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Rhododendrens

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by tkhooper on July 24, 2006 06:01 AM
I bet I didn't spell that right. Rhoddy's anyway.

Two mature Rhoddy bushes were recently put in our church landscape. Both have developed about 25% brown leaves and one entire branch appears to be dead. They used a weed barrier fabric of some kind and then a shredded bark mulch on top. Can someone please tell be what I need to do to help these plants survive the hot temperatures were are having. Like how often should they be watered and for how long. What kind of fertilizer and how often at what strenght. I mean I really need to know everything. Your help is greatly appreciated.

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by Bill on July 24, 2006 06:34 AM
Most of my reply to your Azalea question applies to the Rhododendrons as well. Rhododendrons prefer shade over full sun and the brown leaves could very well be a case of serious sunburn. The dead branch was probably the result of damage during planting.
They need lots of water to get the roots established (I would be watering every other day until the heat wave ends)
Rhododendrons should be fertilized right after they finish blooming, but you should never fertilize any plant that is stressed or in shock!

General Rhododendron and Azalea care
Pruning Rhododendrons
Transplanting Rhododendrons
Rhody won't bloom
Rhody posts on The Gardener's Forum

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by obywan59 on July 26, 2006 06:02 PM
Tammy, I fertilize rhododendrons with Holly-Tone, and they recommend fertilizing in both fall and spring. I have had great results following this schedule. The fall fertilizing is at half the strength of the spring fertilizing per the instructions on the bag. I have also fertilized with cottonseed meal just after bloom as Bill recommended.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by Budman on July 27, 2006 06:13 AM
Tammy, I also use Holly-Tone on Rhodos and Azaleas in conjunction with Miracle-gro for acid loving plants and they thrive on it. Rhodos are well known for showing stress in their leaves and will wilt, turn yellow and/or brown when stressed out. They also do not like windy conditions, so take that into account. I also live in va. and this has been a very mild summer except for that two week period. It has also been a very wet summer so far. That was a pretty late spring planting for rhodos and they are probably just stressed and as Bill pointed out, in need of some root growth. Make sure they are mulched in really good with some fine pine bark as they have really fine root hairs at the soil level. I would use some of the Miracle-gro for acid loving plants as it is a fast acting Foliar feed and will help right away. You dont get much new growth after the end of june, so you are basically trying to get the roots developed. Make sure it is mulched really heavy in the fall to help it make it through the winter. Best of luck, Budman-
by patches1414 on July 27, 2006 08:50 PM
I also use the Miracle-gro for acid loving plants, but I've never heard of Holly-Tone! [dunno] Should I be using that too? [dunno] I certainly think mine could look better than it does. [Frown]

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"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"
by tkhooper on July 28, 2006 01:17 AM
Thanks for the product names of the fertilizers. That will help alot. And the foliar spray information. I never knew that about the roots on a rhody. But you definitely described the way the leaves are looking. So we know we've got the correct diagnosis.

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by obywan59 on July 28, 2006 04:26 AM
Patches, I don't use the Miracle-gro, but I swear by Holly-Tone. I used to pick off all the seed heads on my Rodies cause they wouldn't bloom well the following year, otherwise. But now, I get such healthy and vigorous new growth and budding, I don't need to anymore. I just checked my White Peter rhododendron, and it has multiple flower buds forming on new growth above each seed head. I'm going to have mega-blooms next year!! My Scintillation and Nova Zembla are doing just as well. [thumb]

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Terry

May the force be with you
by Budman on July 28, 2006 06:29 AM
The Holly-tone is more of a slow release fertilzer and is a great product. I have been using it for over twenty years with great results. The main reason I suggested the Miracle-Gro is that it is very fast acting and absorbs into the plant through the leaves if you pour it right over the top of the plant. It will also absorb through the roots. The holly-tone will not start working until it breaks down into the soil when watering or during a rain. On healthy plants I always pull the mulch away in the early spring and add a cup or two of Holly-tone. I push the mulch back over the base so as not to allow those fine root hairs to get dry. I do it again in the middle of June. I use a five gallon bucket and put four spoon fulls in it and fill with water. I pour that over a large Rhodo or Azalea or use one bucket on three smaller shrubs. I do this twice a year about a week before I put the Holly-tone down. It gives a nice quick pick me up after a long winter as my Azalea/rhodos sometimes look a little rough early on. They soon come on strong after that.
by patches1414 on July 28, 2006 09:12 AM
Thanks for the information Terry & Budman! [thumb] I am going to check into the Holly-Tone!

Terry, how often do you use the Miracle-Gro on your Rhododendrons? [dunno]

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"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"
by obywan59 on July 29, 2006 04:13 AM
I don't, that was Budman.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by Budman on July 29, 2006 04:59 AM
Patches, I use it on Rhodos about twice in the spring, same as the Holly-Tone. I put it on in the early spring, say Early April and then again in early June and then I dont use it anymore. If a plant is looking poor, I reduce the rate by half and use it every two weeks until the plant starts looking better.
by patches1414 on July 30, 2006 10:19 AM
Thanks Budman! [thumb] Mine is looking pretty stressed out right now, but I think it's mainly because of the hot temperatures we've been having around here. [Eek!] Do you think it would hurt to give it some diluted to half strength to see it that would help? [dunno] Sorry I got you mixed up with Terry! [Embarrassed] [Frown]

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"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"
by RugbyHukr on July 30, 2006 03:29 PM
Holly-tone is an acidic fertilizer for evergreens. It is more predominant in some states than others.

Miracid is also an acidic fertilizer for evergreens. I always used that in WV as the state did not have HT in any of my local stores.

I prefer not to use Miracle-Gro. It is like 'plant crack'. Plants become dependent on it & decline if not used.

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by Budman on August 01, 2006 05:16 AM
Yep, thats why I only use it about twice a year in the spring. Just to give the plants a boost. I dont like to give it to them more than that as it also tends to encourage fungal growth and we dont want that.
To answer your question Patches, I would use it at half rate once just to see if it helps, but not more than that as you dont want to encourage new growth as it may not make it through the winter.
by patches1414 on August 01, 2006 07:36 PM
Thanks Budman! [thumb] I'll try doing that and see what happens. [dunno] If we don't get some relief from this heat pretty soon I'm not sure any of my plants are going to survive. [Frown]

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"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"
by Budman on August 02, 2006 05:00 AM
I heard that!!! I just went out for my daily afternoon walk and it was 104 degrees outside. Whew, at least the humidity was up..Ha,ha. Everytime I get home my hanging baskets and railing planters are all dried up and the plants look so pathetic. It is amazing how quickly they respond to some watering. If I miss one day, they will be cooked. Take care.

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