My blue berry bush has yellow leaves.

Asked July 30, 2015, 6:40 PM EDT

My blue berry bush has yellow leaves.They were planted one year ago in sandy gravel soil.They were 3 year old plants. They were planted in peat mulch with pine needles on top.They appear to not be growing.Thanks

Shiawassee County Michigan

2 Responses

It could be several things.
My guess is that the soil pH is too high and they are not getting enough water.
If you are irrigating with hard water with a lot of calcium in it you could be raising the soil pH when you water. I would not have thought that a pine mulch would be to high a pH but it is possible. I suggest you test the soil pH.
If you planted a potted plant then the plant may still be confined in the root ball
If the plants are still small see if you can pull them out of the ground easily. If you can I suggest you re-dig the planting hole adding peat moss to the planting mix and break up the root ball.and replant the bushes. Do not fertilize at this late date (August). You can spray the plants with and iron chelate to green the leaves up. This will only reduce the symptoms not cure the problem. If the soil pH is too high and you want to add sulfur the recommendation is for no more than 400 pounds to the acre (43,560 sq. ft) which works out to 0.3 ounces of sulfur in a ring 3 feet wide centered on the bush. That is the outside of the ring is 18 inches from the bush. If you use ferrous sulfate that would be 2.5 ounces in the ring. You should work it into the soil. If the soil is too wet that can also cause yellow leaves but that does not sound like that is the case here. You might also check the pH and hardness of the water you irrigate with.

I should also add to avoid compost or composted manure in the planting hole as these materials generally have a high pH and will raise the soil pH.