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Why Is My Rhododendron Wilting?

Updated July 19, 2017

Rhododendrons can be found in many landscapes. Their low maintenance requirements make them an easy choice for most gardeners. However, a few challenges can arise, such as wilting, when their environment does not meet their needs or when disease attacks.

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Rhododendron Wilt

Phytophthora root rot is caused by a fungus in very wet soil. The first sign is the rhododendron's wilting and brown leaves. Its roots then become mushy and dark. A brown discolouring of the wood also will appear. When this happens, adjustments to soil drainage must be made quickly.

Drainage Correction

Poor soil drainage can be corrected with drain tiles or a perforated tube placed below the planting hole. Raised flower beds can also solve this problem.

Iron Deficiency

Rhododendrons like acidic soil. Their leaves will turn yellow if the pH balance is incorrect due to low iron content. This can be solved by adding iron sulphate to the soil.

Black Vine Weevil

The black vine weevil is an insect that will leave a C-shape notch on the rhododendron's leaves. The larvae can cause significant damage to the roots. Insecticide can be applied to remedy this situation.

Winter Burn

The dry winter wind can cause the rhododendron's leaves to become brown and curled. Protect the plant from the wind by planting near a building or using wrap in winter. Mulch also helps prevent problems caused by winter burn.

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About the Author

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