Rhododendron: Sunburn

categories: Ornamentals Rhododendron Rhododendron Diseases Shrubs

revision date: 2022-12-05 12:00

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


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

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • 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.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • None recommended

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