Rhodies/Azaleas and Foliar Nematodes
Has anyone had problems with foliar nematodes in their rhododendrons or azaleas?
I have them in my gardens and have found them affecting hostas, brunneras, and a toad lily. This year I took drastic steps - checked all my plants carefully for nems, tossed ones that had them along with the loose soil/mulch around them, and took out/potted up almost all plants within 3-4 feet of the nem infested plants (per the Am Hosta Society advice). I then poured boiling water in those areas.
I had several smaller azaleas and rhododendrons in those adjacent areas, so they are now in pots. So far I haven't detected and nems in them. From reading the literature I know they can infect azaleas. I haven't seen any information on large leaf rhodies though.
I plan to do another round of boiling water later in the fall (early November?) so I'll probably keep the rhodies/azaleas out of the ground at least until then. I'm planning on keeping the other plants (mostly hostas) in pots for two years to make sure they haven't been infected, and hopefully to rid the soil of any remaining nematodes. I'm worried about the rhodies/azaleas though as I have never overwintered them in pots. They probably aren't hardy enough to keep outside (I'm Zone 6a). I have an unheated garage, but it is attached to the house and is warmer than outside. Last year I killed a few hydrangeas that were in the garage because of the early warm spells alternating with the cold.
I have two large leaf rhodies in pots - if they aren't susceptible to foliar nematodes, I'd like to plant them elsewhere in my garden. As far as the azaleas and lepidotes go, I'd love to hear about or see photos of nem damage. As I haven't found it, I don't know what to look for.