Raspberry plant being eaten alive and now has mushrooms

Asked August 3, 2018, 1:49 PM EDT

Hi, We have one small Bushels and Berries Raspberry Shortcake plant, which we got on sale at Costco. (It was the last one.) It developed holes in its leaves almost immediately which I thought were Japanese beetles. We haven't seen any bugs so have not removed anything. This morning yellowish mushrooms with a fine powder popped up in the container. My son pulled them out and tossed them. Are these mushrooms a problem? I don't want to push my poor plant over the edge. What can I do about whatever is causing the leaf damage? Plant is currently on my front steps. It gets sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon. Thanks!

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

WE canot say for sure what is causing the holes in the leaves. There are several leaf feeding beetles and the plant can tolerate some feeding. It is also possible the damage is done.
You are seeing the mushrooms because of the wet weather and a moist soil. There are many types of mushrooms that are involved in the breakdown of organic matter in the soil. The fungi are not harmful to your plants and it is simply an indication that the soil is moist. Remove the mushrooms and discard. Make sure the container has good drainage. The plant also looks pale and you may need to give it some fertilizer. With all the rain that we have had the nutrients may be leaching from the soil.

It looks like the plant is growing in the original container. You can keep it in the container but plants in containers have to be protected from the cold. To overwinter outdoors, plants in containers need to be 2 zones hardier than your zone. You may be able to place the container next to your house and cover with pine boughs or shredded leaves for winter protection. Or even better sink the container in the ground to protect the root zone from the cold temperatures. You may eventually have to repot into a larger container in the spring.

If you do not want to do this, then you may want to find a suitable location with good drainage in full sun and transplant into the ground. Here is our website on raspberries. http://extension.umd.edu/growit/fruit-profiles/raspberries-and-blackberries