cunningham's whites stressed

veryzerNovember 21, 2008

I planted two cunningham's whites in the spring and they did relatively well all year. We've had a bit of a cold snap with the temp. dropping to about 15 degrees and their leaves are starting to roll. This isn't typical is it? I have about an inch of mulch around them and they are pretty well protected from the wind. I appreciate any advice.

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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

This is 100% typical. The leaves should roll when it is cold and unroll when it gets warmer. It is their way to keep from loosing water through the pores (stomata) in the back surface of the leaf.

Make sure the mulch isn't touching the trunk. If it is, it increases the chances voles will girdle the plant. Mulch should be kept back an inch or two from the trunk.

If you have a dry winter, be sure to water the rhodies if and when the soil thaws out. Cunningham's white is tough, but they have the most stress in the winter when exposed to winter sun and winter winds. The curling of the leaves is their protection from this stress.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to grow rhododendrons and azaleas.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 5:37PM
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Thanks Rhodyman. I have a bottle of Wilt-Pruf. Should I apply this as added insurance or is there a potential downside?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 6:03PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

I would wait until the ground freezes before applying Wilt-Pruf. Wilt-Pruf last about half the winter so should be reapplied half way through.

It should reduce the amount of winter burn which is a browning of the edges of some leaves.

Winter Burn

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 10:21AM
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returning to GardenWeb after a few years away. it seems harder to post a photo with a question. I've tried in Azalea forum and I've tried in Gallery. Things have changed. How to I post a photo along with a question?
Thanks. If you can direct me to the FAQ, that's great too.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 5:38PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

Hi Dean,

The photo you saw posted above your posting was posted with the following statement.

without the space between the "

I am not aware of a FAQ for gardeweb, however over many years I have created my own FAQ for Rhododendrons and Azaleas. It is at:

Henning's Rhododendrons and Azaleas


Cheers, Steve Henning, Reading, PA USA Zone 6

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 11:42AM
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