pinching off flowers on young blueberry plants

Asked April 22, 2018, 9:29 AM EDT

I planted year-old blueberry high bush plants last year and was told to pinch off the blossoms. I've read different advice about whether I should do that again this year, or whether it's alright to let the plants fruit. They look healthy but are still small. Thanks.

Polk County Oregon blueberries

1 Response

Hi:

If the plants are still small, make sure they are getting adequate water and fertilizer, and also that the soil pH is sufficiently low. If it is too high, the newest leaves (at the ends of the growing shoots) will display "interveinal chlorosis", where the leaf veins are green but the intervening tissue is yellowish. This is cause by pH induced iron deficiency, is quite common and will restrict growth. The only way to address it is to lower soil pH.

This year to push growth a bit you do not have to remove all flowers, just remove some of them, leaving about 30 total flower buds/ plant (there will be multiple flowers within buds, so more flowers than this). The other thing that influences vigor of plant growth is pruning, so below is a link to a video on pruning.

https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/dvd2