Rhododendron problems
  Re: (0...)
Hi everyone - I have a rhododendron (can't remember the variety, but it's several years old, one of the typical, everyday varieties, nothing special or new) in a dappled shade (under a tree) area that, while it blooms every spring, has virtually no leaves on it, and doesn't seem to get any bigger. After the flowers are done this year, I'm thinking of hacking it down quite a bit just to see what happens next year. It gets heavily mulched for protection over the winter (zone 5), but, aside from my husband throwing some coffee grounds around it very sporatically, doesn't really get much attention. Does it need more sun? Does the depth of planting have any effect, if so, maybe I need to check that.

Thanks for any suggestions, otherwise, I may just yank it out!
Chicago piano tuner
  Re: Rhododendron problems by merlin (Hi everyone - I have...)
Could something be eating the leaves or the leaf buds? I have three arrowhead viburnum bushes that have only grown about a foot in the past 5 years from their 1-2 foot bareroot size. My problem is deer, but you coud also have insects munching the leaves or destroying the leaf buds.

Additionally, rhododendrons do need highly acidic soil (pH 4.0 to 5.5) to grow properly. Just tossing some coffee grounds out there will not be enough to correct the pH of a soil that's just too basic for the plant to be happy there. Get a soil testing kit, or send a soil sample to your local county extension office. If a pH correction is necessary (and it probably is), you can add some aluminum sulphate at the rate indicated on the package, and then you'll need to continue to top dress the soil every few years with some Soil Sulphur. Good luck!
The great thing about gardening is that you always get a chance to start over!

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