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Blueberries didn't flower this season

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:33 pm
by johndrean
In a trough planter on our deck, we have 5 blueberry plants 3 seasons old.

There are 3 varieties, 2 Bluecrop, 2 Blueray, and one dwarf (I think its a Northstar??... something). I've got them alternating in the box.

Last season all bushes produced flowers and berries. There weren't a lot, I think because we have a fenced yard (hard for polinators to find them).

This season only the Dwarf variety flowered. At first I thought nothing of it, because all of the other plants were later bloomers than the dwarf last season, but we are well into the season now, and no sign of any flowers on the 4 shrubs.

What gives?

The plants all appear to be healthy, pleanty of new growth, etc.
I haven't done an acidity test, but when the soil is stirred I still see some of the sulfur tabs that we added initially, so I'm doubtful it is an issue of acidity. We also mulched with compost this year, and sprinkled with a little vegitable fertilizer.

I read somewhere else that I should have been stripping the flowers from the plants for the first 3 years... could this be the issue, that they are still trying to establish themselves...?

Thanks for any tips. It's not a crisis, but a huge bummer that we won't be seeing berries this year. :?

Posted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:41 am
by bullthistle
They say the first year to strip the buds but just maybe the winter was harsh and they are shallow rooted they could have been stressed from the cold. They prefer as much sun as possible.

Posted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 6:35 pm
by uniquegardenplants
I agree, especially when planted in containers, there is a more likely chance of cold damage. Sounds like several of them possibly got knocked back by the cold and therefore stunted flower production this year.

Posted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:43 am
by johndrean
We did have a really warm spell in March, then a hard freeze for a few weeks right after...

Maybe it is the drastic weather changes giving them a shock this year.

I'll be sure to strip the flowers next season, if they are there... but I don't have to like it! :wink:

Thanks for the replies!