Problem with Rhododendrons

giniene(5aNY)July 17, 2004

This is the second rhododendron that I think I have lost this season. I had 2, they both were fine all spring. About a month ago, the first one turned brown, started losing leaves and seemed to have died and I discarded it. Now my second one has done the same thing. Being very new to gardening, my first summer I did nothing but annuals and roses, last year I delved a little further but this is the first time I have had rhodies and I am stumped. Is this normal or have I done something wrong/had bad plants? Thanks for any info.

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We need more info! How much Sun does/did it get? They like a LOT of Sun. How often do/did you water it? When you planted it did you water it in REALLY WELL and keep it watered well? The biggest killer of newly planted trees,shrubs and other plants is not enough water.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2004 at 7:33PM
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Strange thing is that one was put in last summer, that is the one that just recently shriveled up on me, so it was pretty well established. It got sun until about 2 in the afternoon and I watered it about every other day. The other one that died first was just planted this spring and it lasted while it bloomed, then the leaves just started dying off one by one. That one was on the other side of my front yard and it got full sun all day and was also watered every other day. This is what I don't understand, any ideas? Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2004 at 7:52PM
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They like acid soil. Have you had a soil test done?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2004 at 5:35PM
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No, I haven't had that done. Truthfully, I don't know much about it, I am very new at this and am learning as I go along. I do know that my soil is very clay-like but when I planted both of them, I mixed it well with Miracle Grow potting soil. Would that help? I am assuming that my last one that died is all brown and shriveled up that it is gone and I should just pull it out? That is what I did with the first one, is there any hope? Thank you again.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2004 at 6:17PM
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cccatcrazy(Z4 NY Catskills)

Miracle Grow fertilizer and potting soil sweeten the soil and might be the problem. The best food for acid-loving rhodies and azeleas (and blueberries, too, for that matter) is pine bark mulch--or pine needles if you have a tree in the neighborhood). I use both...the pine needles don't break down as quickly as the bark and last longer as winter cover.

All the recent rain may be a problem, too, especially if they are in soil that has poor drainage. They cope with drought much better than with overwatering. The only time we water our rhodies is when it has been a week or more without rain -- and then we concentrate on watering the leaves to remove accumulated dust. In Zone 4, there is usually a little winter kill if the winter has been harsh -- and this past winter took a toll. But the plants have recovered well and the bloom this spring was adequate if not spectacular.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2004 at 10:57AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. At this point, it is too late to save them but I will print these out and keep it for next year. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 7:48PM
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