The Q&A Archives: PJM Rhododendron

Question: I have planted a pjm rhododendron in the same spot four times and the plant keeps dying. I plant the plant in the spring ,summer,or fall with the same effect. The plant will have new growth ,live through the winter bloom in the spring develop new growth and then about in early july the leaves begin to curl and the plant dies.I have another pjm 10 feet away that is doing just fine (it is flowering again now) . I planted another pjm in early august it developed new growth but in the last few days the leaves appear to be starting to curl .What can be wrong?

Answer: There are a number of problems that can affect rhododendrons and then be carried on in the soil. I suspect this is one of them although based on your description I can't make a specific diagnosis. Often these problems will simmer until the plant is stressed (as it would be by hot and/or dry weather or by transplanting) and then appear. If this is true, since it is in the soil subsequent plantings would also be affected. You might wish to take a sample to your County Extension for a more definite identification of the problem and suggested controls. In the meantime be sure to clean up and destroy any debris from the plant to try to reduce the chances of reinfection. Good luck with your plant!

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