It can sometimes be hard to identify what’s wrong with a plant. I found that to be especially true when it comes to Blueberry bushes. There are multiple reasons for a blueberry plant to underperform, to not grow properly, and there are multiple things that can lead to a Blueberry bush dying.
In this article, I will tell you exactly how you can identify if a blueberry bush is dying, how to identify why it is dying, and how to save it.
You can tell if your Blueberry bush is dying when the leaves are turning brown long before Autumn. If the leaves turn brown and don´t fall off of the plant then you should really be worried because that is a sign that not only the leaves are dying but the plant itself is not doing so well either.
if your Blueberry bush shows signs of dying then don´t worry there might still be time to save it! You just have to identify the problem fast and then resolve it as quickly as possible.
Blueberry plants are quite hardy and generally quite long-lived. So you will be able to save your Blueberry bush with the right care!
How to Tell If Your Blueberry Bush Is Dead or About to Die
There are a couple more signs that will tell you if your plant is dying or about to die.
It is generally quite easy to tell if your plant is doing well or not. The hard part is to figure out what´s wrong with the bush.
But before we get to how to fix problems with your Blueberry plant let´s first have a look at your plant and see if there is something wrong with it in the first place.
If your Blueberry plant is not leafing out in spring or summer then it might be dying. If it loses its leaves in summer or before it has bloomed then there might be something wrong with the plant too. If old brown leaves are not falling off but instead stick to the plant then your blueberry plant is about to die!
If any or all of these things are true for your blueberry plant then you have to act fast because chances are that your plant is either not doing well or it is already about to die.
Blueberry Plant is not Leafing Out in Spring or Summer
Blueberry plants are, just like most plants, hibernating during the winter. So it is completely normal for a blueberry bush to loose its leaves in late Summer and early Autumn.
After the Blueberry bush has lost all of its leaves it will go into a hibernation state for the Winter.
It will then “wake up” in the Spring or early Summer and start building new leafs.
But sometimes the plant won´t wake up from its hibernation at which point we should be slightly worried.
If it was a harsh Winter then it might take a while until the bush recovers but unfortunately, you can´t really do anything here but giving the plant the optimal growing conditions.
So check if the Soil PH is between 4.5 and 5.5, give the plant enough water without overwatering it, make sure the plant gets enough sunlight, and maybe fertilize the soil to ensure that the blueberry bush has enough nutrition to form new leaves.
Don´t prune anything until July! The plant might still withdraw necessary carbohydrates from the branches. So even if they appear dead the plant might still need them. Only prune them when they are brittle and brown in July and not earlier.
Unfortunately, all you can do then is waiting for the bush to recover on its own.
Leaves Are Turning Brown too Early or They Are Not Falling Off
It is generally a really bad sign if the leaves of your plant are turning brown too early and it is an even worse sign if they are not falling off of the plant on their own easily. So if either of these things happen to your plant then you should act fast!
If the leaves of your Blueberry bush are turning brown in early or mid Summer then your plant might not be doing so well.
Don´t worry, if you act fast enough then you can easily save your Blueberry bush.
Brown leaves are, most of the time, a sign that the plant either is getting too little or way too much water or it might also be a sign that the plant is not getting enough nutrition.
Blueberries don’t like wet feet so make sure, that you don´t overwater your blueberry plant!
You can use a commercial soil tester to check how nutrition-rich your soil is. You can buy one right here on Amazon or in your local garden center.
This tester can also measure the moisture content of the soil.
Check if the PH value is in the norm for blueberry plants (between 4.5 and 5.5) and try to adapt your watering schedule if your soil is too wet or too dry.
If you adapt everything accordingly then your blueberry bush should start to thrive again.
What Reasons Are There For a Blueberry Bush to Suddenly Die?
It is always frustrating if a Blueberry bush dies but fortunately, it is quite rare for a Blueberry plant to suddenly die without any signs. That being said, it is sometimes hard to say why exactly a blueberry bush dies but there are a few very common causes for the sudden death of a Blueberry plant.
Blueberry bushes are very hardy and quite resistant to most diseases and pests but they can still suddenly die when the winter was especially cold. A severe pest infestation can also cause the Blueberry plant to die quite fast. Blueberry bushes can also die of old age. Even though they usually live for multiple years they won´t live forever.
Do Blueberry Bushes Grow Back?
A lot of new gardeners ask themselves this question. There are quite a lot of crops that only last one year including some berry plants.
Blueberry bushes are perennial shrubs, meaning they will live for multiple years. So blueberry bushes will grow back every year for multiple years if you care for them properly. Blueberries will lose their leaves in late Summer or early Autumn and the bush will leaf out in Spring or early SUmmer.
Why Is My Blueberry Bush Turning Brown?
The first sign that something is wrong with your blueberry plant is usually that the leaves are starting to turn brown. So as soon as you see the leaves of your plant changing color to brown then you should act fast in order to save it.
A Blueberry bush is turning brown if the plant is either overwatered or underwatered. In rare instances, the leaves of a blueberry bush can also turn brown if the soil PH is not correct. It should be between 4.5 and 5.5 for blueberries. It is normal for a blueberry bush to lose its leaves in preparation for the Winter.
If you are not sure if your soil PH is correct or if the moisture content of your soil is right then simply use a commercial PH tester to double-check.
Most newer PH testers can test the moisture content as well as the PH of the soil.
If the moisture content is too high or too low then simply adapt your watering schedule to correct the moisture of the soil.
And if the PH is off then use commercial fertilizer to correct the PH value.