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Garden Tales: Rhododendrons

Updated on September 22, 2009
courtesy flickr/Joe Shlabotnik
courtesy flickr/Joe Shlabotnik


 The rhodenderon, the name comes from the Greek: rhodos, "rose", and dendron, "tree",   belongs to the family Ericaceae.

There are over 10,000 species in this genus, among them in addition to the rhodenderon is the well-loved azalea.

This is a plant that will grab attention and therefore make a strong statement in your front yard. If you are looking for a shrub for your front yard, that will enhance your home’s curb appeal, the rhodenderon is a good choice.

My first encounter with this beauty, first as a designer, I’d been a fan for some years, took place about ten years when I was contracted to make some plant suggestions. The home owner loved roses and had several varieties growing in the front of his double sized lot.

He was looking for a plant that would work well with the roses , not in the same spot, but near several good sized pine trees that were growing along the side of the house.

The soil was acidic and the spot shady, the rhodenderon seemed to be a perfect choice. The owner and I chatted for awhile as I told him what I knew about the care and feeding of this one and then went to the local nursery to see what was in stock.

He was impressed with what he found and we spent sometime talking with the nursery manages. I believe people need to know their plants before they put them in the ground and another voice never hurts.

The next day the nursery delivered three plants and we put them in, now ten years later, they are thriving and the owners as added others on the opposite side of the house where similar conditions exist.

The soil ph should be 4.5 to 5.5 and the planting site needs to be well-drained. Full shade will not work and what is referred to as dappled shade is best, if you want enhance bud formation.

Protect them from the strong winter winds and areas where the wind blows the snow away leaving the ground around the plants bare.

If you plant them correctly when you first bring the seedlings or plants home they will reward you for many years to come. Rhodenderon are among the most striking woodland plants and if you are looking to create a woodland setting on your property they make a wise choice.

I am contemplating a forest like setting for my new backyard; at present there are no trees or shrubs and the lot is mostly gravel but a few pine trees and rhodenderons may be just what it needs.


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  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thank you both for droppng by.

  • Sandyspider profile image

    Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

    They are so beautiful! Love these flowers.

  • jill of alltrades profile image

    jill of alltrades 8 years ago from Philippines

    Beautiful! Beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome, thanks for dropping by.

  • myawn profile image

    myawn 8 years ago from Florida

    These are beauitful flowers Thanks for the info.

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome, thanks for dropping by.

  • profile image

    lyricsingray 8 years ago

    Beautiful, Thanks!