En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - June 28, 2007

From: Morgantown, WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Transplants, Shrubs
Title: Transplant shock in Vacccinum corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Answered by: Barbara Medford and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Blueberry plants - We planted Northland and Blue Crop, 2 of each. All 4 plants have some leaves that are turning brown. This starts at the tip of the leaf, eventually encompasses the entire leaf, and the leaf falls off. The soil pH is from 4.5 to 5. The plants get full sun. We make sure we water them regularly. What is happening to these beautiful shrubs?

ANSWER:

Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry) is indeed a beautiful native plant and the cultivars you selected are among the best. Two possibilities occur to me regarding the leaf fall you are experiencing. The first is, it sounds like you just recently planted your bushes. Any plant, no matter how tough the plant nor how delicate the handling, will suffer some leaf fall from being transplanted. Many of the tiny little rootlets that bring moisture into the plant are damaged or lost, and the plant is expressing its displeasure by dropping some leaves. Transplant shock is exacerbated by full sun conditions. While your blueberry needs to be in full sun for maximum fruitset, it is a tough location for newly transplanted plants. A good mulch for the plant, some judicious pruning to reduce the plants' water demand and continued good irrigation should help your plants get over the transplant hump. Once established your blueberry bushes should bear fruit for decades. You and your neighborhood birds will enjoy them for years to come.

West Virginia University and Ohio State University have each published nice articles on growing blueberries. There are numerous other webpages online with similar information.

 

From the Image Gallery


Highbush blueberry
Vaccinium corymbosum

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Sap dripping from a lacey oaks in San Antonio
September 06, 2012 - I have a lacey oak tree, approximately 6 ft. tall that has been in the ground almost a year. The tree looks healthy but there is a small area on the trunk that looks and feels wet. The substance is s...
view the full question and answer

Stem canker or leaf fungus in Morella cerifera
June 14, 2007 - Dear Mr.Smarty Pants: The upper half of our wax myrtle, which we had allowed (with artful pruning) to reach about ten feet suddenly died this spring (it dropped most of its leaves and didn't sprout...
view the full question and answer

Habiturf installation after Take-All fungus
January 24, 2012 - Are other soil remedies needed (besides those listed in your Habiturf brochure) to install Habiturf on land which had a St. Augustine lawn which was decimated by take all patch.
view the full question and answer

Will Mountain Laurels be harmed by juglones from my pecan tree?
May 06, 2009 - Hi. I just bought a house. It has a big pecan tree at the edge of the front lawn next to the street. I guess it's about 25 feet from the front of the house. I was thinking of planting mountain la...
view the full question and answer

Trumpet creeper with ants in Belchertown MA
July 23, 2011 - My Campsis Vine is having one of the maximum blossom years it gets after a good pruning. This year, I have black carpenter ants on the blossoms and the flowers are rotting from the edges down on some...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center