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Old 24-04-2012, 06:35 PM
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Default rhodie worries

Hi,
I'm new to this forum and new to gardening.
We've inherited a rhodie with the house we got and it's not looking happy.
Originally it was plonked in a border. I say plonket coz when it came to replanting it I lifted it with earth ball shaped like a pot it must have been in originally. I replanted it into a pot filled with ericaceous compost.

Recently, I've noticed that leaves started going yellow at the edges and some show signs of being eaten and/or going brown.
The buds don't seem to be doing anything either.
Btw, when I replanted it I took a cutting and have it indoors. The cutting's leaves look healthy and the flower bud is opening.
I enclose a pic of the cutting for comparison.

Please help.
Attached Thumbnails
rhodie worries-rhodie-6.jpg   rhodie worries-rhodie-3.jpg   rhodie worries-rhodie-5.jpg   rhodie worries-budding-rhodie-cutting.jpg  

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Old 24-04-2012, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrzej View Post
Hi,
I'm new to this forum and new to gardening.
We've inherited a rhodie with the house we got and it's not looking happy.
Originally it was plonked in a border. I say plonket coz when it came to replanting it I lifted it with earth ball shaped like a pot it must have been in originally. I replanted it into a pot filled with ericaceous compost.

Recently, I've noticed that leaves started going yellow at the edges and some show signs of being eaten and/or going brown.
The buds don't seem to be doing anything either.
Btw, when I replanted it I took a cutting and have it indoors. The cutting's leaves look healthy and the flower bud is opening.
I enclose a pic of the cutting for comparison.

Please help.
Hi Andrzej, Hi there, I think that this rhododendron (which looks like some type of yakushimanum hybrid) has been in a pot for a very long time prior to being 'plonked' in the garden. Its probably been allowed to dry out and rarely been fed, thats why it looks like it does. So now its being looked after, it should start to flourish. Feed it and make sure it never dries out and if it were mine, I'd carefully remove any flower buds (and your cutting as well !!) to allow any energy to revert back into the growth and I think, given a couple of years and it will look fine.
regards Lannerman.
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Old 25-04-2012, 03:57 PM
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Hi Andrzej, Hi there, I think that this rhododendron (which looks like some type of yakushimanum hybrid) has been in a pot for a very long time prior to being 'plonked' in the garden. Its probably been allowed to dry out and rarely been fed, thats why it looks like it does. So now its being looked after, it should start to flourish. Feed it and make sure it never dries out and if it were mine, I'd carefully remove any flower buds (and your cutting as well !!) to allow any energy to revert back into the growth and I think, given a couple of years and it will look fine.
regards Lannerman.
Thank you for your advice, lannerman, you give me hope. I will feed it and remove all flower buds.
Should I get rid of the earth the root-ball is in? I'm not sure if the plant is getting the benefits of the ericaceaous compost I replanted it into... I replanted it into a big pot full of fresh compost but was afraid to touch the roots at the time, so just put it in the pot as I lifted it from the border, roots in a pot-shaped ball of earth it must have been in from the start. A friend suggested I dunk the root ball with the earth it is stuck in a bucket of water for a while then try picking away at it, loosening it up. Or leave it as is?
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Old 25-04-2012, 04:01 PM
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My worry is that it looked better when I lifted it from that border. The yellowing etc started later. The cutting I took at that time and have kept indoors looks fine and healthy. So it seems logical that the replanting etc contributed to making the main plant worse...?
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Old 25-04-2012, 09:25 PM
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Thank you for your advice, lannerman, you give me hope. I will feed it and remove all flower buds.
Should I get rid of the earth the root-ball is in? I'm not sure if the plant is getting the benefits of the ericaceaous compost I replanted it into... I replanted it into a big pot full of fresh compost but was afraid to touch the roots at the time, so just put it in the pot as I lifted it from the border, roots in a pot-shaped ball of earth it must have been in from the start. A friend suggested I dunk the root ball with the earth it is stuck in a bucket of water for a while then try picking away at it, loosening it up. Or leave it as is?
Hi Andzej, I wouldnt try to disturb the root ball too much. Until the plant starts to root into the new compost, you wont get any or much new growth and this wont happen until the 'growing' season starts ! Its night time temperature that triggers growth and at the moment, the weather and cold nights, have slowed everything down again. So be patient, and I'm sure that this plant will look much better by June. Also, I'm sure that the yellowing etc, would have happened even if you had left it in the ground. Your cutting looks better mainly because youve had it where the conditions have been more favourable. I'm not convinced that your cutting has rooted and you wont know until the first spell of really hot weather, when the cutting will need to call on its roots for sustinance ?
You have done everything possible at the moment and all you need now is some decent weather with more favourable growing conditions. Its actually been colder and wetter throughout April than it was in March and that early growth seen in March has now all but stopped. Lets hope that May will bring some warmer nights.
Lannerman.


