The Q&A Archives: rhododendron care

Question: I bought a plant this spring that looked very pretty that turned out to be a rhododendron. I know very little about this plant. I live in an apartment so I grow my plants in containers, this plant is still in the large pot and the soil it came in I water the plant as the soil seems to be drying out and keep the plant in partial sun/partial shade. The leaves are drooping and drying out. I have tried changing the exposure but it has't changed anything. I have tried changing the frequency of watering as well, again to no avail. Is it normal for a rhododendron to do this about this time of year or is my plant dying? If it is dying is there anything I can do to save it or should I just kiss it goodbye?

Answer: Unfortunately it is very difficult to maintain a rhododendron as a container plant under home conditions. They are very sensitive to drying soil or overly wet soil, as well as to build up of salts in the container. Also, you would need to figure out a way to overwinter it where it could undergo a chilling period -- but without freezing. Based on my experience, I would suggest you let it go. I'm sorry I can't be more encouraging.

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