The Q&A Archives: Fruitless Cranberry

Question: We have a cranberry that is about 8 years old and 12 feet tall. It has beautiful white blossoms on in the spring; but later they turn brown and we don't get any fruit for the birds. Is there something lacking in our soil?

Answer: In order for your cranberry to produce fruit, it needs insect activity to transfer pollen from flower to flower. Is it possible that the weather is too cold for bee activity when it flowers? Or perhaps bees are not visiting because you have no other plants blooming at the same time? Conversely, if you have many other blossoms in your yard during the cranberries blooming period, there may be too much competition for attention from the bees. Pay close attention to the plant this spring. Note whether or notinsects are visiting the blossoms. If they are, and the flowers still shrivel up and die, you may have a sterile plant. If so, not all is lost - you can still enjoy the flush of blossoms in the spring.

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