Rhododendron Care Rhododendron Planting Tips. The best way to prevent damage to your plants is to make sure they are properly planted and well maintained. A stunning display of spring color in mass plantings. Planting rhododendrons and azaleas too deep can eventually lead to plant death. They need moist, well-drained, acidic soils. When you see that beautiful, blooming rhododendron at the garden center in a 2-gallon pot, you have to consider how big it will get over time before you plant it a foot from your house. Good for mass planting. From 18 inches tall and wide to 20 feet tall; varies depending on species and cultivar. Planting near concrete foundations or other concrete materials is to be avoided as the concrete creates alkaline conditions (a pH of 6 or above) that are harmful for healthy rhododendron and azalea growth. There is something unsettlingly stark about the intersection where house meets land—it begs to be softened with greenery. Care Notes. * Required | We will never sell or distribute your email to any other parties or organizations. Using the durable board and batten siding from LP Smartside, Jerry and his team created a functional and customized look for the home. These bones of a foundation planting provide structure to the flowering specimens around them. Pink rhododendron flowers with orange throats . Rhododendron is a favorite for showy spring flowers and glossy green leaves; shorter varieties require less maintenance pruning to stay in check. Tiny-leaved alpine and dwarf species are best in bright sun. PH test kits are simple to use and available to purchase at garden centers. If you are considering growing rhododendrons, the first step is to test your soil for its acid/alkaline balance. Both can grow to 18 inches high and wide; USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 9. When to plant rhod… Lastly, designers agree that a restricted color palette helps give foundation plantings a considered, cohesive look. Shape of the Planting Bed In traditional foundation plantings, the plants were normally arranged in linear beds, in more or less straight lines paralleling the house wall. Compact varieties stay neat in winter after their leaves have dropped. Rhododendrons and azaleas are acid-loving, woody shrubs with colorful flower clusters. Find a Garden Center that carries Proven Winners plants & products. Azaleas are frequently used around foundations and occasionally as hedges, and many larger-leafed rhododendrons lend themselves well to more informal plantings and … The damp, mild climate of the Pacific Northwest is perfect for growing azaleas or rhododendrons; while growing in colder climes, especially the Northeast, can be a challenge. Glossy leaves are a dark reddish-purple all year long. If you think your soil is no longer up to par, apply a fertilizer designed for acid-loving plants in late winter or early spring. See more Common Poisonous Plants for Dogs and Cats. var theDate=new Date() They grow best in light shade, and need protection from midday sun and winter sun. 'Cavatine' has leathery, dark green leaves with bell-like white flowers in spring. "Two conical things on either side of the front door with two tall things on either end of the house with lower things in the middle—that's a dated approach," says Anne F. Walters, a landscape architect in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The best place to plant is on the north or east side of a building. "Too many colors distract the eye," says Christianson. At the front of the border, these can provide spring-to-fall color, especially if you cluster varieties with an extended bloom time. Furthermore, don't plant rhododendrons or azaleas near other surface roots that compete for space, water and nutrients. Almost all plants, including annuals, perennials, trees, and lawns, will appreciate a boost of nitrogen now as spring growth starts, so feed with an all-purpose fertilizer. 'Chamzin' will reach 3 feet high and 4 feet wide in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 9. Peak bloom generally occurs in mid-spring; however, some azalea and rhododendron plants bloom as early as March and others as late as July. At the 2020 Farmhouse in Fairfield County, builder Jerry Effren desired the look of a traditional New England barn that has been modernized over time, along with a contemporary farmhouse. Whether you live in a mild, cold or hot climate will determine what time of year is best for planting. and cvs., Zones 4–8) and deciduous azaleas (Rhododendron spp. In tropical zones, azaleas will bloom in full shade. It is an evergreen suited to zones 5 to 8. On this page: Basics | Planting | Care | Rhododendron & Azalea Pictures | Design Ideas | FAQ's | Where to See Rhododendrons & Azaleas. Apply an organic mulch to protect its shallo… A superior woodland garden accent or foundation plant. Slow-growing, dwarf, or compact varieties are a smart choice, especially under windows. You can amend the soils with peat moss, compost, and other soil acidifiers to keep them happy. Home to one of the largest collections of species rhododendrons in the world, the garden displays over 700 of the more than 1,000 species found in the wilds of North America, Europe, … Get planting advice, garden design tips and trends, monthly checklists for your area, product specials and more in our weekly newsletter. Choose plants with staggered bloom times to guarantee a few months or more of splendid color. Proper soil preparation is also necessary for the health of this acid loving plant. “It pays to be patient when dealing with some plants” A project I started well over 20 years ago has come into fabulous floral fruition this spring with the Magnolia Grove here at … These are the shorter, slower-growing cultivars that are easiest to keep in check. Discover the right plants for your garden. Upper left: The casual style of this Cape Cod home is reflected in the loose plantings of hydrangeas, rhododendrons, and conifers. "This helps improve the view from inside, too," says Walters. Zone 5 rhododendrons are also particular about soil. 