Enjoying Your Rhododendron
Beauty of The Rhododendron
I love the beauty of the Rhododendron blooming in the spring. Many people have them flourishing around their homes. For years my husband has been trying to establish a Rhododendron to grow on our landscape without much luck. He finally transplanted an extremely large one last year which seems to be doing well so far. We had beautiful purple clusters to enjoy this spring.
The Rhododendron is a shrub which name comes from the Greek meaning Rose Tree. Many will soar high over twenty five feet depending on the variety. Their flower of various size blooms, come in white, pink, red, or purple. According to New World Encyclopedia there are over 1000 species of Rhododendron growing throughout the world. Such Rhododendron plants like the Mountain Laurel grow wild along hillsides in the Northern United States. It is so abundant in the mountains of Pennsylvania and Connecticut it became their state flower. West Virginia’s state flower is the Rhododendron as well only they don’t list a species.
Get Expert Advice For Best Results
According to the American Rhododendron Society, Rhododendrons like a soil with acid of around ph 5.5 and no more than ph 6. They need well drained soil with good moisture during the summer. Organic matter such as decayed oak leaves, pine needles or other acidity compost should be used. Some soil of high alkaline content may need acidified by adding agricultural sulfur or ferrous sulfate. They warn against using aluminum sulfate because it is harmful to the plants. In some high alkaline soil areas Rhododendrons do well planted in pine bark. If all else fails it’s good to ask the experts.
Rhododendrons can be planted any time of year in warmer climates, but colder regions should plant in spring for the best results. Fall planting can be a second choice. Most greenhouses will provide information for planting instructions and care. It’s best to follow these instructions for success. I can tell you from experience that smaller plants may grow well for a couple of years only to die off from not giving them proper care.
Rhododendrons are a beautiful plant, but according to the experts every part of them are toxic. Even honey made from them has been said to make people sick. Although it does make me wonder why no mention of the effect it had on the bees was told.
If you are planning to establish a healthy Rhododendron plant on your property, please do your homework in advance as to the soil you are putting them in and how to give them proper care. You’ll be glad you did when you see that first brilliant cluster of color catch your attention come spring.