Rhododendrons

Asked October 9, 2018, 12:26 PM EDT

My Husband and I moved into a different home and they have a big beautiful Rhododendron and the leaves are turning yellow, they have on the ground a very big tarp that is heavy, the plant is in a good area no wind to speak of and not that much water. I am wondering if I take off the tarp and put either Miracle grow down or more dirt then the Miracle grow would it help? if not what could be the problem I would really like to save it . I am sorry I do not have a pic but most of the pictures I have seen pretty much cover what it is doing.
Thank you Sharon

Putnam County Ohio

1 Response

We did not receive any pictures with your questions . Rhododendrons perform best in partial shade in moist, well-drained, acidic soils. A soil test would reveal any soil abnormalities and would help determine if the pH is too high. Another stresser could be too much direct sun. You don't want to fertilize in the fall because you do not want tender new growth to be subjected to the approaching winter. I would definitely take off the tarp and use 1" to 2" of pinebark mulch, pine needle mulch, or hardwood mulch to choke out weeds, preserve moisture, and to help protect from winter freeze-thaw cycles for the shallow and fibrous root system. Additional information on rhododendrons can be found at the following link:

https://hvp.osu.edu/pocketgardener/source/description/rhododendron.html