Boule De Neige Rhodo Color

mycitygardenAugust 14, 2009

Hi, folks!

I've had 2 boule de neige rhodies for the past 5 years now & I swear they were darker in color when I first had them. I've checked PH & I fertilize & acidify each year. Does anyone know this type of rhododendron who can tell me if I am seeing things or if some kind of soil test is worth while? P.S. The first photo is of these rhodies year 2 & the second photo I just took. Thanks for any & all your help!

My City Garden

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mainegrower(Z5b ME)

Darker green leaves? (Blossoms are pure white). Very hard to tell from a picture because light influences the color values so much. Except for some very minor vine weevil damage, the leaves look fine.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 4:35AM
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Looks fine to me, too.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 12:38PM
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Based only on the new picture....while you are fertilizing it, you may not be fertilizing it enough to get the "look"(color) you desire or remember it having. The older leaves appear the most "off" color or yellowish green....this could be a natural shifting of mobile nutrients from old leaves to new....which helps you look at what may be missing when you fertilize...some nutrients can move around, others can't....or its just plain needing more fertilizer. It is probably a bit late to be messing with a fertilizer issue in your area (but the plant will still be taking up nutrients and storing them for next year), unless you have a really strong grasp of plant nutrition and fertilizers....good luck......

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 6:26PM
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thanks for the quick replies, folks!
I went to "rhodyman" after your initial comments & think perhaps I lack enough nitrogen--he talked about a yellowish-green cast over all the leaves' surface. I think, too, that I have forgotten to add Hollytone, which I usually do. And, quite honestly, the more loose habit has been bothering me (they were show tight "balls" when I first got them), so I'm going to lightly prune all over next spring right after they bloom. One of the bushes also suffered a temporary case of root rot (I think) last summer & into this spring b/c the sump pump outlet went into this bed & we had some MAJOR storms this last summer.

I just think they can look better. Any other suggestions while we're at it?


    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 9:28AM
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mainegrower(Z5b ME)

In my experience the natural color of Boule de Neige leaves is a matte olive green. Rhododendrons never look quite so lush, full and green in the landscape as they do in the pot. Growers quite naturally want to produce the most attractive, saleable plant they can. This means heavy fertilization,and frequent pinching, among other things. Once released from the pot into the landscape, the rhododendrons resume their more normal genetically determined colors and growth form.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 3:39AM
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