Tips for Rhododendron Care
Some of the most popular garden flowers in the United States and around the world are Rhododendrons, but if you want to grow these bushes, you will need some tips on Rhododendron care. These bushes produce flowers in an array of different colors, from white to burgundy, as well as shades of peach and yellow.
Due to the fact that there are a number of different varieties of Rhododendrons, you can find varieties that will grow in nearly every part of the country, though in dry or cold climates, this plant doesn’t do as well.
For proper rhododendron care, this plant needs an acidic soil and a humid climate, which is why they do so well in areas along the southern cost or the Pacific Northwest. With moist, well-drained soil, this bush with thrive and be healthy; once established, it takes little to care for it.
With the soil conditions being so important to rhododendron care, you will want to ensure that your soil has a pH of about 5–5.5. Before planting buy a test kit and test your soil so you can treat it and adjust the pH. If your soil contains a lot of clay, you may need to add some compost, which will help with drainage, as well as water retention.
For climates with harsher temperatures it is important that you choose a variety that can withstand dramatic temperature changes, plus keep in mind that these flowers do not tolerate wind too well so you will need some type of wind break near your rhododendron if you live in an area where there are frequent winds. To help break the wind and provide better rhododendron care you can plant shrubs nearby.
These bushes should be planted in an area where they will receive most of their light during the morning; this is also a good way to keep it out of the hot afternoon sun. Keep in mind that although these flower bushes don’t care for hot, direct sun, it also will not do well if in a lot of shade.
When planting rhododendron you will want to make sure that they have plenty of room for growing; some of these flowers can grow quite large, up to 15 feet. Another tip to help with rhododendron care includes not planting them too close to a building or other structure. If the variety you plant is the large variety, being too close to a structure can cause them to be deformed, and require a lot more pruning.
To plant these bushes, you will need a wide hole, but the depth of the hole should only be about the same depth as the ball. After planting one of the most important things to remember about rhododendron care is that they will have to be well watered throughout the first year. You will want to water at least once a week, especially during the dry months of summer.
Once the rhododendron is established, it is a very hardy plant and isn’t really bothersome when it comes to insects and disease, but if it isn’t healthy due to bad soil or being grown in the wrong climate, the rhododendron is more susceptible. Another problem that you may encounter is scorching. In some cases it can be difficult to determine the problem with these plants so it is best to take a sample of a leaf to your local nursery to get a professional opinion.
If you want to add some color to your landscaping, the rhododendron is a great choice, as long as you pay close attention to providing proper rhododendron care.