Our five-year-old blueberry plant, that has always produced well is full of berries and all of a sudden has dying branches and leaves turning red. I’ve included picture. We did fail to prune it last year so it has too many crowed branches and small fruit. Please help diagnose and recommend treatment. We want to save this plant.

[1]: https://i.stack.imgur.com/Gb0qx.jpg![enter image description here](https://i.stack.imgur.com/tb2e7.jpg)enter image description here

2 Answers 2


The ample fruit is a good sign. It may be in need of a bit more water or a bit more nutrient to support the fruit growth. It may be drawing from the foliage to support the fruit. And check around the base & remove any old leaves etc to help air flow. Would avoid pruning until its dormant, and then only a mild prune.

If the fruit size has changed just this season is significant. Often if theres a blueberry v there will be rapid deterioration of an entire branch, or the fruit clusters and branch tips with fruit. The pattern looks outwardly somewhat like either mosaic or scorch, but the way the colour has been withdrawn from the leaves isnt so typical of scorch, nor mosaic; the lack of sweetness may reflect indicate inadequate energy available to the fruit, from whatever cause.

Could be a relatively new ailment. Maybe check the stems and around the roots, and check for aphids, or something in the roots. They can weaken the plant and make it less resistant. And if there are some aphids or something, they can spread things to the other bushes in addition to weakening that bush. If some branches do entirely deteriorate, they should be removed, and a stronger prune indicated.

  • 1
    Thank you for taking the time to answer!! Most of the berries are very small and not tasty, whereas the other bushes have big plump delicious berries. The plant gets the same water and nutrients as the other bushes. One picture I found on-line with similar colored leaves has Blueberry Scorch Virus. Have you had any experience or knowledge of this? Jul 4, 2020 at 17:45
  • You're very welcome! The way the colour has been/is being withdrawn from the leaves doesn't look like the usual colour pattern of either Blueberry Scorch, or of Mosaic
    – M H
    Jul 25, 2020 at 8:25

It's hard to tell from the picture, but one issue might be Mummy Berry. This is a fungus that will make your blueberries shrivel up. When "ripe" the berry will be all shriveled, hard and fall off the bush easily. If your berries are still forming, you can pick one and open it up. The outside may look slightly orange in color. You will be able to see the hard, white ball forming in the center. It can be hard to get rid of Mummy Berry without fungicides, but I've had success decimating it with the following:

  • pruning the bushes to open up space
  • mulch/bark chips after the season
  • fertilizer
  • disturbing the ground below the bushes when the mushrooms form
  • picking all of the mummy berries (every single one makes a mushroom that can infect many bushes)

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