WSU Extension


Caption: Salt damage
Photo by: R.S. Byther
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Rhododendron : Salt injury
(revision date: 4/23/2014)

Salt injury to rhododendrons is typically a result of culture or environment. Excessive salt (mineral) levels in the soil or irrigation water, excessive use of chemical fertilizers, or lack of water can be at fault. Edges of older leaves "burn" or become brown and dry and the plant may lose its healthy green color.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Provide adequate irrigation.
  • Mulch around plants to prevent evaporation that can concentrate minerals in the root zone.
  • Improve drainage with addition of organic matter or by using raised beds.
  • Leach away excess salts by occasional heavy irrigation.
  • Decrease use of inorganic fertilizers.
  • Water potted plants from top only, and discard water that drains through.
  • Have suspect water supplies tested to determine salt content.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended

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Caption: Salt damage
Photo by: R.S. Byther