Ask a Question forum: Rhododendron in distress

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Name: Terri Hamilton
Rockford, Illinois (Zone 5b)
Butterflies Organic Gardener Composter Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Level 1
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holity
Mar 22, 2014 11:59 AM CST
What do I do?


Thumb of 2014-03-22/holity/f0e8ef

My blog, which occasionally talks about gardening: http://holity.blogspot.com/
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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eclayne
Mar 22, 2014 12:42 PM CST

Plants Admin

This looks to me like a common occurrence when Rhodo's are exposed to drying winter winds. It's a greater problem when in a sunny situation as well. I've had large leaf Rhodo's exposed to full sun but well protected on 2 sides from the wind. They experienced this sort of burn only occasionally. I'd guess those burned areas on yours may or may not send out new leaves. I'd leave them alone and you should know in a few months.

Is the Rhody fairly small? If so you could move it to a more protected location. If you really want it to stay where it is you can spray it every autumn with an anti-dessicant.
Evan
Name: Terri Hamilton
Rockford, Illinois (Zone 5b)
Butterflies Organic Gardener Composter Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Level 1
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holity
Mar 22, 2014 12:48 PM CST
Thanks Evan! Thank You!

It's just another effect of the polar vortex, I guess. We did have record cold and high winds during some of that. It's gotten through past winters just fine. I'll just leave it alone, I think.
My blog, which occasionally talks about gardening: http://holity.blogspot.com/
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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eclayne
Mar 22, 2014 12:58 PM CST

Plants Admin

Here's hoping those branches send out new leaves. Thumbs up Thumbs up
Evan
Name: Terri Hamilton
Rockford, Illinois (Zone 5b)
Butterflies Organic Gardener Composter Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Level 1
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holity
Mar 22, 2014 1:02 PM CST
Should I trim off the dead stuff?
My blog, which occasionally talks about gardening: http://holity.blogspot.com/
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
Region: New Hampshire Vegetable Grower Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tomato Heads
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robertduval14
Mar 22, 2014 1:07 PM CST

Plants Admin

I see this all the time during the spring clean-up season (Everyone grows these up here...everyone). Very common. I find that it is often better to cut away the dead/wind burned looking areas. The plant seems have an easier time sending up all new growth rather than fighting to keep those sections going. It's hard to kill a rhoddy without uprooting them...but those burned up areas I've seen persist year after year sometimes and then when they do get cut away it leaves a big gap in the overall shape of the shrub that takes a lot longer to fill back in again.


Something you can look for...is there any buds forming at the tops of the burned out sections? They should at this time of year if they are going to send out leaves or flowers. If not, definitely cut those sections out now, as they are probably too far gone to save. If so, give it some time and see what it does when it gets a bit warmer.
Name: Terri Hamilton
Rockford, Illinois (Zone 5b)
Butterflies Organic Gardener Composter Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Level 1
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holity
Mar 22, 2014 1:14 PM CST
Aha, thanks!

Even though I grew up in Seattle (Rhody is the state flower of WA), , I've never had my own before. Rolling my eyes.
My blog, which occasionally talks about gardening: http://holity.blogspot.com/
Name: Terri Hamilton
Rockford, Illinois (Zone 5b)
Butterflies Organic Gardener Composter Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Level 1
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holity
Mar 22, 2014 1:47 PM CST
Went out & glanced at it... some of the burned branches have buds, some don't. So I'll have to be judicious.
My blog, which occasionally talks about gardening: http://holity.blogspot.com/
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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eclayne
Mar 22, 2014 2:05 PM CST

Plants Admin

A nice Rhody that handles sun and wind even better are the PJM's. They were developed at Weston Nurseries and are smaller leaved and more compact overall. Many varieties turn a nice green bronze overwinter...although I've heard some say they look brown, as in dead. I like them and like Rob said,
robertduval14 said:(Everyone grows these up here...everyone).

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFind...

I have to say I'm surprised to read MOBOT's statements about them being so sensitive to sun. This is a gas station shrub around here.
Evan

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