The Q&A Archives: Yellowing Leaves

Question: I recently transplanted some Rhododendrons, gave them plenty of water, but no additional nutrients. Within a couple of weeks the leaves have turned yellow. Are they dying? Should I give them iron? Will I lose them?

Answer: Rhododendrons shouldn't go through too much shock when transplanted in the fall months, so I wonder if the roots of the plant were exposed to direct sunlight for a prolonged period of time when you were transplanting. If the plant was out of the ground for a lengthy period, or if some of the roots were severed when you dug it up, it may very well be stressed to the limit. If the rhodies are getting more, or less, sunshine than in their previous homes, they may be adjusting to the change. Don't feed the plants or give them any iron, but do supply water on a regular basis (about one-inch per week per plant). Rhodies generally have a growth spurt in the spring so watch and wait until then. They may pull out of their slump and begin growing after spending a few months adjusting to the transplant.

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