I thought that I might also share some tips with you as to how best to prepare your plants for cold weather. These tips are mostly from The American Rhododendron Society(http://rhododendron.org/) who are a great source of information for rhododendron growers.
- Hydration is important for the winter. If you have the ability for a good soaking in late fall and covering with mulch that will hold the moisture and insulate the ground around the root system as long as possible, your plants can use this moisture intake to help their systems during the freezing winter months.
- Protection from drying winds. Planting I areas that are sheltered from winds are recommended. If you have plants that may have wind exposure, creating a wind break or wrapping in burlap can help protect them.
- If you plants are in containers, move them to areas that are close to the house and/or onto the ground where they can use the warmth that is radiated by the heat of the house and ground.
- A customer from Connecticut suggested spraying with a 5:1 dilution of Wilt-Pruf in November on a dry day above freezing. This will help in preventing wind damage. He reminded me how difficult it can be to spread a trap or burlap on mature plants that can be 15 feet tall! Thank you Bruce! Here is a link to Wilt-Pruf on amazon.