The Q&A Archives: Yellowing Rhodie Leaves

Question: Can someone tell me what can be causing the yellowing and subsequent dropping of leaves on a Wilson Rhododendron?

Answer: You didn't say whether the yellowing leaves were new leaves or old leaves, so we'll go with the most obvious - broadleaved evergreen plants lose their leaves eventually. The older (2-3 year old) leaves turn yellow and fall off to make room for new, more productive leaves. So, if the older leaves are falling, it's a natural occurance. If the new leaves are yellowing and dropping off, I'd suspect the plant is responding to over or underwatering, or to a nutrient deficiency. Rhodies like acidic fast-draining soil and should be fed after blossoming with a 5-10-10 acidified fertilizer . When you water, water deeply so the entire root mass gets wet, and then let the top of the soil dry out before watering again.

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