Rhododendron: Is this normal after flowering?


It’s 2nd year since it’s planted.
I don’t remember how the flowers faded last summer, but this time after showing beautifully the flowers look just dried up.
Is this normal?

Location: 5a
Light: full morning sun, then late afternoon sun


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners. Since your rhododendron bloomed well last year and this year, it seems that it is well situated. The light sounds ideal, and since it prefers moist well-drained acidic soil, it seems that these requirements are being met as well. Assuming that your plant looks otherwise healthy I think the cause is probably fluctuations in the weather pattern this spring – back and forth from weather typical of late winter/early spring to summer-like heat, as well as a long period of more normal cool spring weather. It snowed in late May after 10 days of high heat ! It could also be that your rhodo didn’t get enough moisture during those hot days. These plants are quite shallow-rooted, and benefit from mulching ideally with pine needles, and wood chips also work well, to retain moisture in the soil.

Here is some information about growing rhododendrons that might be helpful :

Growing rhododendrons in Ontario

Let’s hope for favourable weather next spring for a long season for these beautiful blooms !