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The buds of my rhododendron are brown. What can I do?

Question submitted by FAQ

Might my Rhododendron be ill? All flower buds are brown/black. What is the reason and what is the solution for the problem?

Garden Expert:

Mr. Engelbert Kötter

Mr. Engelbert Kötter

GARDENA Garden Expert Germany

The answer

The reason is a fungal infection which affects the buds and flowers of the rhododendron. The initiator is the fungus pycnostysanus azaleae. But it only gets access through the rhododendron cicada which punctures the plant to subsist itself. Fight the cicada already as larvae during hatching – which is end of October till mid December. Spray a environmentally friendly pesticide, for example, based on natural pyrethrum, two or three times in a weekly interval. Be aware that the larvae are mainly on the bottom of the leaves. The first thing, at any rate, is to take away the ill buds and flowers to prevent the spread of the spores.