Blueberry leaves turning red in late August

Asked December 20, 2016, 4:46 PM EST

What can we do to support our twenty blueberry bushes that seemed to have ther leaves turn red early this year? Should we fertilize? Or maybe add more water during the summer to reduce plant stress?

Lincoln County Oregon

1 Response

You are correct in that having leaves on bushes turn red that early in the season is an indication of plant stress. However, it is not possible to know what is causing the stress without further investigation. Are all the bushes showing the same symptoms? If so, it might be insufficient nutrients, especially if the bushes have been mulched recently. However, more likely is some other plant stress -- too much or too little irrigation is possible. Also, root stress caused by phytophthora root rot may also cause these symptoms. Too much fruit, caused by too little pruning the prior winter, can also lead to plant stress and such symptoms. Considering there are many possibilities, I would suggest you get more assistance in properly diagnosing the plant problems from your local OSU county extension office next spring/summer.