|Quick snap shot - 09/17/11 |
Now first of all, for those of you not familiar with this cultivar of Rhododendron, this is an 'evergreen' of sorts. It never sheds its leaves. They turn a gorgeous shade of dark bronze during the winter months. I may be panicking for nothing -- but these yellowing leaves have me clutching my heart! As you can tell by the curled green leaves, it IS in need of water (they filled out happily after getting a thorough soaking later).
Can anyone with Azalea/'Rhodie' experience and expertise tell me if I've screwed up - with woeful neglect, unknowingly? As a quick synopsis of historical care so far: I purchased it April of last year - deliriously happy when bloomed riotously this Spring, it is planted in a protected (from North & West winter winds) corner by my 3-season room, I mulched it with a 2-3" layer of pine mulch (as is suggested), and watered it faithfully when there were dry spells.
|My dear Rhodie - in happier days|
You may think I am making a mountain out of a mole hill, but you see, there is unhappy history here. Illinois is probably not the most hospitable area for Azaleas & Rhododendrons (I envy NJ - where they grow like weeds), but 3 times I have tried to find/create a little corner of the world for this 'favorite'. I was hoping "3rd time was a charm".
|Another place - another Azalea: that eventually met an untimely 'end'|
(It was planted in that garden - not left in a pot)
I did a little research, and have learned that Azaleas/Rhododendrons have shallow roots - and often new plants with tight root balls require slow soaking to get established. If there are any other suggestions or recommendations you have - I would greatly appreciate your wisdom!
Big thanks Garden Blog experts! ...