Rhododendrons: Rhodo leaves are sad

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by Mister Green, May 26, 2009.

  1. Mister Green

    Mister Green Active Member

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    The leaves on my rhodo are all drooping down like something has made them very sad. This is not their normal way as other years they have been willing to stretch out into the air and be proud. Not sure what has happened to my rhodo. Also, the lower leaves have been turning reddish yellowish spottyish dryish and falling offish. Is this a sign of the source of their unhappiness?
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The first problem is lack of water to the top, likely due either to drying of the soil or rotting of the roots. The second problem sounds like powdery mildew.

    Rhododendrons and other heath family shrubs are prone to destruction of the roots by water molds.
     
  3. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Possibly even weevils girdling the stem at ground level or voles eating the roots over winter. Maybe worth lifting the plant, if possible, and having a look.
     
  4. Dunc

    Dunc Active Member

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    Did you lime your lawn this year as most of us do. The rhodos are acid loving shrubs and the lime negates the acid, causing the leaves to turn yellow and overall looking poorly. Keep the lime away, water it out and add a Rhodo fertilizer. Perhaps thats the answer.
     
  5. Mister Green

    Mister Green Active Member

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    I forgot to mention a very important point. The rhodo is in a container. I did top dress with some mushroom manure earlier in the spring. Do the leaves turning color and dying sound like a possible burn from the manure? I've done this in past years with no similar problems. I plan to repot into a larger container after the flowers are done. Right now the plant is outgrowing its pot.
     
  6. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Maybe lime in the manure or it wasn't composted well enough, did you keep it away from the trunk ?
     
  7. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  8. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    Was it in a container outside over the winter? Could be freeze damage on the roots, given the harsh winter we had.
     
  9. Mister Green

    Mister Green Active Member

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    Wow! All great suggestions from everyone. I think they're all possibilities for what's going on with my rhodo. I will repot in a few weeks and see what happens. Root damage due to whatever sounds like a place to start looking at. I'll be able to see the roots when I take the plant out of the old pot. Thanks.
     
  10. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Likely best to remove any flowers to conserve the plants energy and water requirements.
     
  11. Mister Green

    Mister Green Active Member

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    The plant is still in the budding stage. I was hoping it would flower before I repotted but I'm not sure if it will survive until then. The leaves are getting droopier and droopier. I've been watering it regularly since it's been hot and dry for the past two weeks. But perhaps I should repot now. If I look at the roots for damage, what does root rot look like and do you think I should trim the roots or ???
     
  12. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Seems like the sooner you lift it and repot, as Liz mentioned, the better the chance of saving it. A photo may help. You could snap off the flower buds and even the expanding new leaves or buds, if there are more dormant buds at the base. This might give it some time to recover if it's possible. Expect your keeping it shaded and the roots moist , but not wet. It will absorb some water sooner from the foliage if the roots aren't supplying it well enough. Wouldn't fertilize it for now ,though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
  13. Mister Green

    Mister Green Active Member

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    Thanks for all your help everyone. I repotted the plant today. I'm hoping this will help it recover.
     

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