One of the most decorative evergreen flowering shrubs, rhododendrons are renowned for their spectacular spring flowers of almost every size and colour imaginable! Their name comes from the Greek words rhodon – meaning rose, and dendron – the tree. Originating from Asia, these splendid plants are now widely available.
Rhododendrons can be propagated by seed, layering, grafting, cuttings and micro-propagation, with layering being the simplest method for most amateur gardeners although this still involves a certain amount of skill and patience. Acid soil is preferred by most varieties, however, the relatively newly introduced Rhododendron Inkarho is a pH neutral variety, tolerant of many soil types, including clay. Although easy to grow, siting your plant is important and you do need a certain amount of ‘know-how’ to keep your rhododendrons happy! They do like plenty of moisture but also require good drainage so preparation of the soil is key for good results. Adding plenty of well-rotted manure is beneficial when planting and a mulch-feed of composted leaf-mold and peat will help fertilise.
- Thoroughly soak the root ball before removing the pot.
- Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball, but only 3/4 as deep
- Break up hard clumps of soil as you prepare
- Plant shallow, firming in as you go
- Add good quantity of mulch to help retain moisture
With such a stunning choice of varieties and flower colour available, do come and have a closer look! Choose from dwarf species (ideal for rock gardens) to the taller-growing species, there may well be a plant or two with your name on it! At Lime Cross Nursery, our garden experts are on hand to give advice and help you choose the right plants for your garden.