The Q&A Archives: Rhododendron Yellowing

Question: Two summers ago I received a White blooming Rhododendron for my birthday in June. I planted it and and then purchased another yellow blooming one for the other side of the bed. I am having much luck with the yellow one but the white's leaves keep turning yellow and I only got 1 bloom on it last year. I see no new blooms on it this year and throughout last summer I was religious about Miracle Grow with acid treatments even through the drought. I do not want to loose this shrub but have run out of ideas.

Answer: Since you are treating them the same way and only one is having problems I would suspect either a soil or a root problem. You might want to check the soil and test it to make sure it is adequately acid at that end of the planting area. You might also examine other environmental factors that could account for the difference such as a change in wind pattern or competing tree roots or extra winter sun in that location. You might also take a leaf sample to your county extension (345-3283) to see if there is another possible soil-based problem apart from acidity or possibly a disease or insect at work. Finally, sometimes a plant simply fails to root, or the roots do not extend beyond the initial potting soil mix. If all else fails, dig it up gently and see if the roots need to be untangled and spread out into the surrounding soil.

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