blueberry plants flowers browning.

Asked April 26, 2019, 11:04 PM EDT

I have several blueberry bushes that are several years old. In past years I've noticed some of the flowers on the tips of the branches have turned brown and died. It seems worse this year, and I'm certain we haven't had a frost. Could it be too little water? I thought we'd had a lot this spring. Any other cause? Thx

Multnomah County Oregon blueberries blueberry diseases

1 Response

Thank you for using Ask an Expert for help with your blueberry disease problem. From your description, I suspect the disease is botrytis.

During wet spring weather, as we have had, the disease spores are spread by wind and rainwater splashing. Bloom time is when the blossoms are most susceptible. The disease can also infect twigs (which will be discolored), leaves (which may show brown spots), and fruit (which show fuzzy, grey spores).

Many garden fruit and ornamental plants can harbor and spread the disease, so good on-going care of the blueberries is important.

  • Prune the blueberry plants to remove weak or infected twigs when plants are dormant (January through mid-March). Prune to ensure the plant has good air circulation.
  • Keep water off the leaves when irrigating in summer. Use a soaker or drip system.
  • Do not fertilizer after July.
  • Keep blueberry beds clear of weeds

Fungicides may be applied from just before blooming through the end of the bloom period.

  • Seranade Garden Disease Control
  • Captan 50W (Bonide or Hi-Yield)·

For more information on blueberry selection, planting and maintainance, check out the Oregon Extension publication “Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden”. See here:

Have a good gardening year,