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    May 15, 2022
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CELEBRATING 26 YEARS! Welcome to my weekly series! THE LANDSCAPE ASK PROFESSIONAL Linda K. Lillie of Sprigs &Twigs Linda K. Lillie has been President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc. for the last 26 years. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, an accredited NOFA Organic Land Care Professional, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her design and installation projects. QUESTION THIS WEEK: I have a Rhododendron plant that I moved from the back of my house to the front. It now has pale green leaves with dark brown discolorations on the tips of several of them. Is there anything I can do to improve the color of the leaves? When a shrub is initially transplanted, it is important to remove one-third of the above-ground growth before replanting. If this pruning is not done, the plant gets stressed causing the lighter color leaves and the small dead branches shown in your picture. The transplanted shrub will not grow for several years after transplanting, because the plant's energy is being spent on forming roots to help feed the remaining above-ground growth. Once the shrub gets established, normal growth will resume. Another important part of the transplanting process is to prune any roots that are ragged or broken when removed from of the ground. A clean, sharp cut on the tips of the roots will promote new root formation. Here are a few other things that will help the establishment process of your rhododendron. Make sure that the Rhodi is not planted too deeply. The soil level should be at the height of the root ball. Form a bowl with soil around the base of the shrub to naturally catch water. Rhodi's need a deep, moist soil to thrive. Poke some holes in the soil under and around the whole shrub about 12" past the tips of the Rhodi. These holes will help oxygen and nutrients to get to the roots. Add a 4" layer of organic compost over the entire soil surface that has been poked with holes and water in. This should help improve the color of the leaves by adding nutrients. · Fertilize with Hollytone, a dry, organic, slow release fertilizer. Just sprinkle a few handfuls around outside edge of shrub, but not on or under shrub. Water in. This should also help improve the color of the leaves by adding other types of nutrients. Only fertilize oncelyear in late April and never fertilize in the fall. Make sure roots are covered with 1-2" of mulch or leaves to help keep soil moist and cool and that it gets l'of water per week during the growing season. Sprigs D&Twigs EMAIL OR MAIL YOUR QUESTIONS TO: info@sprigsandtwigs.net or Linda Lillie, Sprigs & Twigs Inc, PO Box 245, Gales Ferry, CT 06335 SPRIGS & TWICS VOTED THE BEST BY DAY READERS EVERY YEARI CELEBRATING 26 YEARS! Welcome to my weekly series! THE LANDSCAPE ASK PROFESSIONAL Linda K. Lillie of Sprigs &Twigs Linda K. Lillie has been President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc. for the last 26 years. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, an accredited NOFA Organic Land Care Professional, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her design and installation projects. QUESTION THIS WEEK: I have a Rhododendron plant that I moved from the back of my house to the front. It now has pale green leaves with dark brown discolorations on the tips of several of them. Is there anything I can do to improve the color of the leaves? When a shrub is initially transplanted, it is important to remove one-third of the above-ground growth before replanting. If this pruning is not done, the plant gets stressed causing the lighter color leaves and the small dead branches shown in your picture. The transplanted shrub will not grow for several years after transplanting, because the plant's energy is being spent on forming roots to help feed the remaining above-ground growth. Once the shrub gets established, normal growth will resume. Another important part of the transplanting process is to prune any roots that are ragged or broken when removed from of the ground. A clean, sharp cut on the tips of the roots will promote new root formation. Here are a few other things that will help the establishment process of your rhododendron. Make sure that the Rhodi is not planted too deeply. The soil level should be at the height of the root ball. Form a bowl with soil around the base of the shrub to naturally catch water. Rhodi's need a deep, moist soil to thrive. Poke some holes in the soil under and around the whole shrub about 12" past the tips of the Rhodi. These holes will help oxygen and nutrients to get to the roots. Add a 4" layer of organic compost over the entire soil surface that has been poked with holes and water in. This should help improve the color of the leaves by adding nutrients. · Fertilize with Hollytone, a dry, organic, slow release fertilizer. Just sprinkle a few handfuls around outside edge of shrub, but not on or under shrub. Water in. This should also help improve the color of the leaves by adding other types of nutrients. Only fertilize oncelyear in late April and never fertilize in the fall. Make sure roots are covered with 1-2" of mulch or leaves to help keep soil moist and cool and that it gets l'of water per week during the growing season. Sprigs D&Twigs EMAIL OR MAIL YOUR QUESTIONS TO: info@sprigsandtwigs.net or Linda Lillie, Sprigs & Twigs Inc, PO Box 245, Gales Ferry, CT 06335 SPRIGS & TWICS VOTED THE BEST BY DAY READERS EVERY YEARI