Rhododendrons: Rhododendron Root Rot

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by GRSJr, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. GRSJr

    GRSJr Active Member 10 Years

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    Raleigh, NC
    Here in the North Carolina piedmont, Rhododendrons die from Phytophthora root rot. Many live up to 8 years with some disfiguration, but in a recent study, ARS reports that R. x 'Caroline' Gable is totally immune to the disease. They think this is because it has a very different root structure than other Rhododendrons.

    Has anyone experimented with grafting other varieties onto 'Caroline' rootstocks? Perhaps this would provide plants that are immune but offer a wide variety of flowers and habits.

    Breeding with 'Caroline' is another approach, but I won't live that long.

    If I could find a source for 'Caroline' rooted cuttings that didn't require that I buy hubdreds, I'd like to try grafting to see if it solves the problem. Unless of course. somepne has already done it.

    All help will be greatly appreciated.

    Ray Stilwell

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