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  • yellow leaves

    My blueberr's leaves are yellow. I imagine the ph isn't low enough. I planted with peat moss and added sulfur last year as well as adding sulfur again this spring. What should I do?
    Don - OH Zone 5b/6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Craven's Craving, Calderona, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba

  • #2
    Don,

    The problem is the symptoms of too low a PH are exactly the same as too high of a PH. But in the short term to fix the yellow leaves get some iron Sulfate and mix it according to label directions and spray the plants with it including the leaves, top and undersides. That will get the plants to green back up while you figure out the cause.

    Far as the cause......sulfur works SLOWLY.......can take over a year to fully work. Even then if your irrigation water is high in bicarbonates it is like you are pouring lime on the plants with every watering and it will completely neutralize the sulfur. If you have just a few bushes the best bet is to save rain water in barrels and just use that to water them. If that is not an option you can acidify your irrigation water which will help greatly. The first step though is knowing what your BB soils PH is....
    Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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    • #3
      When I've tried testing it, it seems to be around 7 using a meter. :-( I picked up a tablet tester to see if that's different.

      I've only started preparing the soil with sulfur last fall so I'm guessing it hasn't had enough time to work. I'm hesitant to keep adding more for fear of going to far the opposite direction once it does start taking effect.

      There are only a few so I do try to water with rain water or tap water with vinegar.

      I'll pick up some iron sulfate. Thanks!
      Don - OH Zone 5b/6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Craven's Craving, Calderona, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba

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      • #4
        I've been using Happy Frog Acid Lovers as a top dressing, and it waters in. My blueberries seem pretty happy with it.
        USDA Zone 9b Wish list: Abruzzi, Pasquale, Filacciano, Tagliacozzo, Zingarella, Godfather. Any, including unknowns, from Abruzzo, Italy.

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        • #5
          Cool. I've actually already picked up some of that Happy frog to fertilize mine with in the future.
          Don - OH Zone 5b/6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Craven's Craving, Calderona, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba

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          • #6
            I wonder what watering with a little Star San sanitizer (dodecylbenzenesuflgonic acid and phosphoric acid) would do. Maybe get the solution to 4.5 ph. Hmm.
            Don - OH Zone 5b/6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Craven's Craving, Calderona, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba

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            • #7
              I wouldn't use Star San on plants. It's more expensive than the acids commonly used in gardens to lower pH, and it's an unknown in terms of how it would affect blueberries. I'd use vinegar before that. There are reports that commonly found pool acid (muriatic/hydrochloric) works too. Though some are concerned about the chlorine in it.
              SoCal, zone 10.
              www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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              • #8
                Yeah, you are probably right. It is an unknown and could cause issues. I just know that it's supposed to be non-toxic and I happen to have some in a bucket that I used for sanitizing and I'll eventually be tossing out. Maybe if I get some spare plants one day that I can experiment with.
                Don - OH Zone 5b/6a Wish list: Zaffiro, Craven's Craving, Calderona, Moro de Caneva, Nerucciolo d'Elba

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                • #9
                  Some say that Muriatic acid forms salt in the soil but i'm unsure of the validity of that. The thing with blueberries is if you are using tap water what works for some people may not work for you. With BB the water matters more than the soil as it is the water that will in the end dictate the soils PH. I was at a friends house last week in GA and he asked me to bring my PH meter along. I asked him what is native soil PH was and he said 7, neutral. Most of his BB bushes looked good but there was a couple that looked chlorotic with yellow leaves. Put the meter in the ground expecting to see PH 7 or 6.5 as the cause of the yellow leaves but instead what did I see? PH 3.2 staring at me from the meter. Like I said the symptoms of too low a PH are the same as too high. As it turns out his native soil PH is actually about 5. That bush just got some extra ammonium sulfate as he was spreading it dry and that is why the crashed PH. It is yet another reason not to guess and pay the $70 and get a Kelway PH meter.
                  Cutting sales have ended for the season. Plant sales will start March 1 at 8 eastern time. If it is still too cold in your area I can hold your plants till a date of your choosing.

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