Help with black rhododendron leaves please?

Can anyone identify the problem I have with small rhododendrons or azaleas( I don’t know which!)please?

Nearly all the leaves are black at the ends,even new growth coming from the bottom. I have recently mulched them with mushroom compost as I wonder if it is lack of water?
I will feed them with rhododendron food and make sure I keep them well watered too for the rest of the year but I am not sure if I should remove blackened leaves or cut the plant right down as well?
Any thoughts much appreciated.:relaxed:

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Don’t think that’s a rhododendron. A viburnum maybe.


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Hmm, agree that doesn’t look like a rhododendron to me.

Either way, it could be frost scorch? Or potentially a disease but would need a definite plant name to diagnose.

Oh! Thanks- I will try to identify, but agree the leaves do look like viburnum, now that I have looked!

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Hi All,

I have inspected my plant again and think I can say almost certainly that it is Viburnum Davidii.

I have the little blue berries and signs of the flowers starting.

That being said- any ideas on how to treat the black leaves? I am thinking that it is some sort of black spot fungus? We don’t have bad frosts here as we have a micro climate due to the Gulf Stream, but we do have plenty of wind.

So far, I have removed all the dead leaves around the base. I have 3 plants all affected. I wondered whether to cut all the affected leaves off( most of them), or cut the whole plant back to the ground. Once new leaves start coming was going to try baking soda spray, in case it is fungus.
The plant was the same last year, but I didn’t take any action then.
I would welcome any suggestions.


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It certainly looks like it’s most likely to be a fungus but others more familiar with Viburnum may be able to help better.

If it is a fungus, removing all affected leaves on the plant and ground is a good start and then avoiding spraying leaves unnecessarily with water in spring to autumn. And a good mulch of fresh compost around their roots at some point before spring should help give them more nutrients to help promote stronger growth.

Thanks for that Jack. Will do as you suggested and Hopefully I will see an improvement.

After taking your advice,I cut off all affected leaves and almost cut back to ground level. Got rid of all the leaves that had fallen off too. A good mulch and feed and now look!

Thanks for your advice,as I was on the verge of digging the viburnum up!


Oh wow! That is a massive turnaround! Well done :slight_smile:

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