If your azalea or rhododendron's roots are matted or circling like this shrub's roots, fray them out before planting. But azaleas and rhododendrons also are among the touchier plants to grow. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. In which case, you may want to cut some of them back to allow good air circulation. 0000008454 00000 n Azaleas and rhododendrons despise poorly drained clay and the compacted “builder’s soil” left behind by so many home constructions. If the branches are shriveled and brittle, it may not come back. So if your Rhododendrons are too large, instead of thinking you have to chop them down, consider limbing them up! This year the leaves gradually turned brown. However, if your Rhododendrons have lichens growing on them, it usually means they are thinning because of poor growing conditions, disease or old age. According to the Clemson University Cooperative Extension, this is caused by another kind of fungus that gets under the bark. Doing this will improve air circulation in and around the plant. The third year, start refining the appearance by taking a few more side branches off, or even removing a main stem that looks awkward. Or has the soil built up over the roots (or anything else on top of the roots that wasn’t there before)? Too much fertilizer applied after the plant has finished blooming is another culprit of fewer blooms. 0000001902 00000 n The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. I’m worried the plant is feeding too much energy into the new shoots. Many gardeners think azaleas and rhododendrons prefer to grow in deep shade. When speaking to a live audience, or hosting GardenLine on WXTK, I frequently get into conversations that go like this: Caller: “I’m wondering if I can prune my rhododendrons now…they’ve gotten out of control.”, Caller: “Yes! Maybe less. I am in Shelton CT. Any suggestions??? All rights reserved (About Us). my rhodo is some years old and I live in N.ireland .I have noticed a lot of the leaves and some of the branches have turned black and buds are not prospering. The soil isn’t acidic enough. 0000003256 00000 n To decide if this approach is good for your shrubs, view the plants from several sides, parting the foliage so you can view the trunks and imagine how they would look if exposed. I am worried the plant, being old, will eventually die off of old age. The leaves look okay on all of them, but they don’t have the fullness I’ve seen on other bushes in the neighborhood. 0000002944 00000 n The roots are very thick but don’t appear dead. According to the American Rhododendron Society, if the plant has older leaves that have turned yellow between green veins, you likely have a Magnesium deficiency. Most people think their rhody is too big, but really it's just too oppressive and/or crowded. 1) Prune it. This is also why the hole should be dug only as deep as the rootball – so there’s no chance of loosened soil settling and causing the planted rootball to sink. It started after they blossomed about 5 weeks ago. They are small, the leaves look kind of wilted and yellowish. The flowers have been “okay” on three of the bushes, although not full, and the 4th one is not growing and is scrawny with few buds each year! Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. Again, there are a number of reasons why you don’t have any buds on your Rhododendrons. But all of that is another story. It has five or six very green, strong shoots emerging from the base and heading straight up in to the middle of the existing plant. Bumblebees and swallowtail butterflies love rhododendron blossoms! Hi there My rhododendron is over 30 years old. Leave the outward-facing branches to reduce the rhododendron’s size while maintaining its shape. Hopefully you’ll get a new set of leaves growing after the flowers are finished. Winterthur Gardens in Delaware actually did the kind of drastic cutback you're considering to a grove of old, leggy rhodies several years ago. Avoid using aluminum sulfate that’s in some soil acidifiers because ARS says excess aluminum is toxic to azaleas and rhododendrons. It grows on the honeydew left by insects like aphids and white flies. Reading your post I think that it can be the lack of water and the shade that is present almost all morning on our balcony. If you take the pruning one step at a time and break up the project across a few days, it won’t seem so impossible. Potted rhododendrons need heath to … So I thought I would share my experiences in case you run into the same problems and need some help. Hi Marianne…There could be a few reasons why your Rhododendron is not flowering and leaves are turning light green (or even yellow). Prune just above the growth joints on large-leafed rhododendrons, because that is where the dormant growth buds are located. Hi Amber…Unfortunately it doesn’t sound too promising. Over 8 foot wide. To fix this, try adding a Rhododendron fertilizer following the directions on the box for how much / when to apply (Rhododendrons don’t like to be fertilized too much). Even if you have to lop everything off, there's a good chance the plants will push out new shoots from dormant buds low on the plants. By George Weigel/The Patriot-News Q: We have three rhododendrons that are getting too big for the space. It always recovered from dormancy. 0000006820 00000 n Since I’ve had rhododendrons in my garden for so long, I have run into a few of the common rhododendron problems over the years. What can I do? It must be beautiful in the spring with all of the flowers! While shrubby brethren like spireas, panicle hydrangeas, and abelias will tolerate a fair amount of injustice and abuse, azaleas and rhododendrons aren’t as forgiving. How to Prune an Overgrown Rhododendron Without Hurting It. You should prune the rhododendron before the buds form so you don’t lop off the following year’s flowers. Thank you! This season it did produce leaves and the ones that are left are turning brown and falling off. Think about thinning the shade or moving the plant if it is suffering. To be successful with this approach, however, you need to start before the plants get too large. Japanese painted ferns, Tiarella, and the shorter Hosta are just some of the choices for attractive understory plants. 0000005965 00000 n Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Hello, I got a smaller rhododendron as I live in a apartment last year. Soil is too alkaline (unlikely in Scotland) pH 6 and higher. 24 0 obj << /Linearized 1 /O 26 /H [ 1180 300 ] /L 152098 /E 70680 /N 2 /T 151500 >> endobj xref 24 37 0000000016 00000 n I have had rhododendrons in front of my house in the middle of the yard for ten years, each year they have not grown very well. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Not any you mentioned. Hi Mary…the wet cool spring shouldn’t prevent the Rhododendrons from flowering unless the soil they are planted in doesn’t drain very well. My rhododendron is over 30 years old. The beauty of limbing up a rhody is that once you begin thinking of them as multi-stemmed, small trees, you can just let them grow tall.