The Q&A Archives: Rhododendron Problem

Question: I have a rhododendron that seemed to flourish the first year and then last spring bloomed acceptably but after that turned a little brown/yellow on some of the leaves. I moved<br>it in the fall and added an acidifier to the soil. It still<br>has not lostits brown/yellow areas.

Answer: Your rhododendron may have gone into shock after it was first planted and didn't show any signs for a while. When you transplanted it again, it may have set it back a little more. Depending on type, your rhodie either needs full sun or partial afternoon shade, and reasonably well-draining soil. It's good that you acidified the soil to help meet the plants need. At this point I'd just take a wait and see attitude. Make sure you apply an inch of water per week to the plant during the growing season. Rhodies retain their leaves for two or three years, so unless you pull off the discolored ones, they'll be there for a while. This spring you can safely remove the affected leaves to encourage the plant to produce more leaves. Watch the stems and branches for shriveling or other off-colors. If you find the stems drying out, you've got a root problem that will have to be investigated. Other than that, just treat your plant with TLC, don't fertilize, and watch for insects. (Plants under stress seem to be magnets for insects and diseases.)

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