I have a Canby raspberry plant. One cane is showing some form of nutrient deficiency. On other hand, the other stalk is is flourishing and even budding fruit. What would cause this, seeing as the two cane's root systems are right next to each other?

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  • Can you get an up-close picture of the brown there at the bottom of your canes? It might help to determine if you're getting rodent, bug, moisture or fungal damage. Jul 24 '14 at 16:42

Not a nutrient deficiency, more like a drought problem, or that cane is an original one on the plant when you got it, possibly last year's or the year before's cane. The taller, bushy one is newer and younger. Otherwise, some sort of damage or problem with the stem on that one.

UPDATE: Oh dear, Jojo, never mind, not much you can do now. That brown growth at the base must be from where you originally didn't water enough (I remember an earlier query on your raspberries). Valuable lesson though - in future, always check where the stem not only comes from, but goes to...

UPDATE 2: Re your comment on nutrient deficiency - if you look at the rest of the plant, it's fine. The fact that one stem shows some problems cannot mean deficiency, because the whole plant would carry a similar appearance. I recall your earlier question this year, and if I recall correctly, the plant had browning edges on quite a lot of leaves, not just one area. Presumably you increased watering and the problem resolved itself, apart from this one stem, although clearly, the topgrowth on that stem must have been fine and was in fact producing fruit, so a recovery occurred on that stem too - just not at the base. Once leaves have acquired dead, brown areas, these areas will not recover because those parts are dead. In the end, it's not whether a whole stem of something seems healthy - if the rest of the plant is healthy, and the top part of any single stem is growing healthily and fruiting, there clearly has been a problem, but the whole plant has recovered, despite dead or damaged areas. The most essential element, particularly for new and fruiting plants, is sufficient and frequent availability of water - its that which enables take up of nutrients as well as the obvious moisture it requires.

  • 1
    Both canes were present when I bought them from the nursery. The sickly cane is the original growth. The flourishing one is the growth after planting in my garden. I use a moisture probe twice a week to make sure that moisture is in the "moist" zone. The sickly cane didn't have any berries on it nor was it tall, so I didn't think it was going to naturally die soon. The sickly cane has more brown scars near the bottom of the cane. Could squirrels have attacked it? I noticed that they like to gnaw on all my plants.
    – JoJo
    Jul 23 '14 at 16:15
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    Even though both were there when you purchased the plant, one cane looks older than the other. It's possible that the failing cane is from a previous season. Canby are summer-bearing, so the canes only stick around for 2 years. The first they put on growth, the second they put on fruit. After the fruiting year they will tend to die off anyway. That being said, the brown at the bottom of the dying cane could very well be damage from either insects or squirrels and would be the first thing I'd suggest you consider, as it's something you can try to remedy. Jul 23 '14 at 16:38
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    I have difficulty detecting which canes are two year old canes, especially the ones that grew before I bought them. I assumed that most nursery plants that I buy for $15 are new growth because they're usually only 2 feet tall. I thought mature berry canes are much taller than that.
    – JoJo
    Jul 23 '14 at 18:30
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    Unless you know the nursery fairly well, I've found it best to not trust to things like that. There are multiple reasons for "new" nursery plants to actually be in their second year, particularly if they were raised/bred in highly climate-controlled conditions. Also, if you buy something in the spring that's already 2 feet tall, you could either be looking at a cane that had a bit less growth last year than normal or started early this year. Also, the second year cane might not put on its normal first/second year growth because the roots are establishing themselves or it was pot bound before. Jul 23 '14 at 20:29
  • I've also read that two year old canes should have brown stems. New canes are green. My dying cane is green with brown splotches. So....
    – JoJo
    Jul 24 '14 at 4:22

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