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Composting rhododendron  RSS feed

 
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So we are buying a new place, and there are several rhododendron that are engulfing the house I plan on cutting them down and starting a hugel bed with them. However, I saw some posts about toxins, but no elaboration. So is it on to compost whole rhododendron plants.
I also have a full yard of pachysandra to deal with. I plan on hot composting all of this. Thanks for any input you may have. I'm going to have my hands full turning this ornamental yard into a thriving homestead.
 
gardener
Posts: 1884
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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I don't know about the toxic properties of rhododendron, but there are mushroom strains that are highly effective at detoxification of organic molecules, opssibly you would want to grind or chip the material and grow mushrooms on it, or hugel it, and inoculate with the appropriate mushrooms.

Thekla
 
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Location: Southeast US Zone 8b
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Rhododendrons are toxic to animals when eaten or when bees make honey from their nectar, but not too deadly. If you're worried about plant toxicity, the rhododendron family is actually fairly susceptible to allelotoxins. However, they might make an acidic mulch. I don't know where you are but our soil is slightly acidic and we still have trouble growing rhododendrons.
 
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I would just add them in to the compost and not worry about it. Nature has a wonderful way of busting things apart. I've chopped and dropped azaleas in my food forest, no problem.
 
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