Just planted/blooms all fell off?

Lorri_DK(7b/8a)March 28, 2013

I have never grown a rhododendron before. I bought some beautifully, lush plants in full bloom. Three days after they were planted the blooms all fell off and the growing tips are dieing. Just transplant stress??? They are watered and in well drained soil. I can't figure it out. Thank you so much!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
akamainegrower

It's nearly impossible to diagnose problems without more information: weather conditions, rhododendron variety, wind, time between planting and the symptoms, reasons you believe "growth tips" are dying, etc., etc.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 5:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

The scenario is not unusual. In a nursery the plants are usually planted in a soil mix that can be watered every day without being too wet and causing root rot. This means it is a mix that dries out rather quickly. When people buy them the watering regimen changes and sometimes the root ball dries out. If this happens, it is very hard to get the root ball wet again. It becomes virtually waterproof. You can water all you want and the root ball just sheds the water. The best fix is to dig it up and soak the root ball in water. If in fact the root ball is light, hence dry, then soak it for a couple hours and replant it. Mulch it good and water whenever it looks like it is starting to get dry. Young plants may need protection from direct sun and wind for a while, especially if they are coming out of a greenhouse.

They need excellent drainage but they also need to be kept moist. This isn't trivial.

A second very common problem that doesn't show itself as quickly is that the root ball must be opened up on container grown plants. Rarefind Nursery has a good description on a good way to do this. The important phrase is "Don't Be Timid". They have an illustration of how to make a deep x cut in the bottom of the root ball and then spread the roots out over a mound of soil in the planting hole. See link below.

Other possibilities are:

The plants may have been left in a car where it got hot and cooked them.

The plants may have gotten frost bitten.

Herbicide sprays.

Road salt.

etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: How To Plant (Rarefind Nursery)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 10:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Lorri_DK(7b/8a)

rhodyman, Thank you for the link. I tried roughing up the outstide, but it was hard to get anything loose. I would have never tried doing those deep cuts if I had not seen the link you provided. I think I will pull them up and follow those directions. Thank you so much for the help.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 8:56PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Anybody out there have luck with Rhodos in Southern Arkansas?
Looking for any feedback from Houzz readers who have...
Rusty Empire
Can anyone identify?
Hi these are two azaleas that we have had here since...
hello459
Attractive grouping of companion plants for deciduous azalea
Hello! I've lived in my house a year and now I'm planning...
nonconformist_nymphette
Azaleas dying
Hello. We are having a problem with some newly planted...
westminstress
Please help to ID those two Rhodos
I found two interesting Rhodos (one elepidote, one...
rockimea
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™