Problem with my Rhododendron - Knowledgebase Question

Burlingame CA
Question by Cdicarlo
September 9, 2017
My Rhododendron is looking pretty bad lately. Brown spots on leaves, wilted leaves, etc. The flowers bloomed earlier this year but died and turned brown really quickly. Anyone have any suggestions on how I should treat the plant?

I've attached a couple photos. Thanks!

Thumb of 2017-09-09/Cdicarlo/49aa9d

Thumb of 2017-09-09/Cdicarlo/ac25c4

Name: Trish
North Yorkshire
Answer from Yorkshirelass
September 10, 2017


It could be suffering from drought. Has it been through a dry summer? Lack of moisture one year may result in fewer or poor flowers the following year as the plant needs water to help form buds .Rhododendrons can also show the symptoms as you described if they have been exposed to wind too.
Remove any damaged parts of the plant and clear up debris underneath it.
Is your soil acidic? Rhodos need a low PH to survive, and prefer rain water to tap water if possible.
A Spring feed next year with a fertiliser specifically for acid-loving plants should help.

Good luck

Name: Susan
Grandrivers, ky
A comment from skbrill61
December 25, 2017
Mine looks like that, would it be beneficial to cut it back? Mine doesn't get a lot of sun

Answer from patsyann
June 10, 2018


My rhododendron was looking very much like yours. Mine is more than twenty five years old. I took the advice of an experienced gardener last year and cut it back to about 3 feet from the ground. I know it sounds drastic, but this spring it has lots of new growth and looks very healthy. It will not flower this year but will eventually.

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