The Q&A Archives: Rhodie Sunburn

Question: My rhododendrons (English Roseum) seem to be doing pretty well where I planted them. They're about 4ft tall and they're in a hot, sunny location. The leaves are getting pretty sunburned. Is it anything I'm doing, like watering the leaves? Can I do anything to prevent this?

Answer: Most rhododendrons do best with filtered shade during the hottest part of the day. Your English Roseums are probably getting too much summer sunshine, and you might want to consider moving them to a less exposed area, or constructing some temporary protection to shade them from mid-afternoon sunshine. Once a leaf is sunburned, it won't recover, and the plant will look unsightly until that leaf is replaced. Keeping water off leaves, especially in the summertime, is a good idea - water droplets can act as magnifying glasses and intensify the sunlight. How about planting something near the rhodies to help shade them in the summertime?

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