Blueberry plant death

Asked April 24, 2013, 4:14 PM EDT

I have 21 blueberry plants. One of them suddenly died, it has turned blackish on some branches and didn't bud out like the rest. The entire plant died. I also noticed several dead branches on several other plants. Can you tell me how I can get the problem identifyed for disease or blight and what would be needed to treat it? I dug the plant out and have saved it for identification purposes. This needs to be treated very quickly before it destroys my entire crop.

Benton County Oregon plant disease

1 Response

What is your soil pH? It should be between 4.5 and 5.5 which is very acidic for most plants. If it is outside that range then many things can happen.

Assuming you know that and the pH is correct, there are a few things that can cause these symptoms. A bacterial disease called Pseudomonas is possible but has not been a major problem this spring. A fungal problem called Phomopsis is another possibility. And then it could also be Shock virus which can have a sudden symptom as you describe. Each has different management tactics but first you need a diagnosis.

You can read about the diseases at the site below and do it yourself. You can take your sample into the Benton county extension office and see if the folks there can help. Or you can bring it to the Plant Clinic on campus and get it diagnosed for a $60 fee. Lot of information at the following sites:
http://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/blueberry-vaccinium-corymbosum-shock

http://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/blueberry-vaccinium-corymbosum-twig-blight

http://plant-clinic.bpp.oregonstate.edu