rhododendrons - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Debbie Lesher
Avatar for debbee4503
Question by debbee4503
August 12, 2010
My husband and I planted three rhododendron bushes approx.5 years ago. They have all been healthy producing flowers until this month, one of the shrub's look's as if it is dying,some of the foliage is brown and the whole plant look's limp. Could it be due to this excessive heat? What can I do to ensure it's survival.

Answer from NGA
August 12, 2010
Excessive heat can make the leaves turn brown and curl in an effort to conserve moisture. Our natural reaction is to water more often, thinking the shrub is thirsty when just the opposite is true. It doesn't need more water than usual and generally cannot use the extra water, which can sit at the root zone and drive out oxygen which in turn makes the rhododendron wilt even more because the roots are suffocating. I'd just wait to see what happens. Don't water any more frequently than usual and next spring prune off anything that might have died back. Hope your rhodie recovers soon!

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