rhodendrons not growing and leaves are part brown

brenda_bMay 1, 2006

We bought two rhodendrons last year and put them in the front yard which would be southwest of the house (not neart he house though) but near a row of trees that outline a creek. they do get morning light, but not the hot afternoon sun. They were totally green last year, but now after a mild winter most of the leaves are half brown and half green, no look of new growth and no flowers. Are these plants dying, or can I save them from dying? I have fertilized them and added some garden soil. Last summer was dry here, so I tried to keep them watered. What could I do? Would it be safe to move them? and where should I move them if I could?

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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Since they are evergreen, a dry winter can also be deadly. Large leaved rhododendrons are susceptible to sunscald if the plants do not receive enough moisture before the soil freezes. The leaves curl in cold winter weather, exposing the central part of the leaf but not the edges, resulting in the area near the main vein becomes desiccated and turns brown. To prevent this, water plants thoroughly before the first hard frost, protect from drying winds, apply mulch, and locate in partial shade.

The bad looking leaves could be winter damage which would be caused by a winter that was harsher than the plant was capable of taking. Most parts of Michigan are not rhododendron country. There are hardy varieties that were developed in Minnesota and should do well in you area.

Here is a link that might be useful: See the thread

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 8:41PM
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