Rhododendrons: Transplanted!

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by TeresaS, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. TeresaS

    TeresaS Member

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    Coquitlam, Canada
    I had this rhododendron in my front yard. Obviously, it's not doing very well. The leaves are yellow & sort of droopy, a bunch of branches are dead, and some of the buds from last year didn't even bloom. This morning I moved it. I had read that they have a wide shallow root system, but this one didn't seem to have many roots at all. Here it is in it's new home after being pruned & watered with some rooting hormone. The ground there was quite rocky, so I'm hoping rhodos like drainage. Phew! that was a lot of work!
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    WA USA (Z8)
    Links not opening this century, notice your URLs start off "u2slow". Common sources of excess dead branches on rhododendrons here are powdery mildew of rhododendron and phytophthora root rot. Phytophthora might also be implicated in poorly developed root system you discovered, and/or armillaria root rot. I often find old armillaria rhizomorphs on trunks of old hardy hybrid rhododendrons here, as though a struggle had been going on for years, with neither the victor.

    Native Rhododendron macrophyllum characteristic of coarse, excessively drained soils. Preference for highly aerated substrate seems to be general in this genus. If there is plenty of sand or other coarse material between your rocks, then it will be suitable. If, on the other hand you have a concreted rocky glacial till it won't be so much to your shrubs liking.

    Rhododendrons must also have a cool root run. Especially if moved out from a shadier position some provision for keeping its roots cool will probably be needed, say rocks, fencing or other shrubs to the south of the rooting area--especially if the top is sparse or narrow. Do mulch well and water frequently, as with all transplants.

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