How to save a dry rhododendron? Here are Grandma’s best life hacks

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Covered in large, trumpet-shaped flowers, rhododendron is a spectacular plant, but plants only put on a prolific show if they are never allowed to dry out. Saving a drought-damaged rhododendron requires patience and improving the shrub’s growing conditions. Learn how to keep a dry rhododendron right now below.

A drought-stressed rhododendron may wilt and lose its leaves, but that doesn’t mean the shrub is dead. Foliage drop is a natural reaction to dry weather, but it should only be taken seriously if the leaves do not recover the following day. Another sign of drought damage is leaf scorch when the edges and tips of leaves turn brown.

A drought-stressed rhododendron may wilt and lose its leaves

how to bring an old rhododendron back to life

#Cut

Never prune wilted or dead branches or stems during the growing season unless a dead branch poses a hazard to the plant as it increases plant stress. Wait until winter before pruning to remove dead or diseased areas or to shape the shrub.

Do not prune wilted or dead branches or stems during the growing season

Should I prune dry rhododendron after flowering?



#Watering

As all rhododendrons thrive in moist soil, proper watering can be the most crucial remedy for drought damage. A dried rhododendron root ball does not absorb water from the surrounding soil; only a concentrated, steady stream of water can moisten it. Place a fast-flowing garden hose next to the trunk of the rhododendron, and leave it there for five or six hours. Repeat this deep watering weekly throughout the growing season. Water the rhododendron regularly within its drip line so that the soil is consistently moist but never soggy, applying 4 liters of water per square foot.

#misting

Spray rhododendron foliage with a fine mist of water when daytime temperatures are above 35°C.

Spray rhododendron foliage with a fine mist of water

spray the rhododendron to save it from drought

#Mulching

Mulching conserves soil moisture and reduces watering needs in hot weather. Spread a 7-8 cm layer of coarse organic material, such as shredded bark or wood chips, in the drip line of the rhododendron, but avoid the trunk. Mulches provide shade to the thin, shallow roots of the rhododendron, protecting them from drying winds and reducing temperature fluctuations in the root zone.

Mulching conserves soil moisture and reduces watering needs in hot weather.

rhododendron damaged by the heat wave what to do

Poor growing conditions can lead to drought issues for a rhododendron. Most rhododendron species grow best in partial to full shade, in acidic, organic-rich soil. Growing plants on sandy, rocky, or chalky sites in full sun is likely to result in poor growth and frequent wilting. Rhododendrons rarely grow well in areas with low rainfall. When planting a rhododendron, always transfer the plant directly from its container to the ground, and do not leave its roots exposed to the air.

Improve shrub-growing conditions

how to properly care for a rhododendron tips

When to Fertilize Rhododendrons

If you have planted your shrubs in fertile soil, fertilizing the rhododendrons is unnecessary. However, rhododendrons growing in poor soil should be fed. Likewise, plants grown with a mulch that depletes soil nitrogen, such as fresh wood chips, are likely to do better with a regular fertilization schedule.

Rhododendron Fertilization Schedule

Be aware that you will need to use a particular fertilizer composition for the different growth stages of your rhododendrons. When planting, use a 10-10-6 fertilizer before watering the plant. When the rhododendron buds appear in early spring, apply a complete 10-8-6 fertilizer. Apply a new light dose of this fertilizer when the leaves emerge. In autumn, it is sufficient to use compost or organic manure.

Here’s when and how to fertilize rhododendron

tips for having a beautiful, well-flowered rhododendron

Tips for saving a dry rhododendron

tips and tricks for saving a dry rhododendron

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