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Gooseberries fall off: Causes why the fruit turn brown and spoil before ripening.

Gooseberry bushes are one of those low-maintenance plants that should not be missing in any garden. And those who once nibbled on the fruit or made jam, will look forward to the harvest of fresh berries every year. So, of course, this year, but suddenly you realize – gooseberries fall off! This can happen not only in the immature stage, but also when you actually already want to harvest, and can have several causes. We summarize in which cases gooseberry diseases can be the reason, and when lack of care or improper care.

Gooseberries fall off unripe

Gooseberries drop when there is a nutrient deficiency and insufficient fertilizer

Depending on the cause, the fruits can change color. And this is also one of the characteristics that you should look for when determining what could be the cause of dropping. What care mistakes and diseases or pests can cause your berries to drop prematurely?

You do not fertilize enough

Gooseberries fall off when it is too dry and hot

In general, the bush should receive organic fertilizer every two years ( for example, with compost ), so that it is supplied with all the necessary nutrients to be healthy and develop many fruits (potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen, depending on the stage of development). Especially the lack of nitrogen prevents plants from being able to develop any plant parts and fruits. And even if some do develop, they may not last until harvest. The gooseberries will drop off. Also, lack of nutrients makes the plant more susceptible to disease and pests.

Alternaria and other diseases cause brown spots on the berries

What can you do?

As a preventive measure, of course, you should always supply the gooseberry bush with all the necessary nutrients in good time. To quickly compensate for an acute deficiency, you can give the berry bush a solution of bird droppings (1:20) or another fertilizer rich in nitrogen. Early morning is best for this purpose to avoid burning the roots.

Why develop brown berries

Gooseberries turn brown and fall off due to powdery mildew.

The so-called American mildew is one of the biggest enemies of the gooseberry bush and is one of the most common diseases of gooseberries. Anyone who has ever had to deal with this fungal disease will now be surprised: Powdery mildew is white, not brown! Yes, the coating is initially grayish white, but over time it can turn brown. Fruits themselves get brown spots, rot and gooseberries fall off. If you do not do anything about the disease, the plant will not be able to form new shoots.

What can you do?

Act immediately. Remove and dispose of everything that is infected, including shoot tips and also berries. The shoots should be shortened by 5 cm. Also dispose of any plant parts that have fallen off in the meantime and are lying around the plant. Any tools you use should be thoroughly disinfected afterwards.

Powdery mildew is a mold that causes the berries to spoil


Brown gooseberries due to sunburn and drought

Gooseberries turn brown when burned by the sun . The leaves of gooseberries turn yellow and fall off, but the fruit may also be affected sooner or later and turn brown. Subsequently, the gooseberries will rot on the bush and fall off. Although the bush is very weather resistant, long periods of drought with strong sunlight can harm it, and especially the berries filled with water. These, so to speak, begin to boil from the inside and spoil. This phenomenon can occur even at temperatures above 30 degrees, because in the long run the inside of the fruit heats up to a whopping 50 degrees and the gooseberries fall off unripe.

Gooseberries fall off when sunburned - put a sunshade at noon in summer

What can you do?

Even before planting, the right choice of location is essential. While sun is tremendously important for fruiting, too much of a good thing will harm the bush. However, if the plant already has its place, which turned out to be unfavorable, at least try to give him shade during the midday. If the harvest time is approaching, this can be done with the help of a parasol or something similar. Also be sure to provide the bush with adequate water .

Gooseberries fall off - problems with fruits and their causes


In addition to the aforementioned preventive measures, if the fruit is already damaged, you can dispose of it and pick off the ones that are still good right away. Almost ripe specimens may be stored in the refrigerator, where they can ripen in peace. Still green berries you can pick off (not edible), or try to save, provided that you provide sun protection.

Gooseberries drop off due to pests.

Pests such as caterpillars eat the leaves and disrupt photosynthesis

Both the gooseberry moth and the sawfly, and more specifically their hatched caterpillars, do tremendous damage to the gooseberry bush by eating leaves and other plant parts. The resulting lack of photosynthesis also prevents the berries from developing well or further, and the gooseberry fruits drop. If gooseberry has pests, they need to be controlled before they cause more damage.

What can you do?

Again, quick action is the key to success. If you have noticed an infestation, take immediate action to control it before the gooseberry fruit is affected.

Caterpillars of the sawfly prevent photosynthesis and lead to spoilage of the berries