sunburned rhodies

Asked July 24, 2013, 5:40 PM EDT

I'm wondering what to do about sunburned leaves on my rhodies. We're watering them every other day (drip) but it's been very hot and they get quite a bit of direct sunlight. One of them also is pretty yellow. Should I supplement by hand watering?

Lane County Oregon

3 Responses

Do not overwater your rhodies. They are quite prone to root rot in a low oxygen environment. Shade cloth, an old sheet, etc. draped over them or as a temporary sunshade fence to the SW should help. Their response to overheating is to transpire water (sweat) through the leaves. You can even set up a very low flow misting system until the worst of the heat is past. Later in the year, you might consider transplanting them to a more suitable site. Rhodies are very easy to transplant.

Thank you for the information. I think I'll try to shade them with something. If I drape them with a sheet, how long and what time should I put it on? The variety is "Golden Gate" which is supposed to thrive in full to partial sun. Would more mulch help as well?

Thanks again!

Mulching shallow rooted shrubs is always a good idea. You usually need to provide the cooling in the hottest part of the day. The sun is most dangerous to us and plants from about 11-about 4. Making a temporary shade fence or tent may be the easiest way to go. I think the plant just did not make the adjustment from our cool damp to the sudden "California" weather. Our full sun is usually not so strong as in some areas, so a plant listed as shade or partial shade there might be fairly sun safe here. But then, all climate rules are made to be broken in the Willamette Valley 8-)