Fertilizing My Rhododendron - Knowledgebase Question

West Chester, PA
Avatar for nancy_kenney
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.

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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