They should never be planted on the south side of a building unless significant shade is cast by nearby trees. ‘The most wildlife friendly rhododendrons are usually the deciduous ones,’ says Stephen. Or it may be short of nutrients. You can also take stem cuttings from existing rhododendrons and plant them to grow a new plant. But otherwise, they’re very easy care plants. Most Southerners have either acid, clay soil or alkaline, clay soil. They have to grow in an area that is cool - overhanging branches from trees, so that they don't get that hot afternoon sun. Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9. Choose a site with dappled shade in sheltered conditions. There’s also a Victorian rock garden, a colony of wallabies that have lived here for 100 years and several species of deer. So if you’re buying a rhododendron for some evergreen structure in your garden, check this. As understory plants in conifer-dominated woodlands, rhododendrons grow best in locations that mimic that environment. Plant in pots . Rhododendrons are a diverse group of plants that also include both evergreen and deciduous azaleas. Rhododendrons are best known for their spectacular clusters of large, showy and often fragrant flowers. Rhododendron species as found in the wild grow, flower, are pollinated, and set seed.The seedlings are usually pollinated by the plants of the same species and generally look similar to the parent plants, though there may be small, and sometimes considerable, variations among them. The American Rhododendron Society identifies fast growing rhododendrons that reach a … Pontica rhododendrons are now listed as an ‘invasive, non-native species’, but you can still buy them. If you want a scented rhododendron, then they are mostly deciduous. Therefore, fertilization should be done carefully, or the fine, delicate roots close to the soil surface will be damaged. "How do I prune my rhododendrons?" Cut about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch just above a latent bud. 8 steps to the long thin garden of your dreams, Two years ago Emma and Mel moved to a house in Whitstable with a long thin garden. The usual answer to this frequently asked question is, "Very little. Check what height your rhododendron will grow to before buying it. When deciding which rhododendron varieties to grow in your flower garden, focus on flowering times to keep their color going in the garden all year long. Although rhododendrons have brilliantly coloured flowers, they prefer shade or dappled shade to full sun. I was asked recently to do what I could to save a roughly 20-year-old Rhododendron, which had grown to about 5 feet. They came…, Fences for privacy – 9 great ideas for garden screening, Are you making the most of your fences for privacy and screening? Enrich the soil with some compost and Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser before planting. ‘But there is a group of rhododendrons called the Loderi, which were bred here in Leonardslee Gardens in 1901. ‘It may not be old enough to flower yet as rhododendrons don’t flower until a certain age (this varies, depending which one it is). But if you do want to fertilize, according to the Kenneth Cox book on Rhododendrons and Azaleas*, you should do it early in the spring before the plant has started blooming. Growing Rhododendrons in Raised Beds. In general, rhododendrons require little pruning. But in winter, you won’t be out in the garden very often, so you’d want to be able to see it flowering from your house. It would take a whole book to understand this wide world! Remember that the ability to grow Azaleas and Rhododendrons successfully depends also on the site selection and soil preparation. Climate. Rhododendrons like an acidic soil with a pH level of 4.5-5.5. Stephen Herrington, head gardener at Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens gives his tips on growing rhododendrons. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Keep them moist – you can put a plastic bag over them for a mini greenhouse effect. maximum and R. minus var. Many cultivars suit plantings at the edge of a woodland or shady area. Another is the attractive lavender-flowered Rhododendron ponticum. I hate to see beautiful, mature shrubs destroyed, so I gladly took on this project. Where Is the Best Place to Plant Rhododendrons. But low hedges…, The 8 best perfect-for-privacy garden trees, Do you need trees for privacy? Remove the dead and sickly branches and let the plants grow naturally." Rhododendron watsonii is a species rhododendron, which means it is a native plant, in this case from China. Or finally, you may have pruned it at the wrong time. Tap water, especially in hard water districts, contains too much calcium for rhododendrons, reducing acidity around their roots. ‘Think about the size of your garden and how big you want your rhododendron to grow, says Stephen. This is one of the Loderi rhododendrons, bred a 100 years ago at Leonardslee. Rhododendrons don’t need much feeding or formal pruning, but they do add structure to the garden as well as producing wonderful new growth and fine foliage. It’s evergreen and highly scented. A good starting point is to choose plants naturally adapted to hot weather. Plant in a good sized pot, about 15cm wide than the root ball, advises Stephen. .They don’t want a really sunny spot. ‘They have an amazing scent and will grow indoors, preferably in quite a cool room, such as a conservatory.’. 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