I have a small rhododendron bush. Over the winter, I think my dog urinated on it, especially on one side of it. Now that all the snow is gone, I see half (where he urinated) of the bush seems to be dead... no leaves, bare branches with no growth. The other half has some green leaves and buds as well as some leaves that are partly brown and droopy. First, has the dog's urine damaged the bush, and secondly, what should I do with it now? Should I cut away the bare branches and hope to save the rest of the bush? Help!
Cutting Back Rhododendrons
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
The urine may have made the soil too acidic and salty and it will slowly kill the plant. Really, the best thing to do is to flood the area with the hose. This will help wash the urine out of the soil. As for the plant, check the stems to see if they are still alive (https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/environmental/how-to-tell-if-a-plant-is-dead-and-how-to-recover-an-almost-dead-plant.htm). You can remove the stems and branches that are dead.