Honeyberry problems


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Hello, brand new to this site!
I bought these honeyberry plants early summer and they're not doing too well. they went through a hot summer and I watered them pretty frequently. I'm not sure if I over watered them or underwater. It's clayish soil, a test said 4.3% organic matter, but I couldn't make pottery with it. I put composted cow manure in before I planted them and then a few months later I took out the manure and mixed it with more native soil to see if it was root burn. I haven't watered them much lately since it's not as hot and to test if I was over watering, the soil doesn't and hasn't every felt too dry or too wet. the plants still look the same as a few months ago. it this a fungus, disease, sun burn, over/underwatering, or something I don't know about? There hasn't been any new growth either! They look way worse in real life and seem to be holding on by a thread. can anyone help me please?!?
 

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They need acid soil. Manure may make it too alkaline for them. You could try a fertilizer made for acid loving plants.
 
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Hello, brand new to this site!
I bought these honeyberry plants early summer and they're not doing too well. they went through a hot summer and I watered them pretty frequently. I'm not sure if I over watered them or underwater. It's clayish soil, a test said 4.3% organic matter, but I couldn't make pottery with it. I put composted cow manure in before I planted them and then a few months later I took out the manure and mixed it with more native soil to see if it was root burn. I haven't watered them much lately since it's not as hot and to test if I was over watering, the soil doesn't and hasn't every felt too dry or too wet. the plants still look the same as a few months ago. it this a fungus, disease, sun burn, over/underwatering, or something I don't know about? There hasn't been any new growth either! They look way worse in real life and seem to be holding on by a thread. can anyone help me please?!?
I am having the same issues; especially noted that there is little new growth and the foliage seems to turn brown and eventually curls up and dries on the stem. I use a 10-10-10 fertilizer (in spring) and have mulched with wood chips. Would also be curious to know if you had any success with your honeyberry plants?
While many can offer a multitude of causes in plant challenges, most come short of giving a specific way of diagnosis of a problem.
Without clear diagnosis, attempts at "treatment" are just taking shots in the dark.
 
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Hello RService, welcome to the Forum.

The original photos show that some of those Honeyberry or Haskap (Lonicera caerulea) had both powdery mildew and sooty mold, but I don't know if that is the case with yours. If you can post your own photos that would help. Powdery mildew and sooty mold usually don't kill a shrub, but they will slow down growth, and will later affect yield. In the case of the original poster (OP), I would have recommended spraying with neem oil and removal the worst infected leaves. In the Fall, all dropped leaves should have been removed far away from the plants and a clean woodchip mulch applied around the shrubs. Actually it would be great if the OP would like to post an update about their honeyberries to tell us how they are doing now.
 
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Here are two views of the same bush.
The location may be providing too much sunlight as this location is full sun most of the day.
I did read where Honeyberries prefer some shade especially in hot an humid regions which this is; Zone 7B.
My frustration with gardening in general is diagnosis. With multiple causes producing similar symptoms, I always feel like I am engaging in a trial or error endeavor; not very satisfying.
 

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Hello RService, I am seeing the dead leaves you mention, but I'm also seeing much healthy new growth. How long have the plants been in the ground? I'm wondering if the dead leaves were just stress during establishment. If so, your problem may be behind you.

The fertilizing and mulching sound good. Repeat next year, perhaps add a second early summer fertilizer application if growth still seems sluggish.
 
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These were planted in spring of 2020. I really thought they would put on more growth.
Soil here seems comprised of clay with little topsoil.
We have utilized wood chips from tree services, to: mitigate grass and weed invasion. even out soil temperatures and moisture, and finally to encourage soil bacteria and earthworm populations. That part appears to be working.
Summers in our location seem to occur "early" with spotty and sparse rainfall.
I do occasionally water but try to refrain from overdoing it.
Thought about spraying with Pyrethrum of Bt before going into fall but not sure if this
"insurance" is required.
Appreciate your input.
 
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How big were the plants when you planted them? As the plant continues to establish its root system growth should pick up.

Next season experiment with a little more water and fertilizer, but don't overdo it.

I wouldn't apply any pesticide prophylactically, not even B.t. I'm not counting products like dormant oils, of course, but even then, only when there is an established need. Pesticides work best when they are reserved for times of last resort. Before using to a pesticide, doublecheck cultural practices to see if a change there can prevent or stop the problem.
 
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Thanks. Will take your recommendation regarding the spraying.
I know most do not advise fertilization after mid year.
However, is there something that can be applied to established plants in general, that will aid root development as opposed to stem and leaf growth?
 
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When it comes to fertilizing, you just want to make certain that you plants get enough of every nutrient. Whichever nutrient they run out of first is called the limiting nutrient. While it is true that nitrogen is utilized more heavily in green shoot tissue, it is also needed in root tissue. You can try using a low-nitrogen fertilizer to promote root development over shoot development, but ultimately the plant will balance out it's own nutrient distribution and optimal shoot-to-root ratio.

Besides plant nutrients, there are other products such as probiotic enhancers an and mycorrhizal cultures, but I don't recommend them unless there is a clearly diagnosed deficiency. Your soil most likely already has the mycorrhizae and other micro-organisms that are best adapted to current conditions. If the conditions change, the microflora and fauna will change as well, but usually they are already plenty of spores and other propagules in the environment. Human-mediated innoculation is often either ineffective or counter-productive.
 

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