Why are Blueberry Leaves Turning Brown? (Are they Diseased?)

Blueberries are renowned for their tasty fruits and, once established, their relative tolerance of unfavorable environments.

Several factors might induce leaf browning, and these difficulties can be especially severe in delicate, recently planted specimens.

Do not mistake a display of crimson and purple fall leaves for a problem; stunning seasonal foliage is usual.

Blueberry leaves turning brown are a warning that the plant is getting either not enough or much too much water. It can also be an indication that the plant is not getting enough nourishment.

Reasons Why are Blueberry Leaves, Turning Brown

There are a few other obvious symptoms that your plant is withering or soon to die. It is usually simple to assess whether your plant is doing well. The difficult aspect is determining what is wrong with the bush.

But, before we get into how to solve problems with your Blueberry plant, let us have a look at it and see whether there was a problem in the first place. The following are some of the reasons why your blueberry plant’s leaves are browning or dying:

Leaves are Turning Brown and Not Falling Off

If your plant’s leaves start to turn brown too early, it is a terrible indication, and it is much worse if they do not fall off on their own. So, if any of these things happen to your plant, you must act quickly!

If the leaves on your Blueberry bush start to turn brown in the early to mid-summer, it is a sign that the plant is not doing so well. You do not need to worry; if you act quickly enough, your Blueberry bush can simply be saved.

Brown leaves are usually a warning that the plant is getting either too little or much too much water, but they can also be an indication that the plant is not getting enough nourishment.

Blueberries dislike wet feet, so be careful not to overwater your blueberry plant! To determine how nutrient-dense your soil is, utilize a commercial soil tester.

You may locate one right here on Amazon or at a garden center near you.

Check the PH of your soil to see if it is in the normal range for blueberry plants which is between 4.5 and 5.5. Also, adjust your watering schedule if it is too wet or too dry. Your blueberry shrub should start to grow again if you make the necessary adjustments.

Many blueberry growers have noticed signs of water stress and drought in their fields during the last few weeks. Drought and water shortage indicators are easily recognized by experienced blueberry farmers.

Growers with less experience are baffled as to what sickness is harming their plants. It is crucial to know how to spot the signs of water stress and drought.

Your Blueberry plant may be dying if it does not leaf out in the spring or summer. If it loses its leaves in the summer or before it blooms, there could be a problem with the plant.

Your blueberry plant is about to die if old brown leaves do not fall off but instead stick to the plant.

The leaves of your Blueberry plant will turn brown long before Autumn, indicating that it is dying.

If the leaves turn brown and do not fall off the plant, you should be quite concerned since this indicates that not only the foliage but also the plant itself is failing.

Blueberry Plant is not Leafing Out in Spring or Summer

Blueberry plants, like most plants, hibernate during the winter. As a result, it is completely normal for a blueberry bush to lose its leaves in late summer and early autumn.

After all the leaves have fallen off the Blueberry bush, it will hibernate for the winter. It will wake up and start growing new leaves in the spring or early summer.

There are occasions, though, when the plant does not wake up from its rest, and we should be concerned.

It may take some time for the bush to recover if the Winter was exceptionally harsh. But there is not much you can do about it except supply the plant with the greatest possible growing conditions.

So, make sure the soil PH is between 4.5 and 5.5, give the plant enough water without overwatering it. Also, make sure the plant gets enough sunlight and fertilizes the soil if necessary. This is to ensure the blueberry bush has enough nutrition to form new leaves.

Wait until July to prune anything! The plant may continue to draw necessary carbohydrates from the branches. Even though they look to be dead, the plant may still require them.

Only prune them in July, when they are brittle and brown, and not before. Unfortunately, the only thing you can do now is waiting for the bush to heal itself.

Chemical Issues

Preemergent herbicides, or those used to stop weeds from growing, should be kept away from blueberries.

When exposed to chemicals like these, blueberries’ leaves develop yellow or a bleached-out tint. It will eventually be followed by browning and damage along the leaf margins.

Chlorosis, yellowing of the leaves caused by a high pH level above 5.5 or so, can occur in soils when the pH level is excessively high above 5.5 or so as according to Gardening

Know-How. Keep blueberries away from sandy soil, which can cause potassium deficit and browning of the leaves. Cultivate blueberries in organically rich soils alternatively.

Disease and Pests

A fungal ailment that causes powdery spores from mushrooms is called mummy berry shoot blight. It forms on the earth beneath the bush if berries have fallen and rotted there.

According to the University of Michigan, keeping the soil under your blueberry shrub clean and raked is a vital part of preventing mummy berry.

Before blueberry bud breaks, cultivate the soil to a depth of an inch and turn it to prevent mushroom formation.

Botrytis blight, often known as grey mold, is another fungus that can cause leaf browning. Avoid overhead watering, which fosters the growth of fungus.

Insect and bird pests can also harm bushes and fruits, but not in the same way as leaf browning does.

Watering Problems

It is critical to provide appropriate hydration to your plants, especially while they are establishing themselves.

Much of their root system dies off when you bring them home from the nursery and plant them. The plants must rebuild those roots.

Therefore, the leaves of young blueberry plants sometimes become brown and burn since they lose water quicker than the roots can restore it.

Keep the soil moist but allow for sufficient drainage. Blueberries that sit in soggy soil can develop root rot, which will turn the leaves dark.


It can emerge if the soil is overfed with fertilizer.

The leaves appear to have been burned in this condition.

Some expert gardeners usually advise using as little fertilizer as possible on the soil.

Never believe that adding more to your plant would make it healthier.

Simply apply fertilizer when the plant requires it.

Did you fertilize the soil around the shrub recently?

Is it possible that it rained recently?

Rain can wash fertilizer away from nearby plants.

The browning of the leaf edges is caused by overfeeding.

Browning progresses inwards to the leaf’s core.

Maybe it wasn’t you, but the nursery guys overfed the plant. Have you lately purchased the plant?


Blueberry leaves turning brown can also be caused by exposure to the sun.

Plants are grown in a controlled environment in nurseries, so you should not expose them to harsh conditions right away.

For a few days, acclimate the plants to your conditions.

Set up a shade net for the plant if necessary. This keeps plants from becoming sunburned.

Blueberry Stem Blight

Stem blight is a serious disease that affects blueberry bushes. A fungus causes this illness, which penetrates the plant through wounds.

When a plant becomes diseased, the leaves wilt and turn brown. The fungus kills the plant by spreading downward to its base.

This illness is visible in June, indicating that many infections occur in the early summer. Wind and rain dispersed the fungus spores.

This disease must be controlled as soon as possible because it has the potential to harm the plant.

Spraying fungicides on the plant will have no effect.

As soon as you notice the afflicted areas, cut them off. It is better if you select disease-resistant cultivars.

Don’t injure the bushes unduly, as wounds promote infection.

Final Thoughts

Blueberries grow best in moist, well-drained, fertile soil that receives full sun to partial shade.

They prefer four to five hours of sun per day.

Giving blueberries three years to establish themselves before expecting them to produce berries is the best method to ensure that they are healthy.

As stated above, if your blueberry leaves turn brown but do not fall off the plant, you should be quite concerned.

Since this indicates that not only the foliage but also the plant itself is not healthy.

If your Blueberry plant is showing these signs, don’t despair; there is still time to preserve it!

All you must do now is identify the issue and resolve it as quickly as possible.

All these things are set to test us, but in the end, they make our gardens more dear to us!

Jenny Marie
Tribal Editor

Edited By
Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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