The Q&A Archives: Blueberry Plants

Question: I have two blueberry plants that I planted in wine barrels. they were doing well at first and now they look as though they have sun damage. What am I doing wrong?

Answer: You didn't describe the symptoms of what you think is sun damage so I can't really tell if it is sunburn or if the leaves are showing distress because the soil isn't acidic enough. Blueberries do best in well-draining (sandy) soils with a pH of 4.5 to 5.2. If the soil pH is too high, iron chlorosis symptoms develop on leaves (green veins, interveinal yellowing), or they can take on a reddish/purplish cast. If you don't know your soils' pH, you might want to have it tested. Soil pH values in the range of 5.2 to 5.5 can be partially lowered by incorporating elemental sulfur 6 months prior to planting. It is generally impractical to lower a soil of greater than 6.0 with sulfur. The use of acidifying fertilizers, such as ammonium sulfate, over a period of years can appreciably lower soil pH. and/or help maintain the correct pH for your plant. Hope this information helps!

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