Popular Rhododendron Breeds
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Plant at a Glance
Rhododendrons herald spring in woodland gardens with masses of colorful blooms, ranging from pastels to bolds that last for weeks. General growing conditions of rhododendrons are:
Soil/Growing: Consistently moist, well-drained, acidic soil rich in organic matter like pine needles or oak leaves. These shrubs thrive in a humid climate. It's usually unnecessary to prune rhododendrons unless age or size require it. Prune right after blooming to avoid affecting next year's bud set. To prune for size, cut the talleset branches about 2 feet into the crown, using an angled cut just above a bud or side branch.
Light: Part shade with four to six hours of direct sunlight per day for best flowering.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 4-8, depending on the species; most are hardy in Zones 5-8.
Planting: Because rhododendrons have shallow roots that need plenty of oxygen, plant them high, with the root ball a few inches above surrounding soil. Incorporate compost or composted leaves when backfilling the planting hole. Water regularly until established, and use bark or another coarse organic mulch around the base to help retain moisture.
Size: Most rhododendrons grow 3-10 feet tall and wide at maturity. Miniatures reach up to 1 foot tall; dwarf varieties, 1-3 feet; medium, 3-6 feet; and large, 6 feet and above.Date Published: February 27, 2018Date Updated: February 28, 2018
R. racemosum is a compact Chinese species about 5-8 feet tall and 3-5 feet wide, yielding many small clusters of white to deep pink blooms in early spring.Date Published: February 27, 2018Date Updated: February 28, 2018
Boule de Neige Rhododendron
R. Boule de Neige produces round trusses of pink buds opening to white flowers that look like snowballs–thus the name. Dome-shape shrubs grow 4-5 feet tall and 5-6 feet wide and can flower in full shade in Zones 4-8.Date Published: February 27, 2018Date Updated: February 28, 2018
Parker's Pink Rhododendron
R. 'Parker's Pink' is a heavy-blooming Dexter hybrid, producing 12-inch trusses of bright pink fragrant flowers with throats that fade to white. It reaches about 5 feet tall and wide at 10 years, 8 feet at maturity.Date Published: February 27, 2018Date Updated: February 28, 2018
Dexter's Purple Rhododendron
R. 'Dexter's Purple' produces ball-shape trusses of light purple bloms in midseason and tolerates sun and wind. It is about 4 feet tall at 10 years.Date Published: February 27, 2018Date Updated: February 28, 2018
Vulcan's Flame Rhododendron
R. 'Vulcan's Flame' grows 4-5 feet tall and wide with nearly ball-shape trusses of orangey-red blooms in late midseason.Date Published: February 27, 2018Date Updated: February 28, 2018
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