Blackberry Disease Control


The sight of purple-brown blotches on the upper portion of blackberry leaves, followed by powdery spores on the lower portion of the leaf, are early indicators of blackberry disease, also called leaf rust fungus. If left untreated, the disease will progress into a heavy infestation, causing leaves to become discolored and fall. However, a complete infestation can be pre-empted or lessened by properly following chemical or cultural control practices to control blackberry disease.

Step 1

Reduce or eliminate overhead watering, which can enhance disease growth, lead to moisture stress and impede chemical treatments. Use drip irrigation tubing for water in lieu of overhead watering.

Step 2

Keep weed growth in check. Apply a 2-inch layer of pine bark mulch around the base of the plants to keep the planting area as weed-free as possible.

Step 3

Cut infected canes with pruning shears as soon as they are detected. Destroy the canes after removing from the bush.

Step 4

Use a disinfectant to clean the pruning shears after cutting to prevent contaminating other canes or plants.

Step 5

Apply Triclopyr, a foliar herbicide, according the manufacturer’s directions. (The herbicide is absorbed through the leaves and is transferred to the bush’s roots.)

Step 6

Apply Metsulfuron-methyl according to the manufacturer’s directions. Use this herbicide when Triclopyr is not suitable, such as in urban areas and near crops.

Things You'll Need

  • Drip irrigation
  • Pine bark mulch
  • Pruning shears
  • Disinfectant
  • Herbicide


  • University of Florida Extension: Blackberries and Raspberries
Keywords: blackberry disease control, controlling blackberry disease, control blackberry disease

About this Author

Stephanie D. Green is a freelance writer with over 10 years of experience. Green holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and enjoys writing parenting, gardening and human interest articles. Her work has been published in lifestyle and trade publications including Draft Magazine and Savannah Magazine.