Rhododendron issues: holes in leaves and browning

bgastApril 5, 2010

Hi Friends,

I did some research on the forum, but couldn't find anyone else that described this specific problem.

We have several very large, mature, beautiful Rhododendrons. Yesterday, I noticed that on 2 of them, something has been eating the leaves in several parts of the plant. There are also some brown, dry parts to some of the leaves. Here is a link to a few images: Rhododendron

We bought the house last year, so I don't know the variety or if this is a re-occurring issue. They look healthy otherwise (they are magnificent!) But I do want to make sure I take any necessary precautions should this be a big problem and spread to the other plants.

Thanks for any advice! I love this website.


Here is a link that might be useful: images of our problems

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

It could be weevils (adults or larvae). They love rhododendron leaves and are nocturnal pests so check the top/bottom of leaves at night.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fact Sheet On Black Vine Weevil by CAS/PS

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 9:41PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Weevils usually cause notching in the edges of the leaves. This looks large for that. It is probably caterpillar damage from last year.

The browning edges are a completely different problem(s). 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.

It is not sunburn or sun scald since that hits the central vein of the leaf rather than the edge.

Here is a link that might be useful: Diagnosing problems in rhododendrons and azalea.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 10:38AM
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