Raspberry bushes suffering- please help!
I noticed a couple of my raspberry bushes (planted last year) were suffering from a strange wilt accompanied by purpling of the leaves. Some leaves were turning brown and dying. Some leaves were yellowing. I fertilized all plants accordingly. My black raspberry bush succumbed to the disease and died, but the others appeared to mostly flourish, with just a lead or two showing symptoms. I tried in vain to get help from my local extension office/master gardeners, and from the guy who sold me the plants, to no avail. I want to take action to prevent a loss of the plants, but all 8 bushes, including the 4 new plants I just put in the ground 2 months ago, show signs, even minor.
Based on your description and the pictures you submitted it appears to be verticillium wilt. That is not good news. Below are some links that describe the problem and potential disease management approaches. It is a soil borne fungi and many of the symptoms you described are consistent with verticillium wilt. There are no easy solutions. If you believe this is not the correct diagnosis after reviewing the links below please feel free to resubmit your question. http://extension.psu.edu/plants/gardening/fphg/brambles/diseases/verticillium-wilt http://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/plpath-fru-04
Thank you! Are blueberries susceptible?
PS- Rick, thank you so much for your help. You don't know how happy I am to finally have a diagnosis and be able to move on.
Blueberries are in the Ericaceae family while raspberries are in the Rosaceae family so that offers some measure of protection but verticillium wilt is a soil borne fungus so I would recommend planting in a separate, uncontaminated bed. Disinfect any tools or instruments used in the infected bed to prevent spread. Hope this helps.