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Old 26-04-2012, 01:32 AM posted to rec.gardens
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Default rhodie worries


Andrzej;957007 Wrote:

Should I get rid of the earth the root-ball is in? I'm not sure if the
plant is getting the benefits of the ericaceaous compost I replanted it
into... I replanted it into a big pot full of fresh compost but was
afraid to touch the roots at the time, so just put it in the pot as I
lifted it from the border, roots in a pot-shaped ball of earth it must
have been in from the start. A friend suggested I dunk the root ball
with the earth it is stuck in a bucket of water for a while then try
picking away at it, loosening it up. Or leave it as is?


Rhodies do poorly in containers and will eventually die. Plant
rhodies in the ground, in rich, deep, well drained forest soil, in
acid soil, in partial shade. Rhodies do best planted where conifers
flourish.
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Old 26-04-2012, 08:34 AM
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@Lannerman, I'm sure you're right about that the cutting hasn't rooted properly yet.
Re. the main plant, I tried removing flower buds but they were not budging. Can I use scissors to cut them out carefully?
Also, re. feeding, what would you suggest? I bought a rhodie/azalea/camelia food, also have peat and bark. Should I work some peat into the soil of the pot or top-dress it with peat and/or bark?

@Brooklyn1, agreed. It will be planted in the ground as soon as we decide the design of the garden. We've been here only since December and wanted to see the garden in all seasons to decide how to proceed, ie. best spots for different plants etc.
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Old 26-04-2012, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrzej View Post
@Lannerman, I'm sure you're right about that the cutting hasn't rooted properly yet.
Re. the main plant, I tried removing flower buds but they were not budging. Can I use scissors to cut them out carefully?
Also, re. feeding, what would you suggest? I bought a rhodie/azalea/camelia food, also have peat and bark. Should I work some peat into the soil of the pot or top-dress it with peat and/or bark?

@Brooklyn1, agreed. It will be planted in the ground as soon as we decide the design of the garden. We've been here only since December and wanted to see the garden in all seasons to decide how to proceed, ie. best spots for different plants etc.
Hi Andrzej. No, dont try to cut them out because the growth buds (that will give you this years growth) are all packed together under the flower bud and you will damage those if your not careful. You should be able to just rub the flower buds out using your thumb, if not, then leave them alone and wait until they swell up a bit (nearer flowering) its possible that some of the buds wont produce flowers and may be why you cant easily remove them, so if you leave them a bit then you'll know.
If you have used fresh ericacous compost, there should be no need to feed yet, wait until the plant is in full growth and use your rhodo fertilizer from about middle of June but dont go mad, you can do as much if not more damage by overfeeding. You could use the bark to top dress the pot but that wont have much beneficial effect to the health of the plant but will look nice.
If you drink tea, you could put the used tea leaves around the base of the plant, tea leaves are a very good tonic for all calcifuge plants !
regards, Lannerman.
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Old 28-04-2012, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by lannerman View Post
Hi Andrzej. No, dont try to cut them out because the growth buds (that will give you this years growth) are all packed together under the flower bud and you will damage those if your not careful. You should be able to just rub the flower buds out using your thumb, if not, then leave them alone and wait until they swell up a bit (nearer flowering) its possible that some of the buds wont produce flowers and may be why you cant easily remove them, so if you leave them a bit then you'll know.
If you have used fresh ericacous compost, there should be no need to feed yet, wait until the plant is in full growth and use your rhodo fertilizer from about middle of June but dont go mad, you can do as much if not more damage by overfeeding. You could use the bark to top dress the pot but that wont have much beneficial effect to the health of the plant but will look nice.
If you drink tea, you could put the used tea leaves around the base of the plant, tea leaves are a very good tonic for all calcifuge plants !
regards, Lannerman.
Thank you, Lannerman. Yes, I used fresh ericaceous compost. A good idea with tea leaves! I will be patient and follow your advice.


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