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Rhododendron or Laurel

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Hi. Four years ago when I moved house, I transferred a mauve Rhododendron from a pot to my garden. On taking the plant from the pot, I found half a dozen shoots at the bottom of the plant. So I planted them thinking they were off shoots from the Rhododendron. They are now over 2ft high but are a brighter green leaf and I have had no flowers. Asked a couple of neighbours what they thought and they both said they look like a Laurel. The original plant is still Rhodedendrom at the base but all new shoots are bright green and look like the off shoots. Any ideas? Regards Wendy from Exmouth

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Is it possible that the Rhododendron was grafted onto a Laurel base? You should be able to see if a graft was made at the base.

9 May, 2011


Without a photo we can't really comment. You could add one to your question by using the edit button.

9 May, 2011


Unless there is a member of the genus Rhododendron that is called Laurel, I wouldn't expect a Rhodie to be grafted onto one. All the "Laurels" that I am familiar with are in completely different families. There could be some bird-planted seedlings at its base, but Beattie's right, a photo is the best way to tell.

10 May, 2011


Thank you for your answers I have now attached two pictures one of the mother plant with all the new growth and then inside to the bottom of the mother plant where the mauve flowers are.

10 May, 2011


This isn't an area where I'd claim any expertise, but I reckon those rampant green leaves are from the rootstock. I agree it looks a bit like laurel - COULD it be????

I'd pull them all off where they arise from the roots - you may have to excavate for them, or they will totally outgrow and swamp that very pretty "pale pink with darker buds" Rhodo that's lurking underneath them. I reckon if you leave them it will fade away & you'll be left with the rampant monster.

Do your very best to get every bit of the "wild" stems off the plant or they'll regrow quickly.

10 May, 2011


I can't see the base well enough to tell if it is the same plant, or not, but that monster definitely isn't a Rhododendron! Probably a Cherry Laurel, in which case it probably has sprouted from a seed near the base of the Rhodie. It is too big now to separate the roots, and I am reluctant to suggest SBK daubed on the stump of it so close to the Rhodie. I would just carefully determine which stem at the base is Rhododendron, and which is Laurel, and cut the Laurel as close to the ground as possible. Repeat cutting would be necessary every week for the next year or two, until the overgrown weed finally gives up.

11 May, 2011


Thank you Beattie and Tugbrethil. I will do as you suggest and cut away the 'Laurel' from the base. Strange that this only happened because I took it out of the pot that it had been in for a while at my old house. I have since dug up the other 'Laurels' around the garden that I planted four years ago. Regards WendyMay

14 May, 2011

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