Author Topic: Rhodo not looking too hot :(  (Read 4049 times)

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Offline TKR99

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Rhodo not looking too hot :(
« on: September 28, 2012, 06:23:51 PM »
*This my n'th attempt to get this posted with 2 attachments - between trying to get them sized right (You can tell I don't read instructions LOL!)  to the system endlessly telling me "Sorry! There is already an attachment with the same filename as the one you tried to upload. Please rename the file and try again." when I'd not managed to get either uploaded and now don't know which one it already has, I'm about to give up, but having 1 last try to get at least 1 of the 2 images uploaded.  Will change the names to hopefully bypass the issue :).

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Hi all
Been a LONG time since I've been on here - lots of reasons, but I'm back again with another query now :).

I bought this wonderful little dwarf Rhoto (Whispering Rose) earlier in the year.  As usual, it came in a small pot so I immediately potted it on but perhaps errantly used Miracle Gro compost when doing so.  Now, at this late stage of the year, it (& a few others similarly potted plants) have decided it's spring not autumn & are pushing out growth like nobody's business.

However, as you can hopefully see from the pics (unlike the other plants) this one is struggling a bit as the leaves aren't growing out properly.  I've not seen this happen before & can't see an obvious reason for it.  There aren't any obvious bugs as such but it is rather well covered in very thin spider webs which makes me wonder is it possibly the culprit? 

Anyone any ideas?
Thanks
Romayne

NightHawk

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Re: Rhodo not looking too hot :(
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2012, 11:13:20 PM »
Hi Romayne, glad to see you've managed to get back onto the Forum again  :)

Sorry to hear about your difficulty getting your photos uploaded.  The attachment feature uses George's web server space, which he has kindly offered free of charge to our members.  If you don't have your own Domain name to load files to your own web site, then this enables our members to share their photos.  As many members use this service, there could be occasions when filenames already exist.  A coincidence, but it can and does happen.  The easiest solution is to initially use a filename that is unique to you, and less likely to be chosen by someone else.

You obviously discovered a new filename on this occasion as both of your photos have appeared here.

Having said all that, I am unable to identify your particular plant problem.  I don't suspect your spider to be the culprit though.  They don't eat plants but will eat bugs on your plants.

Hopefully, one of our members may have an answer for you soon.

Laurie.

Online ideasguy

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Re: Rhodo not looking too hot :(
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2012, 11:26:00 PM »
Hi Romayne

Welcome back!! Its very good to hear from you again.
I'm sorry you had such a tussle with your photos. Its easier to do them one photo per message sometimes, as there is a restriction with the maximum size in total of attachments.

A couple of things comes to mind on your Rhodo.
In the main, they prefer Acidic soil, but some are a little more tolerant that others.
Perhaps that one which is doing badly is not liking that Miracle Gro compost.

It may be a good idea to buy a bag of Ericaceous Compost and repot that one.
When you knock it out of the pot, check for vine weevil (you may see cavities they have created).
They love pots! In the open ground I believe they are prey for other predators. Perhaps Laurie could comment on that!

Watering and Overwatering. Tap water could also be a problem. If you can collect rain water that might help. No problem with a supply of that stuff in our good ol' Emerald Isle!
I saw a nice little meter in B&Q on Wednesday - it had dual probes and measured both Ph and Moisture in soil - and pots! Almost bought it. That should help you to water only when it needs it.

Not sure about those spider webs. I'd remove them and give the plant a hosing under the leaves and any hidey holes.

Ive sent an email to JohnB (Seattle, USA). He's a Rhodo expert.

NightHawk

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Re: Rhodo not looking too hot :(
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2012, 08:02:46 AM »
When you knock it out of the pot, check for vine weevil (you may see cavities they have created).
They love pots! In the open ground I believe they are prey for other predators. Perhaps Laurie could comment on that!
The Royal Horticultural Society web site has good info on the Vine Weevil, so it's worth checking it out.

Online ideasguy

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Re: Rhodo not looking too hot :(
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2012, 10:04:46 AM »
Thats a very informative article Laurie, thanks. Life is a bit hazardous for the Vine Weevil out of the pot!

