All you can do is see what happens next spring. It always recovered from dormancy. Generally speaking, Rhododendrons are very care-free plants that don’t require much maintenance at all. But in some cases (like Phytophora root rot), it is best just to take the plant out. When the new growth buds begin to elongate before unfurling, the tips of the new leaves can be puckered by frosts causing them to distort when they unfurl. Hello, I got a smaller rhododendron as I live in a apartment last year. Specifically, it is rare to see deformed rhododendron leaves with a gray powder on them. Hi Colum…There are a couple of potential causes for your Rhododendron issue: If it is a black substance growing on top of the bark and leaves, then it’s probably sooty mold. The leaves are just trying to conserve water in the cold, dry air. Such yellowing can be caused by pollutants too. Make sure to carefully follow the instructions listed on the insecticide label. While most Rhododendrons will do fine in the shade, there are some varieties that like more sun. Since then this had become more obvious and had probably spread to neighbouring branches. So even though I mentioned all kinds of possibilities, I personally don't think it is a significant problem. There may be two additional generations yearly corresponding with flushes of rhododendron growth. Most Azaleas on the other hand (under the same Genus of Rhododendron) will lose their leaves at the end of the season. Some varieties prefer a much colder winter than we have and these tend to burn and crisp on the leaves. Do not put them in the compost bin, and do not leave them lying around on the ground, lest the fungus spread to other branches. It looks as though it is dead? Analysis . Tiny, semicircular holes appear at the edge of the leaves. Pruning them should only occur in spring, immediately following them blooming. Is there any evidence of insects or disease? They will open up and come back to life once it warms up. However, if your Rhododendrons have lichens growing on them, it usually means they are thinning because of poor growing conditions, disease or old age. However, the lovely large leaves do need protection from winds, especially cold winds, to prevent them being marked or damaged. On deciduous azaleas, white powdery fungus grows over the upper leaf surface. As a last-chance effort, you can try cutting the stems down to a few inches above the ground and see if it starts growing again. Since the buds grow during the summer, making sure that you have a thick mulch cover and that your Rhododendrons are getting at least 1″ of water per week will help it to be as healthy as it can be. I have a rhododendron bush that budded up last year (I live in south east England)… but has not flowered this year …. A second type of Rhododendron issue is brown spots on the leaves. Hope that helps! Replace them. Learn the common types of Rhododendron problems that may cause your normally care-free plant to be unhealthy and how to fix them. The bush is about 15 years old, and last year bloomed profusely. 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. The new shoots are very healthy. Generally, they don’t actually hurt the plant that they are living on, since they make their own food. Hi Julia…I would first check to see if there are any growing conditions that have changed over time and need to be fixed. Rhododendrons are a beauty in the yard with their bright bold clusters of flowers in the spring. I am worried this could be some sort of disease that might spread to the whole plant and kill it if I do not treat it. There is nothing more disappointing than seeing your Rhododendron covered in buds and then not getting any flowers! Collect the … One from a year ago and two recent ones (One close-up), Here is a link that might be useful: Deformed leaves. Perennial Ground Cover (21 Low-Growing Plants That Thrive in the Shade), Shade Container Plants: 10 of the Best Blue Annuals For Planters In The Shade, Daphne Plant: How To Grow A Daphne Shrub That Will Fill Your Garden With Fragrance, Mountain Laurel Care: How To Grow Beautiful Shade Loving Kalmia latifolia, Japanese Maples: 10 Things You May Be Surprised To Know About Growing Japanese Maples, Japanese Pieris (How To Grow and Care For Japanese Pieris Shrubs). It is over 10 foot tall. If none of those seem to be the case, you may just have a short-lived plant. It is still alive due to the healthy looking green on it. Rhododendron Problems: What’s Wrong With My Rhododendron? The leaves always stayed greeni, although curled in the winter. If you see your rhododendron leaves turning yellow, review each and every element of the plant’s care. Hi Janet…I would try one of the fertilizers that are made specifically for Rhododendrons. In April and May leaves and buds of infected plants develop distorted growth. Here is a link that might be useful: NON-DISEASE PROBLEMS, "Aphids wlll cause the same deformed appearance, as can high heat during critical cell development stage.". Symptoms: Decline in vigour and leaves … Rhododendrons don’t like to get dried out. Hope that helps! Larvae mature in about seven days, drop to the ground, burrow in and make a cocoon. You can download it for free, or buy a printed copy. Soil too alkaline. 2. Indian Hawthorn. If your plant is already ill, the added stress of an infestation may kill it. The leaf gall fungus, Exobasidium vaccinii, distorts the shape of rhododendron leaves so that they curl backward rather than downward, as in the case of curling caused by weather. Lichens are a combination of algae and fungus forming a partnership to help each other grow. When the leaves all start dying, it usually indicates one of the Rhododendron diseases that can’t be cured. The wrinkled, deformed new growth can be caused by a freeze just the leaves begin to develop. I wouldn't worry about it. What side of the plant is that? These nocturnal feeders leave behind evidence which looks like someone has run amok with a paper punch. The underside of leaves may be covered with excreta of the insect, which are like brown tar droplets. Not any you mentioned. If you see curled up leaves in the summer, though, that is a sign that your Rhododendron is much too dry. So my mother and I are on a mission to help you do just that by sharing the DIY outdoor projects, plant suggestions and gardening tips we’ve learned through our combined 75+ years of experience. In other words, they look like they’re been frozen and thawed. It usually means your plant has a disease such as Botryosphaeria canker or Phytophora root rot. Grateful for the answer. Too much shade would affect the flowers more than the leaves. The vast majority of Rhododendron species are native to the eastern Himalaya and southeast Tibet, along with the islands of Java, Sumatra, Borneo, New Guinea, and the Philippines. The body margin is ringed with white wax filaments, with the last pair over 1/2 the length of the body. Some plants get touched by mildew and lichen. Rhododendron species (azalea, rhododendron, rosebay) contain grayanotoxin glycosides, which affect sodium channels in cell membranes, leading to neurologic, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular dysfunction (Figures 31-5 and 31-6). What can I do? You could try adding some Rhododendron fertilizer to see if that helps. 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). There's a huge variety of colours - pinks, purples, yellows, reds - all sorts. Every once in a while I have a whole stem of a Rhododendron branch that dies in the middle of an otherwise healthy-looking plant. That decreases the number of fungus spores that are available to be transported and limits the spread of the issue. The only exception would be if they are causing the middle of the plant to be too crowded. The most distinctive feeding pattern is that left by the snout of the black vine weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus. I’m Wanda and I believe that anyone can create a relaxing garden retreat in their city backyard…no matter the size. It had more last year but was still thin I wanted to prune, but was afraid to without knowing what I was doing. Fertilizer probably isn’t a good idea. This is mainly cosmetic but if it keeps happening you may need to move a plant to a more sheltered site or cover it up in frosty weather. I forgot to say that I have several plants that have a couple branches like this most years and I do nothing. 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