The Q&A Archives: Rhododendron Leaf Problem

Question: What causes rhododendron leaves to become orange and dotted with brown spots, and what should be done?

Answer: Like all evergreens, rhododendrons eventually lose their leaves. If the leaves in question are 2-3 years old, it's a natural occurance. If only the new growth is affected, it could be frost injury that happened just as the leaf buds were opening, or just after the leaves unfurled. If this is the case, cut off the injured leaves and stem. If some of the green leaves have brown spots as well as those that have already turned orange, you might be dealing with a disease. For positive identification, take a sample to your local Cooperative Extension office: 700 E Parker Rd., Rm 105, Morganton, 28655. Phone (704) 439-4460.

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