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What's wrong with this rhododendron?

EricsGardenEricsGarden Posts: 101
This was planted in the ground a couple of months ago and seemed to be doing well for a while. Now it doesn't look to happy at the moment.


Posts

  • FlyDragonFlyDragon Greater ManchesterPosts: 500
    Is your soil acidic?
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,171
    That's a rhododendron saying it is not happy.

    It is a bit of a list, but consider in the order given as 'most likely' causes, what you are seeing is a reaction to stress by the plant. Causes to consider:

    Root damage/transplantation shock

    Poor drainage (Rhododendrons like good drainage)

    Planted too deep (root ball should be at or just under the surface)

    Starved (best to ensure they have fertliser to establish)

    Not enough water, they often suffer and find it hard to establish themselves in an already well planted border where there is competition for water


    Soil is too alkaline, it won't like PH much above 6

    Soil too acidic, not all rhododendrons love acid soils, some grow very well in chalky soils!


  • EricsGardenEricsGarden Posts: 101
    FlyDragon said:
    Is your soil acidic?
    I honestly don't know. It's my mothers garden and in the same soil she has roses, hydrangea and rose of sharon growing well for decades. Maybe we should do a soil test.
  • FlyDragonFlyDragon Greater ManchesterPosts: 500
    edited 30 June
    FlyDragon said:
    Is your soil acidic?
    I honestly don't know. It's my mothers garden and in the same soil she has roses, hydrangea and rose of sharon growing well for decades. Maybe we should do a soil test.
    What colour are the flowers on the hydrangea?  That's a quick and easy pH test.  If they're pink, the soil is neutral or alkaline, if they're blue, its acidic.  
  • EricsGardenEricsGarden Posts: 101
    GemmaJF said:
    That's a rhododendron saying it is not happy.

    It is a bit of a list, but consider in the order given as 'most likely' causes, what you are seeing is a reaction to stress by the plant. Causes to consider:

    Root damage/transplantation shock

    Poor drainage (Rhododendrons like good drainage)

    Planted too deep (root ball should be at or just under the surface)

    Starved (best to ensure they have fertliser to establish)

    Not enough water, they often suffer and find it hard to establish themselves in an already well planted border where there is competition for water


    Soil is too alkaline, it won't like PH much above 6

    Soil too acidic, not all rhododendrons love acid soils, some grow very well in chalky soils!


    Thanks lots to think about there. 
  • EricsGardenEricsGarden Posts: 101
    FlyDragon said:
    FlyDragon said:
    Is your soil acidic?
    I honestly don't know. It's my mothers garden and in the same soil she has roses, hydrangea and rose of sharon growing well for decades. Maybe we should do a soil test.
    What colour are the flowers on the hydrangea?  That's a quick and easy pH test.  If they're pink, the soil is neutral or alkaline, if they're blue, its acidic.  
    I'll check with my mum tomorrow, but I think they're pink.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 31,008
    The most likely reasons are that it's been crowded from other planting around it. That can prevent light getting in , causing the browning and stems dying back.  Or it's in too sunny a site and is dehydrated, and it can be a combination of both, as a lot of planting in one area could be causing the soil to be too dry for it. Hot sun and dry soil are the main reasons for rhodos not thriving as they should.
    Or basic damage from tools or animals etc.
    If you can get some photos of a wider area, that will help. In most cases, the reasons are fairly straightforward to deal with, so don't worry unnecessarily. I think it's been scorched :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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