Dying rhododendrons

Asked August 14, 2018, 5:38 PM EDT

I have two 30 year old rhododendrons on the north side of my house. While they have never gotten much sun they have thrived. They were beautiful this spring with many blooms. I watered them during a drought period of a couple of weeks earlier in the summer. I was shocked to see the dead leaves on the ground and the dead branches. I’m afraid they have gotten too much water from the constant rain and very little sun. What can I do? Thank you, Kay

Baltimore County Maryland

3 Responses

It looks like your Rhododendrons are showing symptoms of Botryosphaeria canker, a fungal disease that causes scattered dying of branches. Stressful growing conditions -- drought, high heat, excessive rain -- can increase the incidence of this disease. Prune out all of the affected branches. You can prune now when the weather is dry. Here is additional information. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/botryosphaeria-canker-shrubs


I pruned out all the dead branches and bagged them up. I’m going to put some fresh mulch around. Thanks for your quick response. I sure hope they revive!

You're very welcome. I hope they turn around for you too.