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Melissa Albanese
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Hello all! I'm new to this forum. My name is Melissa and I'm just getting back into gardening. My husband bought me a raspberry plant which has been doing well (for about a month or so) until this last week. Parts of it had started wilting. I assumed it needed some water, bit now this week almost the entire plant is wilting, but there are some parts with yellow leaves and some with brown. Many leaves look darker now and some look healthy. I did add some cow  manure/ compost soil  to the top soil... Could this be killing it? The pot is plastic with holes at the bottom and that's what it's been in the whole time. Is there anything I can do to save it?
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Larry Bock
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I guess my question is , was the manure composted? I'm my experience,  raspberry bushes are pretty tough customers ,just speculation from a guy that dug up two plants years ago and planted them in the yard to wind up with raspberries every where
 
Tj Jefferson
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Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
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Hi Melissa, welcome to the forums.

While this is not a botany forum per se, you will probably get some decent ideas. Most of us are growing things in a permaculture/polyculture fashion, so a plant in a pot is not a common growth style on here. Honestly the picture of the pot is more diagnostic than the leaf to me.

First thing is that plants get transplant shock. They may have some terminal die-off and many will lose entire branches. This correlates to root health, if a root on a given side is compromised the upper plant on that side will often manifest. Bryant RedHawk is the resident mad scientist on transplant shock and if you search for multivitamin you will see how many times he has recommended use of expired multivitamins for this purpose.

Second is that the drainage in this growth system is poor. Even if you have some holes drilled in the bucket it is very hard to keep the moisture proper throughout, and you will get fungal issues which can look like this, especially in damp warm climes. It would help to know your zone/climate.

Third is that nutrient imbalance can cause this kind of distal leaf damage. You have done well to top dress with manure, but the other minerals are just as important, and nitrogen excess in relation to other things can be destructive.

Fourth is you will find, especially on here, stories of manure and hay/straw tainted with herbicide. These can be remarkably persistent, and cause vague malaise and die-back in plants.

#1 will take care of itself with tincture of time, 2 will be best corrected by growing in real soil (raspberries can be grown in containers but probably would be better served in a buried pot with the bottom mostly gone to limit spread if that is your desire), 3 would be only diagnosed with an expensive soil test for one pot(!) or you could just wing it and add rock dust and likely have about what you need, and 4 sucks to be you, that soil is toast and needs to spend time with mycelium to degrade the herbicide.

There are other possible causes, like phytopthera which is my nightmare, but those are the low hanging fruit in my opinion.  
 
Melissa Albanese
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yes it was composted. I have done some more research and it appears to be root rot it has been raining here a lot and our sprinklers go on a few times a week. I just went out and pulled the soil down and it doesn't look good. Is it possible for a plant to recover from that?
 
Larry Bock
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Melissa, I would not write them off.  Some folks consider raspberries a nuisance weed.  Me I like raspberries. Lol. Give them some time.  You most likely have raspberries where you don't want them in a few years thanks to birds and other criiters
 
James Freyr
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Location: Middle Tennessee
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I'd like to second what TJ has mentioned, and I like to think the plant is drowning. Lift it up, does it really feel exceptionally heavy for its size? Even tho they're holes in the bottom your growing medium can still become saturated with water and displace most of the microscopic air pockets in a soil. Without oxygen from the air pockets which roots and the healthy kind of microbial life we want to nurture require, plants don't do well or die outright. Try putting it in the sun as raspberries need full sun to perform well, and don't water it or let it get rained on for 4-7 days. Go lift it up again, if it feels less heavy, and the plant appears to be doing better, that may be the indicator that it was too wet. If you can stick a finger several inches into the soil and it still feels wet/damp, no water is necessary.
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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I planted some thornless blackberry divisions this spring and the leaves wilted, browned and all fell off in a week or so.  I thought they were dead but in awhile they put out new leaves and one is blooming now.  We had (and still have) rainy weather and I suspect that was the cause but really don't know for sure.  I think I would give your raspberries some time even if they loose their leaves and as others have said make sure they are draining well.  Mine were in the ground and even that stayed too wet.  

From your pictures, it looks like it is just some of the leaves affected?
 
wayne fajkus
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Looks like they are fine. I am assuming they are like blackberries. All the canes die, or get cut out. This years new growth (shoots coming out of the ground) is next years berries. Looks like you have these new shoots, and they look fine. Focus on those rather than the existng growth the plant came with.
 
wayne fajkus
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I snapped this pic. It shows last years canes and this years canes. New canes are perfect, old canes have brown edges. I meant to cut all the old canes 2 weeks ago. Will get it done this weekend.

