The Q&A Archives: Identifying Whitish Powder on Blueberry Bushes

Question: With the arrival of spring, we have noticed about 10 of our 400 blueberry bushes have a whitish powdery substance covering some of the branches. We have grown blueberries for 7 years and have never seen this before. We are guessing it is Botrytis blight. Do you agree, and how can this be treated this year and prevented in the future? Kathy Vandevord Grand Isle, VT

Answer: From your description, it does sound like Botrytis. I imagine it is the result of the cool, wet weather we've had lately. The best you can do for now is prune out and burn the affected branches. Make sure the rest of your plants are pruned well to allow for air circulation among the branches and plants to keep them as dry as possible. If blueberries are a cash crop for you, I suggest having an extension agent confirm the cause and make a recommendation for taking care of the problem. Larry Myott (862-2053) or Diane Bothfeld (372-6610) should be able to give you a positive ID on the culprit.

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