Is there such a thing as rhododendrom wilt?
I posted this on the Shurbs forum too, but this may be a better place to get a response.
My friend called me today, telling me about her rhodie that is a year old. It's a white one and it bloomed this spring. As the new growth is starting to come out, these stems with leaves are wilting. They look like limp spaghetti and as time goes on, more of these young limbs are wilting. So far the older growth is not affected, just the new growth for this year.
She took a piece of the wilted limb to the garden center where she bought the plant - a local small garden center - and they looked it over. There are no insects or insect damage, they said. Just the puzzling wilted new growth.
They are taking it back and giving her 50% off on a new rhodie as a replacement. I saw the plant myself on it's way back to the nursery. I'm stumped as I've never seen anything like this.
The plant was growing in what I'd consider perfect conditions - dappled sunlight and an hour or two of direct sunlight in the afternoon. Others growing near it are fine.
Any ideas, so that she can avoid this happening again?