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  1. #1
    [align=left]I bought a (patio) dwarf blueberry plant from Gurneys, and have had it die on me three times just as soon as I repot it!* They have been super nice about sending me a new one each time I kill it per their guarantee, but I just cannot figure out what I am doing incorrect.*

    The first time, I tried just regular potting soil - it died almost immediately.

    Then, with some online research the second time, I found out that I needed to acidify the soil somehow.* A particular site suggested putting a nice layer of peat around the roots to help increase acidity along with some acid loving plant fertilizer.** I did so, but again, it died immediately.*

    This third time, I found a site that recommended doing 2 parts peat to every one part of regular potting soil + adding some aluminum sulfate.* I did this, tested the Ph, and it was between 5.5-6.0, which should be sufficiently acidic, yet it is just drying up and dying yet again.* Oh, and I also watered it with a neutralized pH bottled water since many sites mentioned that tap water can change the pH in the soil pretty easily.* I used the same mix for a gardenia I have, and the gardenia, although not doing great, is surviving much better than the blueberry.

    *Anyone out there had luck with growing these?* What type of a potting mix did you use/ mix up?* How did you water it? * I cannot find any potting soil for acid loving plants anywhere - even for order online - the closest I can find is african violet potting soil, and I don't know if other things in that mix would be harmful to the blueberry.

    So if anyone has grown this plant and had it work, let me know what you did so that I may try it on round 4 of Patio Blueberry.

    Thanks
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Hi Amber,

    I suspect the problem is happeing during shipping or in some manner how you are handling the plant.* Is it arriving bare root?* If so, how long do you soak it in water?* Does the packaged plant sit in sun for a long time before it's unpacked?* How do the plants look in the package?* Their shipping references aren't the best.
    http://davesgarden.com/gwd/c/184/

    Most potting soils are peat moss based and therefore on the acid side.* I was reading all that you did with the peat moss and aluminum sulbadworde and I'm thinking you are going to burn your plant.* What I've found with peat moss is that though it does retain moisture, once it dries it's difficult to rewet.* It also isn't very high in nutrients.* I have a friend who purchased several of these and used potting soil mixed with compost and her's are doing fine.

    I'm thinking that it's the quality of the plant material and not you.

    Newt

  3. #3
    I think all blueberries need the same fundamental conditions -- well drained, moist, acidic soil in full or at least 3/4 sun. Whether it's in a pot or the ground probably isn't as big an issue, unless you are in a zone that is marginal to the plant's hardiness (you'd want to keep container plants that are hardy to at least one zone colder than where you are).

    *

    I planted blueberry a couple years ago, and they have done well. The soil got amended with a mix of peat, coarse sand, and compost. The peat is a natural acidifier, and contributes to the soil's organic matter too -- better, in my opinion -- than putting straight sulphur compounds in.

    *

    If your plants are dying*quickly after planting, like a matter of a week or two, I'd guess that it has to do more with not getting enough water, than with the soil pH, which would cause a plant to fail over a*longer period of time than that. If you bought plants that*were rootbound (a mass of roots stuffed in the pot), that would be the culprit. Water just runs between the tangle of roots, and there is no soil inside to retain the moisture.

    *

    Something to look into.*

  4. #4
    [user=5]Newt[/user] wrote:
    I suspect the problem is happeing during shipping or in some manner how you are handling the plant.* Is it arriving bare root?* If so, how long do you soak it in water?* Does the packaged plant sit in sun for a long time before it's unpacked?* How do the plants look in the package?* Their shipping references aren't the best.
    http://davesgarden.com/gwd/c/184/

    Most potting soils are peat moss based and therefore on the acid side.* I was reading all that you did with the peat moss and aluminum sulbadworde and I'm thinking you are going to burn your plant.** I have a friend who purchased several of these and used potting soil mixed with compost and her's are doing fine.
    Everytime they have arrived looking very healthy in a small little plastic container.* I let them recover for a few days in indirect sunlight and with some water before subjecting them to the repotting.* They still look great when I put them into potting soil, but by the next day, they are dying - leaves wilting and falling off.* I make sure to loosen the root ball and spread it out some so that it is not restricted.

    *I think this time around, there was probably too much acid, and that I did burn the plant with too much peat and the addition of a small amount of aliminum sulfate.*

    You mentioned a friend used potting soil mixed with compost and that worked well.* Did she use a particular potting soil? (i.e. miracle grow regular potting soil) or did she mix up her own?* How much compost did she add in ratio to the poting soil?* I am thinking that might be my best bet to try next time around, though I don't have any homemade compost ready, I can surely buy some at a local store with gardening supplies.

    Thanks!

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