I think my 20 year Rhododendron is dying HELP

hosta_fiend(5)July 20, 2011

Please help, I have a 20 plus year Rhododendron that in the last two years is very sickly. Leaves were curling up and turning brown and falling off like rain. We had buds and flowers this year but much less that last year which was less that the year before.

Lots of dead wood and i'm afraid to cut them off for fear that some sickness will enter the plant through the open wound. This plant has always been a big producer of flowers and leaves now it's looking like a skeleton.

I used copper powder last year on advice from a friend but didn't see any change. I can e-mail pictures to you

Thank you Barry

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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

You haven't given much to work on. The two big killers of rhododendrons are wet and dry. Too wet causes root rot. Too dry causes die-back. Other possibilities are weed killer on the lawn, lime on the lawn, the loss of a shade tree, or being improperly planted 20-years ago.

That is probably the most likely. If the roots weren't opened up before it was planted they may be strangling themselves now. You would have to dig it up to detect this. If that was it, you could cut away the offending circling roots. It would be a real challenge to the plant, but it has a possibility of recovering if it isn't too far gone.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 11:30PM
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Did it just go above the level of your roof and lose shade? Where I live you can see the clear difference from after a rhotodendron passes up through its nice hot shade into the sweltering ultra-transpiring heat in the sun.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 1:44AM
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