The Q&A Archives: Rhododendron death

Question: I have a huge rhododendron that just died, dryed up and died. what could have happened?

Answer: If the leaves showed no spotting or distress and the plant died suddenly I suspect root rot. Fine roots become infected first and turn brown. Infection may advance into all parts of the root system, spreading toward the crown of the plant. There it can girdle the plant and move into the stem. Infected tissues in the stem turn dark brown. Large plants may show aboveground symptoms of mild leaf yellowing, branch dieback, and/or stunted growth. A plant may survive with only a few uninfected roots, until the plant is stressed, such as through winter chill. It is then overcome by the pathogen and killed. Cut into the branches and main stems of the plant. Sorry about your plant!

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