Offline TKR99

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Re: Rhodo not looking too hot :(
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2012, 02:20:37 PM »
Thanks so much guys - appreciate the info on the pics & server space in particular - if I'd known I'd certainly have used my own server for the purpose, but will try & remember that for next time.

SO - given all the issues surrounding the compost I'm wondering now - could I repot it into the proper stuff now or should I hold fire until spring & hope it holds out until then.   I'm also intrigued by the fact that these guys are surface rooters yet cope ok in small pots where their roots are forced downwards a lot of the time perhaps?  Or do the roots still stay within the top 1/3 of the container?   Think I need to do a lot more research on growing them in pots.  I've another full size one in a fairly small pot (18 inch square) which is growing for England & flowers superbly each year, but I really wanted one that wouldn't grow quite SO big given my tiny yard space. 

The Miracle Gro was a bit of a mistake I think - my brother got it for me as he just thought it was better value at the time, & I really HAD to get the poor plant out of the really tiny container it was in at that time, so figured better than nothing.  I can see now I'd probably have been better to have just held off & got the proper compost later to do the job right.

I don't know how my poor plants cope so well with all the assaults I make on them with such choices, but by & large out of the 20 odd plants I have most are doing quite well - some too well in that MG soil!!  I'll put a post up in the Fuschia section shortly on that one too :)

Thanks guys
Romayne

Offline JohnB

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Re: Rhodo not looking too hot :(
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2012, 05:06:39 PM »
Hi Romayne,
I've not been very active on this forum in the past 12-18 months - work and life sometimes just gets in the way!  I live in the Seattle area of Washington State and grow a considerable number of rhododendrons. We're quite lucky here in that our soils are naturally quite acidic and that is something nearly all rhody's really need.

Having looked at your postings, I would suggest that you lift the rhody and replace the soil with an acidic planting medium knocking off as much of that MG material. Some of the brown spots on the leaves, particularly at the tips, is often a sign of over fertilization and that could be coming from that luscious MG.

Simply using garden soil augmented with some peatmoss is generally good enough for many Rhody's -- then a light feeding in early and mid-spring with an acidic fertilizer is just fine.

This is a good time to transplant as it will give the plant time to settle in over the autumn and winter and usually the winter rains are sufficient to keep it well watered.

Root weevels can be a annoying but generally show up as chunks being taken out of the leaves. The strangely twisted leaves are not an uncommon problem, I've certainly seen that on some of my plants and truth be told, no one really has a good answer for it. It doesn't appear to be a virus issue - some blame watering issues as the leaf buds are forming and opening, but difficult to really know.

Hope this helps.

- John

Offline TKR99

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Re: Rhodo not looking too hot :(
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2012, 06:08:14 PM »
Hi John
Thanks SO much for taking the time to respond to this Q of mine, as I'm in love with these plants so keen to not lose any through inexperience etc.  And thanks for so much invaluable info - best I've had anywhere in relation to any of my plants I think :)

Don't know where my brain was when I potted it up firstly as I know they need acidic soil, but think I just rushed to get it potted up at the time & figured anything was better than nothing.  But I'll repot at the weekend & get it into better soil for starters.  Just on that note though - am I right in presuming that even though this is a "dwarf" variety there's nothing to be gained by keeping it in too small a pot initially to try & keep it from getting too leggy?   I'm really trying hard to keep it & my other more mature "normal" one from growing too tall.   Is it better to let them grow & mature for a few years & then later on cut back the external growth while leaving the roots alone (something akin to how a bonsai would be created)?  I'm actually trying to create bonsai azalea plants but suspect I'll give up long before I see any hint of them getting to that point :(  I'm sadly rather impatient which doesn't go well with bonsai creation lol!

Think you're right on the "scrunchy" leaves as 2 wks on & the growth has pushed out a bit further into a more normal looking leaf thankfully. 

Hopefully it'll keep on growing & do well. 
Thanks again
Romayne