Wrapping Rhododendrons

(Question)

I’ve just wrapped my 3 rhododendrons with burlap. The foliage is tightly wrapped with burlap in a bundle. Should I unwrap them and start over so that there is no burlap touching the foliage?

(Answer)

Your rhododendrons need to breath so yes, I would recommend that you unwrap them and start again.  Put 4 stakes around each one and wrap the burlap around the stakes.  Ensure to fasten the burlap securely to the stakes so that strong winter winds and heavy snow won’t damage the burlap.

You may also consider mulching around the roots of the plants to protect their rather shallow roots.  They are acid loving plants so the mulch should contain coniferous bark and/or needles. Be sure to keep the trunk of the plants free from mulch so that any vermin that might nest in the mulch do not chew on the bark of the plant.

As much as you can, water the rhododendrons during dry periods now before the ground freezes so that they can take up enough moisture to get them through the winter.