Fertilizing My Rhododendron - Knowledgebase Question

West Chester, PA
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Question by nancy_kenney
March 23, 2000
I have 2 (10 feet) large, old (at least 15 years old) Rhododrendrons in the North West Corner of my yard. They
were doing wonderfully until last year. Due to a nearby tree, I believe they did not get enough sun and the leaves started to fall off. Also I am sure the drought did not help. Anyway, the tree is trimmed back and now my Rhododrendon can get some sun. Is there anything I should be doing this year to promote growth? Should I cut back the dead stems? I am totally at a loss as to what to do. All help would be appriciated.


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Answer from NGA
March 23, 2000
If the stems are truly dead, go ahead and trim them off neatly. This year, maintain a layer of several inches of organic mulch over the root zones and water if needed to keep the soil moist yet not soggy. This spring give them some compost and/or fertilizer for acid loving plants according to the label instructions. Finally, keep an eye on them and if the foliage problem reappears, consult with your county extension (696-3500) as to the cause.

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