Author Topic: Rhododendron care  (Read 3956 times)

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Rhododendron care
« on: May 11, 2011, 02:58:10 PM »
We've got a rhododendron in a corner of our back garden which looks a bit sorry for itself.

It stands about 8 feet tall.  It has some buds which have flowered and some buds which are brown and dead, at the moment, but it generally looks to be in a bad state of health.

As it was here when we moved in we're not sure what species it is, or what care (if any) it has received.  But we were wondering if there's some general rhododendron care that is needed; i.e. pruning, feeding.

If it's gone beyond help then we'll have to dig it up and replace with something else.

Any help appreciated guys.


Offline Palustris

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Re: Rhododendron care
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2011, 04:40:49 PM »
Unless you are different from the rest of us then the most likely problem with it is drought. They really do like a reasonable amount of water. Also the winter has seen off a fair number of plants here, including a couple of dwarf rhododendrons.
They can be pruned quite hard. We watched them using chain saws on the ones at Bodnant Gardens a couple of years back.
Give it a good hard pruning and pour water on it (rain water). Feed with an Ericaceous feed and see what happens.


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Re: Rhododendron care
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2011, 05:46:16 PM »
Thanks for that Eric.

We'll try your suggestions and report back our findings in due course.


Offline JohnB

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Re: Rhododendron care
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2011, 01:11:18 AM »
Hi Laurie,
How did things work out for the Rhody?  I agree with Eric that sometimes what's best is to cut them back hard -- then make sure they get a reasonable supply of water through any dry periods.  A very light top dressing with 50/50 mix of compost and cow manure can also help give it the feeding it needs to regenerate.

The other way to sometimes revive a flagging Rhody is to transplant it!  As long as you get as much of the root mat (can't call it a ball) as you can and again give supplemental water once transplanted, the transplanting seems to shock them into survival mode and quite often can trigger good healthy growth of the roots and top.  Generally, this is best to do in early fall/autumn so that they benefit from the cooler temperatures and good moisture.

- John


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Re: Rhododendron care
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2011, 07:37:14 PM »
Thanks for all that advice for the Rhody John.

After that last posting and reply from Eric, we gave it a good watering and it seemed to respond well.  Lots of new buds opened and flowered nicely, so it appears that lack of water could have been the culprit.

Anyway, we'll keep an eye on it and if it shows any more signs of looking sorry for itself, we'll take your advice for further treatment.

As a side-note regarding Eric (Palustris), you may or may not be aware that he has recently left the Forum.  I don't exactly know the full reasoning behind it but it appears that he no longer had any Internet access and had to go offline.  Permanently... ?  I know not  :(  It's a sad loss to the Forum as he was a very active and knowledgeable member, and was a great asset.