The Q&A Archives: Blueberry Bush Wilts and Dies

Question: My Blue Crop dropped dead recently. I planted it, along with Blue Jay, Patriot, & Jersey, last fall. All were one foot tall. Other than brief nibbling from deer, all came up fine this spring. 3-4 days after watering them (a second time) with Miracid, the Blue Crop began to wilt and died within 2 weeks. I don't see anything suspicious and the other three look great. All were beginning to produce fruit. Any idea what happened?

Answer: It sounds like something interfered with the roots of your Blue Crop, causing it to wilt and not recover. If there are no new green sprouts from the lower trunk, or even the suggestion of swelling buds, the plant probably is gone beyond hope. Dig it up and see if there's any evidence of root disturbance or disease (broken roots, chewed roots, knobs or cankers, animal tunnels, etc.). The only other thing that may be involved is poor drainage. If that one bush is in the low spot, or if an underground water pipe is leaking in that area, the blueberry's fragile roots may have been drowned by excess moisture. They need frequent moisture, but if it puddles around the roots, the bush will die. I hope you find the cause and can avoid the problem with the replacement!

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