Rhododendrons: winter burn on Rhododendrons

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by kenoyhouse, May 9, 2005.

  1. kenoyhouse

    kenoyhouse Member

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    Location:
    Omaha, Ne
    Apparently my rhododendrons have suffered severe winter burn from what I have read. I have been fertilizing and watering for the last several weeks and have seen no improvement. They are down to just a dozen or so leaves on various parts of the plants. Should I move them to pots or a more sheltered location and hope for the best or are they doomed?

    Thanks,
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Winter burn is dehydration, fertilizing could make this worse as fertilizer contains mineral salts. But: are you sure it isn't a severe mildew infestation? This is a common problem in my area, with the most susceptible varieties actually defoliating and dying, as did my previously robust 'Virginia Richards'.

    Always sample your soil and have it analyzed before fertilizing.
     
  3. fourd

    fourd Active Member 10 Years

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    I lived in Millard and know Omaha is cold and windy in winter and hot and dry in summer. It would have to be a hardy sort to survive there. On those -20 or lower days, water uptake is non-existant, the air has no moisture, and so any wind is deadly. No doubt, they must be protected from winter wind in Omaha for sure! The 100+ summers will take toll too! Most of what I remember was lots of clay -- clay is not good either. I think you have your work cut out for you but I don't think it is impossible, although I don't recall seeing any rhodies there. Are there?

    Assuming its windburn, damage also leaves them susessable to fungi and so severly DAMAGED leaves are usually picked off ... but in your case it doesn't sound like you'll have anything left? You can't "fix" windburn as the damage is done, but you can assist in preventing it by providing it a shelted location. New growth should already be comming out -- if it isn't then there is real concern. I haven't see the plant so I wouldn't rule out other problems... good luck!
     
  4. garden girl

    garden girl New Member

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    fourd, are you my brother? Thought I'd look on the web to find pictures of windburned rhodies to confirm that that is the problem I am having before you come over today so I could sound somewhat intelligent about the problem! Garden Girl
    PS If you are not my brother, I apologize, the description is so similar .......Omaha, Maryland, Rhodies! I'm attempting to add a photo of what I think may be windburn. The bright white spot is sunshine not actually a part of the plant.
     

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  5. fourd

    fourd Active Member 10 Years

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    Nancy, Awww, this is too ironic but yes this is you brother Al! I guess I beter watch what I post LOL. And yes I will take a look today and will bring a Rhody :) BTW I have found this to be a good forum, good people, very professional ... you'll like it here... there is also a section for into's so be sure to enter something there.
     
  6. fourd

    fourd Active Member 10 Years

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    It looks like the result of a little winter sun scald and windburn but the leaves affected are not exposed and on the lower and even internal parts of the plant. She has a wooded lot. These parts were covered with snow from her drive but I do not know snow damage that would look like this. Could road salt that ended up in the drive do this? She should not be shoveling snow onto her rhodies anyways! Good news is I see healthy new growth throughout. So at this point I think it has a fungus. She should pinch of and discard the damaged leaves as she has good new growth throughout. I don't know what else to tell her -- and other advise?
     
  7. douglas

    douglas Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi

    I have seen salt damage that looks close to what Garden Girl has.
    The salt also enhances the wind burn, and helps to suck everything out of the leaves.

    Moved a row of them last fall (from 5' to 15' away from the road and the problem was not as severe.

    To protect ours (that are along the driveway) I shovel snow off of the yard and build them a snow berm to help shelter them from the nothern winds we get here.(-25/30c winds 5to 25Klm).
    We also quit using salt on that part of the driveway and now just clear it and use Kitty Litter for traction.

    We still get some wind burn but not near as severe now the salt is out of the equation.

    Regards Doug
     

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