QBARS - v5n4 Rhododendron Questions

Rhododendron Questions

The following questions are excerpts from correspondence addressed to the Secretary of the Society. Many of the fine letters received deserve publication, and members should feel free to call upon the Society for aid in their gardening problems. It has been suggested by the Secretary that the answers along with the questions should be published, and thereby many members who are confronted with identical situations can readily refer to the list of answers which will be included in each copy of the Bulletin.

Q: Is it advisable to use any fertilizer in the Fall, such as cow manure on rhododendrons?
Ans: Yes. Cow manure serves not only as a well balanced fertilizer but an excellent mulch. It builds up a reserve of plant food which rewards one with larger flowers. Should be applied during Sept., Oct. or Nov.

Q: What makes some of the leaves on my rhododendrons look twisted and curled? There is no indication of insects on the under side.
Ans: In all probability it is frost damage which occurred late in the Spring when the leaves were just coming out.

Q: Is it advisable to water rhododendrons in the heat of the day?
Ans: Yes. A light sprinkling over the leaves keeps them moist and prevents sunburn. On very hot days it might be necessary to sprinkle them several times.

Q: Is it necessary to remove all the old blooms from my rhododendrons?
Ans: Yes. If seed pods are allowed to develop much of the plant's vitality will go into the seed instead of . strong new growth necessary for good flowers the next season.

Q: I have some large rhododendron plants and would like to know when is the best time for moving these old plants?
Ans: Any time in the Fall, after the rains have started and can be continued through the Winter and Spring months as late as May. It will be necessary to keep the plants well watered the year after moving.

Q: What is a good poison for the Strawberry Weevil?
Ans: Any of the Metaldehyde poison baits, commonly known as the apple pumice baits. This bait should be applied on the ground around the stem of the plant. In transplanting small plants it is advisable to mix a teaspoonful of the F per cent Chlordane Dust in the bottom of the hole. This dust acts as a gas and kills any grubs it comes in contact with.

Q: What is a good spray for the Strawberry Beetle?
Ans: There are several good preparations on the market, two of which are Lindane which is applied 100 lbs. to the acre, and the other one is Chlordane, a bit more expensive but very effective. This comes in the Dust form as well as the liquid.

Q: What is the matter with my rhododendron plant? The leaves are all dark brown with just a little green left.
Ans: From the specimen sent in, the answer is leaf burn. The plant has become dried out and the leaves have sunburned.

Q: What is the small leaved evergreen rhododendron, that blooms a rosy-lilac color in March?
Ans: Believe you must mean the hybrid Praecox.