Blueberry Plant Diseases

Cultivated and wild blueberry plants grow across the United States, providing luscious fruit during the summer. Blueberry plants are also used as a landscape plant with year-round interest--flowers in spring, fruit in summer, red and gold leaves in fall, and architectural limbs in winter.

Care of Blueberry Plants

Numerous diseases affect blueberry plants, but proper maintenance reduces the incidences of infections. Choose a site with full sun and acid soil (pH 4.0 to 5.5) that is rich in organic matter and drains well. Apply a fungicidal spray before and during bloom according to the manufacturer's directions to prevent fungal disease.

Stem Diseases

Mummyberry (Monilinia vaciniicorymbosi) causes shoot blight (curled and distorted leaves on shoots) with pink, shriveled berries. Anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides) also causes shoot blight, followed by brown or black blossoms and fruit rot. Fusicoccum Canker and Phomopsis Canker are lesions on the stems, which cause the stem to wilt and die.

Root Diseases

Phytophthora Root Rot causes yellowing leaves and weak growth resulting in the death of the plant. In some cases, the plant may die suddenly. Crown Gall (Agrobacterium tumefaciens) causes galls (knots) in the crown area and on the roots. The plants are usually weak and stunted.

Leaf Diseases

Red Leaf Disease causes reddish-brown leaves with white spores on the undersides, while Red Ringspot Virus causes reddish-brown spots only on top of leaves. The leaves of a plant infected with Shoestring Virus are strap-like and twisted, and there may be narrow reddish streaks on the stems. Leaves are small and cupped with yellowish margins in plants affected by Stunt Virus. Mosaic Virus causes the leaves to be mottled green and yellow. There is no treatment for most leaf diseases on blueberry plants. The plants have to be removed and burned.

Keywords: blueberry plant diseases, blueberry plant problems, blueberry leaves disease

About this Author

Melody Lee began working as a reporter and copywriter for the "Jasper News" in 2004 and was promoted to editor in 2005. She also edits magazine articles and books. Lee holds a degree in landscape design, is a Florida Master Gardener, and has more than 25 years of gardening experience.