i don't know what is going on with my rhodies. i planted two of them 3 years ago. since they have not bloomed. last year i removed brown unbloomed buds was this bad? i will try to get a pic soon. the leaves under the new growth are yellow & brown & falling. they get morn. sun and get water every morn. my soil is sandy loam & i haven't fed them, don't know what to feed them and when. can you help me pleeeezzzz! thank you
My guess is it's a combination of too much water and not enough fertilizer. I don't think they would need water every morning especially since they're established. For fertilizer, there is special fertilizer you can buy for rhodies and azaleas so the easiest thing would be to buy some of that and follow the directions on the package as far as how much to use, how often, what time of year, etc. I'm not sure what the right time of year is for fertilizing, but even if now would be a good time I'd check on the watering issue and fix that first and give the plants a bit of time to recover before you fertilize them. You should also check your soil pH, they tend to like soil that's a little bit acidic, if your soil's pH is too high then they won't be able to absorb the nutrients from the fertilizer as well either.
hey thanks ecrane3, the reason for the water every day is beacuse of my sprinklers. do you think i should move them? but if i do i still have sprinklers every where in my yard. do you have these plants also?
i'll go ahead and give it a try on feeding them i'll update you on how there doing.
If you post a picture that would help, but now that I re-read your first post, I think it's much more likely that it's a watering issue. If it was lack of fertilizer, it would be the newer leaves that would be showing symptoms more than the rest of the plant, but the lower leaves turning yellow then brown and falling off sounds more like a watering problem. Even with somewhat sandy soil, I can't imagine that the plants need to be watered every day, your climate's not that hot and the plants are in part shade so I can't imagine that the soil would dry out enough from one day to the next to require watering again. You can check by feeling down in the soil near where the plants are, see how many inches you have to go down before you find moisture again, if you hit moisture after only going down a few inches then you definitely are watering too much. How long are you watering each day? You may be better off for the rhodies and the rest of the yard as well to water less frequently but for a longer period of time.
I had a couple azaleas and a rhodie at my old house, and here at the new one I just bought a rhodie and planted it a couple months ago. My climate's warmer and my soil doesn't drain as well as yours though so there's really no way to compare watering frequency.
thank you very much for getting back to me i really appriciate it. it's sometimes hard to get good addvice at HD they seem to not care so much when i ask them something. i went and put my finger in the soil around the plant and it was just a little moist, not that wet. i went down to my knuckle. i took some pics and please don't mind it was with a cell phone, don't have a digital camera. i hope these will help.
Rhododendron 'Unique' is a white flowered cultivar that has foliage that looks like yours. It gets a necrotic ring spot virus on the older leaves - your plant's new growth looks okay to me ... ?
Hopefully someone familiar with your plant's problem will show up.
I think claypa's right about it being a fungal disease, it could have been made worse by there being too much water around, but it's not just a simple case of overwatering. I do think that if you cut back on watering though it would help the plant--typically you don't want to water again until the top few inches of the soil are dry, and if you were already feeling moisture when you stuck your finger in to your knuckle, it doesn't need to be watered again for at least a day or two. Unfortunately I'm not an expert on fungal diseases in rhodies, we have such low humidity here that we don't usually have problems with things like that but hopefully claypa's link will help you.
claypa, i took a look at that link, and it's not what seems to be the same thing. my leaves are turning what looks like a rust color. they start off turning yellow, then brown and then dry up & fall off. there does not seem to be any powdery stuff on them. another thing, we don't get very high humidity here it's only around 12% during the summer. it get's 60% only at about 5AM. could you suggest a good web site for finding out these kind of problems. thanks to the both of you guys, i really do thank you for trying to help me. i think i found my favorite web-site!
In the second link, note that it talks about how 'local advice should be sought', because the Rhodies have very different problems in different places. I bet there is a local chapter of the American Rhododendron Soc. that has someone who could tell you right off the bat what's going on with your plant. Maybe you can get better pics and e-mail them. I hope you're right that it's not one of those fungal diseases, because there really isn't much you can do, except start over with more resistant species or hybrids. It would help a lot to know what kind you have; that ARS site has an excellent search feature.
Keep in mind that I could be way off about what the problem is, too!
Good luck, keep us posted
claypa, thanks so much for the web-sites, they helped me to possibly id my rhodie. i think it is ..(Trapers Tea). i read up on the site and found out how to care for my plants. it didn't help much on my problem, but i feel much more confident on taking care of them. having new growth this year is a good sighn. i will keep an eye on them. i can only feed during early spring. but i will get some oakleaf compost and peet-moss to put in the ground. had one more question, is it a good idea to give them some iron? the leaves are not as dark green as i think they should be. thanks.