Blueberry bushes are beneficial to a landscape, supplying not only a delicious harvest but also an aesthetic beauty when kept under control with pruning. However, this crop is also susceptible to numerous fungal diseases such as twig blight, ripe rot and cankers. The best way to avoid these diseases is to defoliate your blueberry bushes by pruning back any diseased areas.
Check your blueberry bushes for symptoms of disease. This includes open sores, cankers, oozing sap, twigs that appear gray or cobwebby, dead foliage, or wilted berries. Keep in mind that if your entire plant is infested or diseased, there is little you can do to save it that season.
Soak your pruning shears, for larger canes or branches, or pruning scissors, for smaller foliage, in a mixture of 65 percent rubbing alcohol and 35 percent water to sterilize the tools. You don't want to spread any diseases between cuts.
Cut off any diseased leaves, twigs and branches with the pruning shears or scissors. Cut at a downward angle less than 50 degrees, removing the branches or canes all the way back to the base of the plant. Sterilize the pruning tools between each cut.
Discard all the dead foliage underneath the blueberry bush, making sure to leave no diseased foliage behind to prevent future spreading.