Rhodies have a terrible fungus

lairdwdJune 1, 2011

So my rhodies are really bad. I have two 8 footers that are badly diseased with some sort of blight like fungus. They need some help.

I just dead-headed them, so they are fairly cleaned up at this point, and this is an opportune time for a first fungal treatment to try and save them.

I was thinking of using a peppermint oil based spray, perhaps mixed with some fresh raw garlic juice. (both natural anti-fungal). Any thoughts on this, or do I need to go more commercial full strength?

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

First, we need to identify the problem - what exactly is the blight or fungus you suspect they have.

A photo would help, or a complete description of what you are seeing, when it appeared, what parts of the plant are affected.

Peppermint oil and garlic sounds more like a spray for pests, not disease. I wouldn't spray anything until you know what you are treating, either homemade or commercial product.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 12:45PM
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I see that now about peppermint and garlic. I already have both of them. Neem oil, or one of the biocides I would have to go buy.

I will get some pictures up later tonight. Thanks for your reply. I have spent hours trying to identify the fungus that has attacked my poor rhodies, and haven't come up with anything yet. I am sure it's a fungus though, as I've had tomatoe plants with the blight and it has the same characteristics.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 1:18PM
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Please help! Please tell me what this evil fungus is? I have searched hours and seen probably 25 different funguses on the rhodies, and none matched this one (to me anyway). I have provided a link to the URL to see them on the web. I uploaded them at 1 MP, so if you are on a dialup, looking at the full picture could be slow.

I'm trying to save them and just spent 3 hours dead heading them just in time for the new vegitation to come in (and a treatement). Thanks so much. You guys are the best!

Here is a link that might be useful: my poor darlings

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 6:43PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Well, calm down. It's not a fungus. Instead environmental stress. Ran short of water somewhere along the line.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 8:13PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

I agree with Jean, that's not a disease, and it wasn't caused by snow pack around them either (too moist as you'd thought in your other post). Most likely drought, possibly insufficient water before ground froze in winter - the narrow margin of browning along leaf edges could even be additional salts injury (fertilizer).

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 9:30PM
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Thank you. The rhodies are saved!! They had a really bad snow pack, so that's the source of the stress. One of the reasons I thought it was fungus is because two of my neighbors rhodies have the exact same problem and symptoms (rhodies about 100 ft. apart).

Well, I've done about all I can do then. Just a little bit more dead headding and clear the runway for the new growth to come in.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 7:06AM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

There is some fungus but it is feeding on the brown portion of the leaf, not causing the brown portion. When the edge of the leaf turns brown it is a desiccation problem or salt problem like Morz8 says. Desiccation problems can be caused by wind, sun, frozen roots, drought, etc.

The bunches of brown leaves are symptoms of a dead twig. This can caused by drought or borers.

You shouldn't be removing the damaged leaves. They are still very functional to the plant and pose no threat to the plant or other leaves. They are just ugly is the only problem. When the new leaves come out, they will cover the ugly leaves and the ugly leaves will eventually fall off.

Deadheading is the removal of spent flowers or seed pods, not leaves.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 11:21PM
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