General Discussion:

Rhodos in Edmonton

Messages posted to thread:

Rob03-Oct-03 07:31 AM EST 3   
JoanneS03-Oct-03 11:42 AM EST 3a   
Penny 03-Oct-03 12:09 PM EST 3   
Chris07-Oct-03 09:19 AM EST 5a   
JoanneS15-Oct-03 10:42 AM EST 3a   
Chris21-Oct-03 09:35 AM EST 5a   

Subject: Rhodos in Edmonton
From: Rob
Zone: 3
Date: 03-Oct-03 07:31 AM EST

Hello all,

I was wondering if I could receicve some help. I have a few Rhodos, Evergreeen ones in Edmonton(yes Edmonton). They made it through last winter and bloomed spectacularly this Spring. As our fall has been quite warm, I have been watering them alot. I've noticed that they have lost quite a few leaves. Turning bright yellow then dropping off. Is this normal for Rhodos. They are Boule de neige(snowball) and "German sounding name bright fuschia red".

I was just wanting some advice. I'm glad I tried them, They grew about 8 inches this year, and are now 2 and a half feet tall.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance for the information

Subject: RE: Rhodos in Edmonton
From: JoanneS (
Zone: 3a
Date: 03-Oct-03 11:42 AM EST

Rhodo's in Edmonton .... but of course. I have been growing rhodos here for 8 years now. And, yes, they do survive our winters if we pamper them just a little bit.

The leaves should NOT be turning yellow and falling off. I have no practical advice to give, and I understand how hard it is to find people in Edmonton who have a really good knowledge of rhodos.

Assuming it is nothing weird like a disease, give it some good winter protection, including a spray with anti-dessicant, and see what happens in the spring. The big problem we have here with rhodos is their leaves drying out over the winter and dropping off in the spring. I have also noticed that some types of rhodos seem better able to withstand our dry winds, these being the elegans and catawbiense varieties.

Two years ago, I thought I had lost my first bought, oldest rhodo. Remember how dry the fall and winter were? In the spring, all the leaves curled up, turned brown and then fell off. I felt like I had lost an old friend. But a couple of weeks later, I noticed tons of new buds all up and down the stalks. Today, it is more fabulous than ever. And I love it even more.

Good luck.

Subject: RE: Rhodos in Edmonton
From: Penny
Zone: 3
Date: 03-Oct-03 12:09 PM EST

In one of my books it says that you should reduce watering in early to mid autumn to allow the plant to prepare for winter. If the fall has been dry , which ours has to water after the first severe frost. Provide protection against severe winter winds. It also says that a mineral deficiency causes the leaves to turn yellow with green veins. or the earth is not draining ell . Sray leaves with an iron sulfate solution or chelelated iron, avaiable premixed at most garden centers. Hope this helps, it is what is says in my plant book.

Subject: RE: Rhodos in Edmonton
From: Chris
Zone: 5a
Date: 07-Oct-03 09:19 AM EST

Rhodos don't keep their leaves for ever! If you look on the ARS database you will see some keep leaves 2 years, some 3 and so on. It is normal to lose old leaves in the fall, and yes they often turn yellow before falling. So you don't have to worry.

The old advice on watering was to water frequently in fall to ensure they go into freeze-up full of water. Modern advice seems to suggest little watering in early fall to encourage the hardening-off process, then lots of water just before the ground freezes as before.

Glad to hear they are growing well in Edmonton - I once had a Toronto grower enquire if we could grow rhodos as far north as Ottawa

Subject: RE: Rhodos in Edmonton
From: JoanneS (
Zone: 3a
Date: 15-Oct-03 10:42 AM EST

Chris, thanks for the info on the leaves. It is hard here to get really good advice on growing them here as they are not that common. I went home and inspected my bourseault and noted that it had a leaf turning yellow. I am relieved to hear this is not unusual. Is it just the lower leaves that are expected to fall off? I am assuming because they are the older leaves, these would be the ones to fall off.

Thanks Chris.

Subject: RE: Rhodos in Edmonton
From: Chris
Zone: 5a
Date: 21-Oct-03 09:35 AM EST

Yes the older leaves are the lower ones.

If you want to try other rhodos the small-leaved types such as the PJM series and the "April" series (April Rose, April Mist etc.) are very hardy. If you can keep Boule de Neige and a boursault alive then the new Finnish hybrids (Haaga, Mikkeli, Pohjola's Daughter etc.) should also survive. The large leafed ones need protection from late winter/early spring sun and benefit from a sunscreen (burlap) on the S and W sides to shade them. Good luck with pushing the zones - it's part of what makes gardening fun

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