The Q&A Archives: Wilting Rhodedendrum

Question: i am a novice gardener. a couple months ago, i planted 2 rhodedendrums. they are each about 2 feet in size. they are planted about 6 feet apart, and they experience the same amounts of sun/shade/water, etc. they are in the shade most of the day, with a few hours of full sun in the afternoon. immediately after planting, they both really started to look great with lots of new growth. however, about 2 weeks ago, one started to look bad with leaves hanging down and falling off. the other rhodedendrum is still looking really great. since there are no signs of insect problems, i have been advised that it sounds like insufficient water, but why would one plant look bad and the other look great? i've increased the amount of water but it doesn't seem to be helping. the only other action i've taken is applying scott's plant food for rhodedndrums. any other suggestions?

Answer: Unfortunately, there are several diseases and foliar problems that can affect rhododendrons. Transplant stress can sometimes contribute to their occurrence. Another possible explanation is that the wilting plant is simply not rooting as well as the healthier plant. You might want to take a leaf sample to your county extension (391-9840) and/or to the place where you bought your plant for some consultation as to the cause of the problem and suggested steps to take.

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