Rhododendrum Problem - Knowledgebase Question

Utica, Oh
Question by landmwolcott
October 19, 2009
My plant has areas where the leaves are withering up and dying for no reason. I watered it, sprayed a fungal solution, fertilized it, gave it an acid fertilizer, removed all dead leaves (which were yeallow and spotted and burned them. These leaves remained green, but have died. What should I do and what is causing this? I love this plant and want it to servive.


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Answer from NGA
October 19, 2009

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I'm sure it's frustrating to do everything right and still have your plant decline. It is nearly impossible to diagnose the problem without physically inspecting the plant. Experience with rhodies leads me to believe there is a root rot problem causing the symptoms but I can't be sure without being able to see the plant. The soil beneath a rhododendron should be well drained. If it isn?t, the plant can contract root rot and stem dieback. The stems start to die from the tips downward because they?re not receiving the nutrients they need from the roots. Another symptom is yellowing leaves. By the time you see symptoms it?s typically too late to save your plant. The best treatment is prevention by keeping the drainage exceptional. My suggestion is to take samples of the affected leaves to your local cooperative extension office for diagnosis and control. If it is possible to save your rhododendron, helpful folks there can guide you through the process. Contact Ohio State University Licking County Extension, 771 East Main Street, Suite 103
Newark, OH 43055, Phone: (740) 670-5315. Good luck with your rhodie!


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