Is there any hope for this shrubs?

deirdre_2007(7)June 28, 2011

Good afternoon,

I planted a Mountain Laurel and a Rhodie this Spring and they loved their new homes. They had an amazing display of flowers and were lush and growing really well. We had a lot of rain this spring so I didn't need to water them too much and then once the weather got really hot, I was watering them at least 2 or 3 times a week depending on how they looked. Well, the kids got out of school and off to vacation we went. I was gone for 12 days and my neighbor must not have seen them because they didn't get a drop of water while I was gone. The mountain laurel is planted in deeper shade so it fared better than the rhodie and I'm hopeful that is might survive, but the rhodie which gets all morning shade and then afternoon sun is looking desperate. All of the leaves have curled inwards, kinda rolled up and they are in varying stages of death. There are only about 2 branches that have leaves that don't look like they are totally dying. I've taken to watering them every day, hoping that this will revive them, but I'm wondering what else I should do to help them through this trauma.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!

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trianglegardener(7b)

The rhododendron will have a tough time w/ afternoon sun around here. Have you mulched your shrubs well? 3-4" out to the drip line will help but you may still want to consider relocating it to a more desireable site. Also make sure that when you water it is slow and deep.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 6:31PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

Like trianglegardener said..slow and deep but not quite as often as you think.
Remember, in NC rhododendruns thrive in the mountains on hillsides where the drainage is terrific and nobody waters them. They are in full sun also.
You may be inadvertently drowning the roots while the sun cooks the leaves before the plant has had time for the roots to establish.
Dig down and test about 6-8 inches down and see what the moisture level is at that depth. If you can feel any moisture, it's enough. Loosen the soil up against the root ball so it can grow new tiny roots to take up moisture.

Or, you can remove it, pot it up and put it in a cooler afternoon spot with just morning sun and baby it until you can replant in fall.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 10:31PM
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tamelask(z8a NC)

I'd worry about full sun here- it's too hot, much hotter than the mtns. JCRA has had one in the lathe/shade house for years and i have had one growing very well in mostly shade. It only gets maybe an hour of direct sun each day.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 11:05PM
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