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What chance of survival for my rhododendrum?


By Judithj

Scottish Borders, United Kingdom Gb

A terrific gust of wind yesterday snapped my rhododendrum off at the base - it was planted about 3 years ago and was about 3 ft tall. I have removed the lower branches and as there were a very few hairlike roots, I have replanted it, this time heavily staked. Will it survive or what else can I do?



Hope and pray, I should think! Did you feed it too? That might help the poor thing.

I am so sorry to hear this - I gasped with horror when I read it. Good luck - I hope it survives.

24 Mar, 2009


I would think that the chance of survival is slim, Judith. I would leave it as you have described and pray for it but if it has not started into growth again by this time next year then I am afraid that you may have to replace it.
Do you know if the Rhody is grown from seed/cuttings or is a grafted plant. If grafted then this could explain the weakness in the stem. The downside of this is that you will have lost the nice rhodoendron that you bought and just be left with the rootstock species which is probably the purple R. ponticum that you find littering our Scottish countryside.
If the plant has a thick, knobly bit of stem at the break then it is probably grafted and I would suggest that you dispose of it and buy a replacement now.

24 Mar, 2009


Would it not be an idea to drastically reduce the size? Less stress on the roots, I would have thought.

24 Mar, 2009


I have noticed on mine that they do have the ability to regenerate from old growth - so it may be in with a chance.

24 Mar, 2009


i agree with Sid here, i gave a friend a shoot off a Rhody without any roots and he planted it and its still going 1 year on..

24 Mar, 2009


I too have woken this morning to find my dwarf rhododendrum snapped off at the base and the plant rolling around in the wind.

Where it has snapped off it seems quite nobbly and the wood inside looks somewhat orangey.

I was worried that the nobbly area might be some kind of fungal infection, particularly with the interior wood looking off colour.

The plant otherwise was really healthy, full leaf, covered in buds. I planted it out last spring after having it in a large pot the previous year. Its was in a large ericacious bed with azaleas I'm worried if it is an infection that others may be affected. Ideas ?

25 Mar, 2009


Ken, it sounds as if all you have left is the original rootstock of the gaft. This is going to be a cheap and easy to grow species and not the nice plant that you bought in the first place. Speaking personally, I would not take any risk of infection from it and throw it away. Sorry.
If you want to take the risk of seeing what this plant looks like you could leave it where you have replanted it and paint the wound with an anti-fungal agent.

25 Mar, 2009


My wisteria got snapped fairly low down, again by wind. I've had to dig it up and replace it, as only side shoots appeared, so it looked a bit silly. Commiserations to you both!

25 Mar, 2009


Thank you all for ideas - I think I am going to leave it for a year just to see what happens. It was in enclosed woodland with two others that have survived, so was pretty sheltered or so I thought. Again, many thanks.

25 Mar, 2009

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