Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Rhododendron Tragedy?

While we were in Mexico, here in Iowa almost two feet of wet, heavy snow fell in one day, which has subsequently (in combination with the deep snow already on the ground) turned into two feet of near-ice. When I was finally able to pry one of the garden gates open, to go look around, most of the rhododendrons were nowhere to be seen; they were flattened under all the snow, and are now entombed in ice, pinned down and frozen to the ground. I don't think this is going to end well...
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Don, you might get lucky yet with those Rhododendrons. Ours here have been hammered some winters with ice and snow and yet they come back every year. Sometimes there's a hole here or there where the branches broke but hopefully you will still have nice shrubs come spring.
Plants are pretty resiliant, under that snow and ice they are probebly nice and cozy. I bet they will be ok!
Don, welcome to Blotanical! I hope your Rhodies are all right. I've a young Continus that has been MIA for about 2 months now. At least half of the snow has melted now. Our local paper had a front page story today with the same criticism of T.S. Eliot that we've both included in posts. This February was truly terrible. Aren't you glad you were able to miss out on most of it?
We have rhododendron's in the Smoky Mountains that get snow every year and turn out fine. I think they'll be OK but you never know. Sometimes when freezes are coming farmers ice their crops so the the vegetation beneath the ice doesn't fall below freezing. Those plants are usually fine. Good luck with the rhododrendrons!
Thanks everybody for your sympathy (I sort of feel like I'm at a wake).I guess I'm mostly worried that a lot of the main branches are going to be broken off, so I may have to whack everything back to get any kind of a symmetrical shrub).
I hope you're wrong about the branches breaking off.~~Dee
Do you have experience with how rhododendrons take trimming? Ours look a little bleak, too.
Just wait and see. I've seen my Deadora bend double and straighten right back up. If it doesn't look like the branch actually cracked then they may hang low this year if you don't prop them--but I bet they are OK. If you have to trim them, wait until their natural time period of bloom would have happend--then trim. Always trim bloomers right after the bloom. You'll know if they are going to be Ok, about two or three weeks after the thaw. They will start to get back in shape if they weren't broken.
Well, I'm just hoping for the best, but the way the weather is going (we're still incredibly cold, with no thawing), it may be the end of March before the snow and ice even melt. I've had some experience pruning rhodys... and I think I'm going to need it.
I'm sorry to hear about your rhododendrons. They looked so very beautiful. I hope they do make it and come back alive for you.
Vanillalotus... It will apparently be two more weeks at least before i know; they are predicting continuing cold and snow.
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my kids cracked my rhododendron off right at ground level - am i able to salvage the plant that was above ground - or will the roots be able to pruduce another plant????
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