Purple Flowering Raspberry shrub die-off

Asked June 20, 2018, 10:08 PM EDT

I've had a purple flowering raspberry thrive in dry shade next to my garage for roughly 10 years. This growing season there has been significant die-off: leaves have wilted and turned brown. About a quarter of the shrub is green and blooming. The only thing I can think of that has changed is the amount of rain we've had lately. Is there something I can do to preserve this valuable shrub, which has grown in a place that hasn't been so welcoming to other plants? I've really never done anything to cultivate it once I planted it. Thanks!

Baltimore Maryland shrubs abiotic issues

1 Response

The heavy amount of rain we have had recently has been stressful for some plants. Purple flowering raspberry is native to the mountain areas of western Maryland where it thrives on moist but well-drained rocky ledges and rocky slopes. If your shrub is in clay soil and it's been too saturated, that might have something to do with the decline you're seeing. We would be happy to look at photos if you want to send us some. (You can attach up to three photos to this reply). There are some diseases that can affect Rubus odoratus (powdery mildew, rust), but they are said to do little damage. We suspect the die-back might be related to the wet weather.