The Q&A Archives: Rhodedendrons Blahs

Question: I have three rhodedendrons planted together for a full effect. On one of the plants the outer tips of the leaves are a rusty brown color, along with a dried out feel covering 1/3 of the leaf with a edge of olive green towards the stem.Branches are weathered,brown and dried they snap off.Is this a fungus or a diease.The other two seem to be okay.Sprinkler head faces this shurb directly.

Answer: It is possibly a disease or fungal problem although it could also simply be a case of winter damage. For a specific diagnosis and suggested remedies based on the actual identification of the cause, you might want to consult with your local county extension (566-0673). In general it is a good idea to avoid watering the foliage as this results in increased evaporation of the irrigation water as well as inviting foliar problems to develop. When using a sprinkler it is also possible for the water to hit the foliage and then be shed outside the area of the roots, thus resulting in a lack of water in the root zone. This in turn could contribute to winter damage due to drought stress. Hence my hesitation in making a diagnosis long distance.

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