Misty blueberry leaves turning brown and crumbly

jacqdavis(9)April 5, 2012

First of all, I love this forum and have learned lots of info since I am planning to start an edible garden in the house we are purchasing in Tempe, AZ.

One of the local nurseries offered Misty and Sharpblue variety blueberries so I got one of each.

It has been two weeks since I have repotted them and did two rounds of Miracid fertilizing so far. The Sharpblue looks ok, but not really fruiting. The Misty is looking like it is getting sicker each day...

Since I am totally new at this, and I was not able to find photos of similar problem on the internet and here, I figure it will be helpful to post the photo of the problem and maybe someone here will be so kind to help me figure out a solution.

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Blueberries LOVE water, but are like potatoes in that neither do THEY tolerate wet feet. Hopefully, you're using a well-aerated, fast-draining soil. Make sure you're not over-watering - think DAMP, not WET. Also, skip the Miracid - it has too much nitrogen. You'll get the benefit of the acidification from the urea with 24-8-16, too, but with 25% less nitrogen. Also - I don't know what the temperatures are like there, but please do not fertilize with urea or organic forms of N when mean soil temps are Al

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 3:18PM
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jacqdavis(9)

Thank you so much, Al! The current temperature here ranges from 50-85 degrees. I have been watering it with both tap water and distilled water 3-4 times a week. I am not familiar with the acidification from the urea with 24-8-16. So I will have to look into that some more to see what I need to do.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 3:23PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

3-4 times per week raises warning flags when it comes to watering. Look in that direction as the likely source of your leaf issue.

Al

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 1:15PM
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snts

Hello,

I'm growing blueberries in containers, using Al's mix. Reading other posts, I have learned to use a mixture of a couple of tablespoons of vinegar with a gallon of water. I have also read to use an acidifying fertilizer. Since Miracid is not recommended, would you mind offering other options? I will also supplement Ca via gypsum.

Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 10:05PM
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Bradybb(wa8)

snts,
I use Jack's Classic Acid Special.It's 17-6-6 with micronutrients.Very little is needed and works well for me.Here is a link where it was purchased.Brady

Here is a link that might be useful: Jack's Acid Fertilizer

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 9:24PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

^
...... essentially the same as MG 30-10-10.

Al

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 9:23AM
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snts

Bradybb, tapla:

Thanks to you both. I noticed MG Miracid and MG Azalea/Camelia have same 30-10-10. Unfortunately, I applied Miracid, per label directions, to the blueberries over the weekend. Three days later, there was severe leaf scorching while some of the budding berries turned black. Lesson learned. Maybe I will apply less concentration of the Miracid?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 3:06PM
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Bradybb(wa8)

snts,
I want to also clarify that I'm using the Jack's only with some softwood cuttings that were propagated last summer and kept growing indoors with heat and light,averaging 80F.
The more mature Blueberry plants that are outside and dormant are first fed an Azalea,Rhody and Camellia fertilizer in Spring and then something like a hydrolyzed fish,kelp and molasses mixture through Summer.I've also tried small amounts of Ammonium Sulfate.
I'm still learning and experimenting to get that balance between leaf growth and fruit. Brady

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 7:50PM
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Bradybb(wa8)

There's always something I forgot.:)Someone posted that a friend of theirs lost some Blueberry plants using a fertilizer that contained Muriate of Potash.I think because it contains chloride,so I stay away from using it. Brady

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 12:21AM
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J_Phillips

I am growing Misty and Sunshine Blue in Santa Monica about a mile from the ocean. I planted the blueberries in raised beds--raised about 3 feet above soil level. I didn't use native soil, which is very alkaline, but azalea mix instead. When I planted blueberries in a mix of native soil, they died. This provides good drainage and acidity.

I have the boxes on a timed irrigation line. They survive but do not thrive on our alkaline water. The plants always look best in the spring with the rainfall.

Fertilizer doesn't seem to help much, but the plants seem to like new additions of peat moss, azalea mix, and the soil acidifier for hydrangeas. still get a few brown leaves, more on the shorter boxes.

I also put a 30% shade cloth over them to take off the mid-day sun, and they grow next to a north-east facing wall. We both live far from the native range for blueberries, so be patient and experiment. Sometimes the ones you do the least with grow best.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 8:02PM
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capoman(5a)

Growing blueberries in soil is totally different then in containers. Blueberries don't like alot of fertilizer. They grow natively on many nutrient poor soils. In ground, ammonium phosphate is often all that is required. In containers in soilless, you'll need a complete fert, but only use sparingly. It is very easy to overfertilize them.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 6:41AM
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capoman(5a)

Correction above. Ammonium sulphate (not phosphate).

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 6:43AM
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jacqdavis(9)

Thank you, Capoman, That is great info that you gave that I have not heard of before.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 11:09AM
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