Slowly dying Rhody

chuck1856(z7 - SE Mass)June 15, 2013

Hi, I planted this in the fall, along with other plants in same bed (azalea's, grasses, etc but not rhododendruns). All are doing fine except this specimen. Starting early in spring a number of branches were totally dead at ends, brown, now flower development. I figured winter damage from bad storms and cut it back. But it is still progressing further. Notice the leaves on left are droopy. I don't see spotting on leaves...just the entire leaf turns brown and wilts. No sign of bug damage. It is in part shade and gets plenty of water. Any thoughts?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The most likely cause of your problem is a dried out root ball. Pot grown rhododendrons are very prone to this - there are many examples on this forum. The light peat based medium used by the grower is very hard to rewet once it dries out. The problem is made worse if at planting the roots are not cut, raked with a cultivator or otherwise unmatted.

The best thing to do is to dig up the plant, tease out the roots - don't be afraid to really do this thoroughly - and soak in a bucket until the root mass is wet. Then replant. If you notice signs of wilting over the summer, water at the base of the plant with a slow trickle for 30 to 60 minutes. Don't soak the whole bed. That just makes it harder for the roots to move out of the original medium and into the soil around it. You may have to use the trickle technique again next year, too.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 11:50AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
How much sun can this Rhododendron tolerate
It is a Nova Zembla. It will be planted in my back...
Party Pink
Can anyone help me to find a rhododendron named Party...
floral azelea question
I just got an azelea from a grocery and it looks like...
Please help to ID those two Rhodos
I found two interesting Rhodos (one elepidote, one...
Anybody out there have luck with Rhodos in Southern Arkansas?
Looking for any feedback from Houzz readers who have...
Rusty Empire
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™