Forum home Problem solving


I inherited a Rhododendron,that was still in its original plastic pot.It looked starved of everything,so planted it in the ground a few weeks ago.However although it has developed flower buds the leaves have brown spots,which I nick off every so often.

I have put a cup of vinegar in a gallon of water around the base,also I'm putting coffee grounds around it too,to help with acidity. Does anyone know what causes the brown spots? Also the leaves are flattening backwards,like an angry cats ears!

The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    Some Rhododendrons have small specs on the leaves, they are usually stressed from the environment, and usually it's a sign that the plant is not happy, but coping.

    Not heard about vinegar, but water with rain water collected is the best thing. If your soil is not acidic, you will need work towards making it right. Start by putting down well rotted manure and laying thick layers bark chip or broken down bracken. If this is too much trouble, keep it in the pot with new ericaceous compost. 

    Leaves folding back can mean it's suffering a bit from the cold, and seen more in younger shrubs, but they soon recover.

  • Thank you Borderline,it's looking happier in the ground,so I will do as you say,with lots of thick mulch,manure sounds good,that's possibly the answer. I googled how to make the soil more acid,and vinegar was one suggestion.

    I would rather nurse it back to health,as I noted the price of some in the garden centre............pretty expensive at 17 quid!

    Thank you once again,much appreciated.?

    The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.
Sign In or Register to comment.