I have two blueberry bushes, both of which were purchased and planted in the...

Asked July 31, 2017, 2:24 PM EDT

I have two blueberry bushes, both of which were purchased and planted in the spring of 2016. I believe they are both 2 or 3 year old bushes. One is in a pot and the other is in a raised garden. Last year both looked healthy and produced a good crop of blueberries. This year both bushes look less healthy (see the attached picture) and have produced very few blueberries. Any advice as to what I need to do to return the bushes to producing more blueberries would be appreciated. Thank you Kyle

Ingham County Michigan blueberries

1 Response

Well, that does not look like a happy blueberry. Do you know the soil pH of the potting mix? Blueberries like a soil pH of about 5 which is pretty acidic. The yellow leaves indicate that the soil pH is high and it looks like the plant is not getting enough nitrogen. You should fertilize with a rhododendron/azalea mix which will have the correct nutrients in it. You could fertilize now but it is late in the season. I generally recommend no fertilizer after the Fourth of July, but you plant looks like it needs it. I would give the plant a small shot of fertilizer (see instructions on bag) now but nothing any later.
You do not want new growth now late in the season. Blueberries should form next years flower buds soon. These buds form at the shoot tips and the buds just below the tip. The flower buds will NOT form if the shoot is actively growing and from new leaves. This may have been you problem in the past, late growth in the summer suppressing shoot growth. I would also remove the old can in the center of the bush but leave the new brightly colored shoots. I suggest you prune in March.