Rhododendrons: Rhodo won't bloom (second year in a row)

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by Honeydo, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. Honeydo

    Honeydo Member

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    Cloverdale, BC
    Hi Everyone,

    Okay here is my second problem in my garden - my rhodo! Before I had this bush placed in the north/east corner of my house in the shade. It bloomed. Then I move it to the south/east/sun corner and now it won't bloom, hardly grows and something is eating it.

    How can I get this rhodo back to it is old self again? I have tired to baby it by giving it food but still no blooms for me :( Each year it doesn't bloom I feel like ripping it out.
    I also used Tanglefoot around the base to catch bugs but still nothing....



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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    WA USA (Z8)
    The flower buds are set on strong shoots. Looks like it may have some bloom coming - you can see where there were small shoots produced after a flowering which have since been succeeded by bigger ones, as is the normal way. Deadheading of floriferous, large-flowered hybrid rhododendrons is advocated so that energy is not spent on producing seed capsules that might instead be spent on building up to a subsequent generous flowering.

    Yellowishness of leaves probably indicates new site is too hot. When moving a rhododendron or other evergreen plant from shade to sun damage to leaves produced in previous site can result. With rhododendrons in particular a cool soil is required, shaded plants moved into sun may have problems with roots getting hot. Extra watering does not resolve this because it may create the hot and wet situation favorable to root-rotting water molds - the root zone must be shaded by other shrubs planted close by or perhaps strategically placed rocks.

    The chewing looks like weevil damage. Adults staddle the leaf edges of favored plants and chew their way in. The larvae live in the ground and gnaw the roots and crown. Proximity to overhanging conifer branches or building overhangs seems to bring on conspicuous damage that may not occur in other planting sites - I have actually moved a tattered specimen out from under a tree and had subsequent growth not noticeably affected. It is as if the shelter provided by the overhead obstruction greatly encourages the insects.

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