bonitaapplebum. Rhododendrons are bushy and approximately 15" tall. The second has started to curl it's leaves. Leaf scorch occurs when a plant receives too little water to compensate for the moisture it loses through its leaves to hot summer air. A rhododendron rated hardy to 5°F, no matter how beautiful it is, planted in Green Bay, Wisconsin, will not survive. Rhodies are picky about the soil you plant them in and about how much water they like. Curled up leaves This happens when it gets cold during winter as the plant tries to conserve water in the cold spell. One remains so! I planted a Rhododendron shrub last spring, it looked nice at the nursery (and was in flower at the time) but it seemed to poop out over the summer. When the temperature drops below 35°F, rhododendron leaves begin to cup and curl at the edges. This problem is not caused by insects or disease but is a way the plant reduces water loss from its leaves … This summer was very hot and dry in our area. It looked pretty tired, and dropped a number of leaves. Yellow rhododendron leaves often represent the plant’s expression of dissatisfaction with its care. Healthy, vibrant leaves are an important part of the spring performance of a rhododendron (Rhodenderon spp.). Leaf Curl: Rhododendron leaves begin to cup and curl at the edges when temperatures drop to below 35 ºF. This happens just before winter or in summer drought. At 25 ºF, the leaves will be curled very tight and begin to droop. When brown leaves show up in a rhododendron, it's usually at winter's end -- right before flowering time. At 25°F, the leaves have curled so tight that half the leaf surface has disappeared and the leaves droop. Most varieties exposed to unprotected all-day sun are doomed. 14 years ago. Title: Why do Rhododendron Leaves Curl? Summer Heat. This is not so bad but when it happens during summer, It is a sign that your rhododendron is too dry and needs to be watered immediately or it will dry up, have wilting leaves and eventually die. Non-selective herbicide injury ... Shrubs sprayed during the summer or fall may not have noticeable injury until the following season when leaves appear as stunted, narrow, strap-like, and … I didn't do anything over the winter but mulch it. Leaf curling in cold weather is a defense against moisture loss through the leaf surface. Over the past few weeks, however, I notice that while much of the plant looks good (leaves appear normal), parts of the plant just seem to be dying off - leaves curl … As more and more home gardeners in the Southern and Midwestern states begin to grow rhododendrons, increased attention must be paid to the hot summer sun. 1 of 3. Both have slow release 'pellets' put in by reputable local nursery! 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