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By Peanuts

Surrey, United Kingdom Gb

what's wrong with my rhododendron ? Leaves are yellowing and starting to not look healthy. It has been looking good all spring and summer, give it some ericaceous plant food in the spring. We didn't have any flowers on it though this year. Any advice ?




Hi Peanuts, is it planted in an acid soil, if not it will never be a healthy looking plant, it's not enough to just give them an ericaceous feed, they really need acid soil, ericaceous feed does not make the soil acid, it just feeds the plant, Derek.

26 Aug, 2013


the soil came up as neutral when I did a test, but rhododendrons are in everyone's gardens round here, so I'm thinking they should be okay. We have huge scots pines at the end of the garden, and they are meant to turn the soil acidic too aren't they.

26 Aug, 2013


Scots pines do not need an acidic soil - suggest you look at getting a lot of acidic compost dug in round the rhodo.

26 Aug, 2013


okay will do, thank you.

26 Aug, 2013


I think you mean that the pine needles will turn the soil acid peanut? I think this is a myth, as you said, you did a pH test and the soil was neutral.

26 Aug, 2013


Feed it a bit of Epson Salts. It looks like it's lacking in a nutrient. I've always known Rhododendrons to be a spring blooming plant. Well, I got a small one this year and it's planted in a pot of Miracle grow potting soil. I gave it a bit of water with a small amount of Epson Salts in it and it's getting ready to bloom and it's the end of August in LA! Granted it's been the second worst oddest summer of cold, or chilly wind or foggy weather I've ever seen here. So maybe the Rhododendron is trying to tell me something. It looks very healthy though and I'm so excited about it.

Or for acid loving plants you could mix 2 tablespoon of vinegar to 1 quart of water and feed to the roots. Do this every 2 weeks and see if it improves it.

Also add some organic matter to the top of the soil, watering will wash the nutrients down to the roots.

Good luck let me know if you try it and it works.

27 Aug, 2013


Your suggestion might work Angie if the rhodo was in a pot but this one is in the ground...

27 Aug, 2013


I agree with Jent - the holes do look like vine weevil damage. If you've any plants in pots, I suggest you order a nematode treatment for vine weevil and treat them around now, or before end of September. The adult vine weevils cause damage to leaves, but its the immature ones in soil that need treating, and they do love pots. Can also be used on open ground, but quite expensive to do so... google Nemesys products.

The undamaged leaves otherwise don't look particularly chlorotic, but you could give it a dose of Sequestrene iron tonic, or the Chempak version which has added nutrients, in Spring. Don't feed at this end of the year otherwise.

27 Aug, 2013

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