Charm of Rhododendron Garden
The name “rhododendron” comes from the Greek phrase «rhodos» – rose and «dendron» – tree. These “Rose trees” attract with an inexhaustible variety of growth forms and colors of flowers. “Great Empire” has more than 1,000 rhododendrons of native species and many varieties. In landscaping rhododendrons are very popular.
Charm of Rhododendrons in Your Garden
The tallest rhododendron garden variety is “Grandiflorum” (Rh. cata-wbiense). It can reach 236 inches in height . However, its typical dimensions are height of 60-80 inches, and the same diameter. This strong- growing and quite winter hardy shrub. Among rhododendrons there are dwarf ground cover alpine species that do not exceed a height of 6 inches (Rh. forrestii). Rhododendrons mostly grow in Eastern Himalayas and East Asia – from western China to Japan.
Lots of beautifully growing species came from North America. There are rhododendrons in Europe as well as in the Caucasus, South and Southeast Asia. In nature, they can be found on a variety of areas – in the woods, along rivers, mountain meadows and open glades or in rock crevices. Rhododendrons require fertile acidic soil, regular watering, and spraying in the heat.
Rhododendrons grow in partial shade of tall trees on the sheltered, quiet places, in moist soils and even in the sun. Almost all kinds of rhododendrons need acidic soils (pH 4,5-5). To make the landing pit you need a mixture of leaf soil, peat and coniferous litter (3:2:1). For a pit width of 20 inches you will need to add 70 g of complete fertilizer, such as NPK, in this mixture. Varieties grafted onto rootstocks, specially grown on the “bad” soils are more stable with respect to the high content of calcium in the soil.
Rhododendrons have shallow root system, so even adult specimens tolerate replanting quite well. Only some varieties form more developed and deep root system on dry soils, trying to “get” more moisture.