Can this rhodo be saved?

kailleanmMarch 26, 2007

Hi there,

We recently purchased a new-to-us house. There are several shrubs and trees that look sick, including this rhodo. I have no idea what kind it is. The owner before us wasn't much of a gardener, and the original owner planted everything too close to the house and/or garage.

Anyway, can you tell from these pics, what might be wrong with this rhodo and if I should try to save it. The one directly beside it looks pretty good.


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Forgot to mention, I am in Vancouver, BC - Zone 8

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 8:04PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Wind and cold damage is indicated when the edges of the leaves become distorted and turn brown. This occurs frequently in plants that may be in a colder climate than recommended or in a location with severe exposure. Provide protection from winter winds and winter sun. Note, boron poisoning or fertilizer burn will create the same symptoms except uniformly over the plant rather than just on areas exposed to the sun and wind.

Winter burn is normally just a temporary setback unless the winters get worse. Some people use antitranspirants in the fall and winter to protect these more tender plants or plants that are in more exposed locations.

Boron poisoning and fertilizer burn need to be addressed.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 9:01AM
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Both are a possibility. We had wicked winds in December and January, though not very cold.

And I also think the previous owners did try to "fix up" the shrubs and trees before selling. They did a horrible pruning job on a few and I suspected over-fertilization on a camellia that's also in the yard.

What can I do about fertilizer burn?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 1:16PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Water very thoroughly when you water. Let the ground almost dry out before watering again. If you are getting a bunch of light rains, then water heavily once in a while to compensate for the wimpy rains. Sprinkling sawdust on the surface of the ground will also wick out some of the nitrogen when it rots.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 1:48PM
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