Blueberries look like they're dying

Asked August 14, 2017, 1:27 PM EDT

Two of my blueberry plants leaves started turning red/brown and falling off about two weeks ago (picture attached). The plants are about two years old. None of the other plants have been affected. I'm wondering if these two plants didn't get enough water during the hot spell and that's why they look like this or do I have some sort of disease I need to take care of? I increased the amount of water they're getting and they seem to have stabilized with half green, half red leafs... for the time being anyway. Will these plants survive or should I pull them out and is it a disease or just under watering? Thank you.

Lane County Oregon

1 Response

Thanks for your question and for the photo. This is definitely a lack of water. Blueberries can use up to 1 1/2 inches of water per week or even more during really hot periods. They are shallow rooted, so that water is best applied in 2 or 3 applications per week rather than all at once. Fortunately, they're deciduous plants, so they'll probably be fine, but the damage is obviously done for this year. Some varieties turn red in hot weather even if they have adequate water, but the photo you attached shows browning at the leaf tips, which is a little more severe. Just make sure they have adequate water for the rest of the summer and they'll probably be fine.