I remove them after harvest. I keep 2 new canes, remove any more than that(per plant)  This gives bigger berries.
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andre hirsz
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Rasberry in my experience require alot of rooting area. I would get it out of the pot right away and transplant in sand, clay, compost mix. Hillsides r ideal location.
 
Nicole Alderman
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I had raspberries that looked like that growing in a container (a BAD container. It was a trashbag with some holes in the bottom, set inside a wooden planter). They looked sad like that for at least a year if not two, until we finally got our land and planted them. They "survived" in their container, but did not thrive and did not make many berries, and every year they got sadder looking. When we planted them in the ground, they took two years (first year they were eaten heavily by deer) to finally start producing, and this third year, they are finally producing in abundance.

I would definitely get those plants in the ground, or a much bigger container with good drainage, soon. But, if you can't, they probably will survive until you can.
 
Laurent Voulzy
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Nicole Alderman wrote:they took two years (first year they were eaten heavily by deer)


What changed between year 1 and 2?
 
Nicole Alderman
pollinator
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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First off, I put cages around to save them from the deer. That was all I did the first year, and they didn't really improve much. They would grow like 4 feet tall...and then the deer mowed them down. They just survived. I got like five berries, maybe. The next year, I put a good 1-4 inches of duck bedding (pine shavings and duck poop) as mulch. They LOVE that stuff! That's when they finally started taking off. Even though the dear still browse them, they rebound and thrive.

I had read on here (https://permies.com/t/3702/raspberries) where Paul Wheaton said,

paul wheaton wrote:I once read a few books about mulching and different kinds of mulch.    I remember one of the books had a huge amount of info on raspberries. 

For raspberries, apparently the best mulch is wood chips. 

And another interesting thing is that for all other plants, something else is best.  There was only one plant where woodchips was the best. 



The only woodchips I have are those covered in poo, but raspberries like nitrogen, so they seem to thrive in my duck's beddding, too. I got a truck load of tree trimmings this year, and added that to my berries as well.



If you were asking about what I did differently for the two years the raspberries were in their container, I did nothing that I recall. That was, honestly, something like 7-9 years ago. I didn't amend them, I didn't add more soil, I didn't really water them. They just kept getting smaller, sadder looking, and producing less berries every year they were in that container. They seriously only grew maybe 2 feet tall. I now have to prune those bushes to keep them at 5 foot tall, and I'm thinning them out and using the thinnings to start new patches around my property when I have time and the weather is right.
 
Laurent Voulzy
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So you outgrew the deers. This is such an inspiration.
 
Nicole Alderman
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It might help that my property is covered in natural hedges of salmonberry--which is closely related to raspberries. I've noticed that deer will seriously munch on a new patch of salmonberries/raspberries. But, after a few years, the raspberries/salmonberries seem to be able to just grow such a dense stand that the deer just can't reach into the middle. And, since the ones in the middle are doing well, they feed the outer canes, and it just gets stronger and thicker as the years go by. The deer ate about 2-3 canes deep into my original raspberry patch this year, but the patch keeps getting too wide because it's so healthy, and it's hard to pick the inside berries, so I don't mind the deer browsing it. I  also transplanted a few raspberry plants into my salmonberry hedge this spring, and the deer have gone to town on them. They aren't growing very fast, even with the duck bedding. But, they're still hanging in there. I figure next year they'll do even better, as their roots will be more established. Raspberries are pretty vigorous!

I've also noticed that my deer don't seem to munch on my blackcap raspberries. Those things have some serious thorns, and I don't think the deer care to mess with them much. I planted one under a fruit tree that they love to munch on. They ate the strawberries and the apple leaves, and the tip of the blackcap...and then they stopped eating it. It's very pokey! So, if deer are a problem for your raspberries, perhaps blackcaps would be a good variety for you to try. They also one of the highest antioxidants of any fruit (only lingonberry and indian gooseberry rate higher--blackcaps are higher than aronia and goji berries), and they taste delicious!

More info on Blackcaps: http://berryhealth.fst.oregonstate.edu/health_healing/fact_sheets/black_raspberry_facts.htm and https://www.superfoodly.com/orac-values/ (under "black raspberry") and https://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/black-raspberries.shtml
 
Laurent Voulzy
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I have transplanted boysenberries from a friend's land and the deers have not touched them!
Maybe interleaving these with more deer appetizing varieties would work? Or maybe there is another reason for them not like these such as how bitter they are.
 
Marcus Billings
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Location: South Central Indiana
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Hello Rebecca,
Raspberries hate wet feet.  Good drainage is essential.  Drill some holes in the bottom of the container.  Should come out of it, but you'll need to plant them in the ground or bring them in during the winter.
Hope this helps.
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