I had my neighbor help me repot a growing rhododendron. Unfortunately, I said it was planted too high, and he then started to push the plant in deeper. I was shocked but did not scream. I told him the roots have to be slightly high. But now I am worried there will be no air gaps in the compost. I did take a spike to make ventilation holes down the side of the rootball. Please, can you tell me if I should relift the plant out of the pot and place back down? Or is there something else I can do? Do I need to feed the plant even though it has new compost around it? Also, some of the leaves are showing brown spots. Are these just due to winter stress? Please advise. This plant is special to me, as it was one the first I bought just 5 years ago. Thanks so much.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
When potting it's important to keep the root ball at the same depth that it was from one container to the next. Rhododendrons do not like to be planted to deeply.
The soil should be loose and porous with good drainage. 2/3 of the soil should be all around potting soil and 1/3 equal compost and pumice.
You want good drainage, but you should not have pockets of air.
Fertilize sparingly and only in the spring when the buds began to swell. Heavy fertilizer will burn a Rhododendron.
The leaf spot could be plant stress, insect or fungus issues.
Neem Oil is a good treatment. Neem Oil works as both an insecticide and fungicide. It is also safe for people and pets.