
Blueberries are grown as a bush with several branching stems forming a clump. At planting, remove fruit buds and weak growth at the base of the bush. Little pruning is needed until cropping starts.

Remove spindly, older growth from young plants and encourage young, healthy shoots to form a vase-shaped bush. Pruning older bushes encourages fruit production as fruit is borne on the previous year's growth. Prune during winter when the plants are dormant.

Remove low, spreading and diseased branches. Thin the fruiting branches to encourage fruit size and overcome biennial bearing problems.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 3:18PM
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That is interesting - I thought blueberry bushes didn't need much pruning at all and my bush is only 3 - 4 feet tall so I never even thought of pruning it. Obviously biennial bearing can be a problem.
Peat moss is a good idea - I thought of doing that to increase the acidity.

thanks all for the input - it is much appreciated.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 1:02AM
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madspinner(z7 WA skagit)

I'm having to do a lot of pruning on my older blueberry bushes. I bought them as mature bushes, but they hadn't had any pruning in a long time. They have a lot of dead growth and need some of the older branches removed to encourage the newer stuff. I've been cutting out the old stuff, but I'm going to wait till AFTER I harvest my blueberries to start on the rest. I do have flowers, but my bushes are taller than me and are not as productive as I know they should be.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2005 at 4:17PM
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undercover_owl(8 Pac.NW)

Dump old coffee grounds around the bushes. That also increases the acidity.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 4:49PM
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My bushes are loaded with blossoms.. they fall off and no fruit...What do I need to do?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 4:37PM
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