WSU Extension


Rhododendron : Sunburn
(revision date: 6/5/2018)

Sunscald is caused by exposure of the leaves to bright sunlight during hot weather. Sunscalded leaves on rhododendrons generally have a yellow to brown blotch in the center. Often this blotch has a yellow halo surrounding it. Typically the outside leaves on the southern and southwestern sides of the plant are most severely affected.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Choose the right plant for the location. Some rhododendron varieties can tolerate more sun exposure than others.
  • Proper irrigation during hot weather can increase the plant's resistance to sunscald.
  • Provide partial shade with other plantings or move the plant to a less-sunny location.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended

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Caption: Sunburn on rhododendron
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Caption: Sunburn on rhododendron
Photo by: R.S. Byther