Freitag, 10. Mai 2013

How to grow - Rhododendron

Article for Minerva Publications

Around May/June time Rhododendrons and Azaleas are firing up gardens and woodlands. Confusingly Rhododendrons and Azaleas are both running under the same botanical name Rhododendron. They only differ in different numbers of stamens; Rhododendrons counting seven, Azaleas counting five. Otherwise both plants appear to be exactly the same and both having the same requirements for growing.

Brentry Woodland, Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and Arboretum

These mostly evergreen, slow growing, beautiful shrubs or small trees come in hundreds of species and cultivars. They vary considerably in sizes and shapes, from dwarfed mounds to big-leaved trees, hence varieties should be chosen with care and according to space available. They are mainly grown for their spectacular flowers, striking in vivid oranges, pinks, reds and purples. In the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens and Arboretum they are the main feature in Brentry Woodland.

Rhododendron 'Titness Park'

Rhododendron occur originally in diverse habitats, from dense forest to alpine tundra. Being a member of the Ericaceae-family Rhododendron thrive in acidic (lime-free), well-drained soil. Forming shallow root plates they are not able to access water in deeper layers of the soil which makes additional watering in very hot, dry spells especially on sandy soils or when grown on pots essential. To enhance the water holding capacity of sandy soils, organic matter i.e. leaf mould can be mixed in. This also provides rich nutrients for the plants. Planting should be undertaken in autumn or spring. Water well and keep moist for the next couple of months until settled in.

Rhododendron 'Glory of Littleworth'
Propagation of Rhododendron can be easy. Most cultivars layer without difficulty. Branches kept under moist soil cover are likely to grow roots. The following year the layered shoot can be cut of the mother plant and potted on. Although Rhododendron seeds germinate easily, they will not come true as Rhododendron hybridize freely. However, hand pollinated garden plants will generally produce seeds that a true to type, although they will take years to get to flowering stage. Precious specimen are best grafted in late winter or late summer.

My Tips:
Best grown in an open woodland theme Rhododendron combine very well with ferns such as the Royal Fern, Osmunda regalis or the Ostrich Fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris, as well as perennials like the delicate Bleeding Heart, Dicentra spectabilis with its gorgeous, feathery foliage or big-leafed late-flowering Rodgersia pinnata 'Superba'.

1 Kommentar:

  1. Ein Wahnsinn wie der Rhodo wieder blüht. Diese Zeit habe ich auch immer geliebt und bin gerne in den Rhododendrenpark nach Bremen oder nach Bad Zwischenahn und Umgebung.

    Mag ihn vorallem auch weil er immergrün ist^^

    Hab einen schönen Tag und herzliche Grüsse


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