'Anthony Waterer' has pinkish-red blooms and can grow up to 4 feet high and 6 feet wide; USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 8. Discover unique garden products curated by the Garden Design editors, plus items you can use to solve problems in your garden right now, and best sellers from around the web. How to Grow Rhododendrons: Rhododendrons are acid loving plants. C. verticillata 'Zagreb' has golden flower heads, while 'Grandiflora' is a darker yellow. Everything You Need to Know About Christmas Trees, Fall Fertilizing: Essential Tips to Make Your Yard Grow, Everything You Need to Know About Willow Hybrid Trees. Rhododendrons and azaleas make wonderful companions to other acid-loving plants and trees, such as ferns and. 4-9; however, the most variety is available in Zones 5-8. Looking for a pop of color around your home? If you’re having a specific problem, check out these recommendations from ARS. Prune azaleas or rhododendrons right after they finish blooming and be careful not to cut off next year’s buds (rhododendrons bloom on old wood). Give the rhododendron at least that much space from other plants if you are only planting one. They prefer a moist, well drained soil with a pH of 5.5.Check the soil pH before planting, especially if planting along a foundation … Soil preparation is best accomplished in autumn before planting the rhododendron in spring. Ideal soil pH for rhododendron plants is somewhere between 4.5 and 6.0. Replenish the mulch annually, or as needed. In mid to late spring, it bears abundant rounded clusters of 10 to 15, trumpet-shaped, vibrant reddish-purple flowers. R. 'Radtko' has double flowers. Best Foundation Plants for Stellar Curb Appeal, What Can and Can't Go Down a Garbage Disposer. Rhododendron plants, similar to many other plants in the Ericaceae family, prefer acidic soils. Read on for some top plant picks from our designers. Combine shrubs that bloom in early spring with those that continue to provide color into summer. It grows best in part shade. If your rhododendron has outgrown its spot, don’t worry, its shallow roots make for easy transplanting. document.write(theDate.getFullYear()) Dandy Man® Purple rhododendron. Both grow up to 5 feet high and wide; USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 9. The Rhododendron Species Foundation & Botanical Garden is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the conservation, public display, and distribution of Rhododendron species. Keep the soil moist, but don’t let it become soggy. These homeowners have taken their foundation planting cues from the style of the house, repeating the architectural lines and preserving key features. Plant in spring or early fall. It grows at a moderate rate to reach four to five feet tall, with a wider spread, and, like most rhododendrons, it's easy to care for. "Rhododendrons International" Vol. Rhododendrons are called the queens of the shade garden for good reason. Needled evergreens, such as yews (Taxus spp. Can reach 4 feet high and 8 feet wide; USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 8. Rhododendron Planting Guide 'Annabelle' has white blooms in summer, while Bella Anna is covered in pink flowers until fall. If your neighbours are growing these plants successfully you can assume they will grow for you, but otherwise a soil-test kit can be found cheaply at any garden center or hardware store. Try lowering your soil’s pH by digging in organic matter. But even then, a good plant can be placed in a bad spot. Space plants 2 to 6 feet apart, depending on their estimated mature size. Rhododendron is a favorite for showy spring flowers and glossy green leaves; shorter varieties require less maintenance pruning to stay in check. "When in doubt, use more plants with the same color or bloom instead of adding additional colors.". Azaleas are actually a type of rhododendron, and while they are similar in shape to other rhododendrons, they can be differentiated by their hairy leaves and five stamens (instead of the usual ten). 'Blue Wonder' is more compact, with dark blue flowers; Zones 3 to 8. Dense habit with branches that reach to the ground. The American Rhododendron Society (ARS) recommends the following planting times based on your climate. 'Winter Gem' reaches a similar size but with yellowish-green leaves; USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 9. All Rights Reserved. All rights reserved. Photo by: Proven Winners. It is a good choice for foundation plantings and large rock gardens. Shown: Curved beds frame the porch and provide color and interest with a mix of flowering and evergreen plants. Can grow to 18 inches high and 2 feet wide; USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 8. When the pH is too high, their leaves turn yellow. Get the latest This Old House news, trusted tips, tricks, and DIY Smarts projects from our experts–straight to your inbox. How to Plant Rhododendron & Azaleas. The compact shape is perfect for smaller gardens. 4 Hybrid 'Wardii' is a slow grower that, in 20 years, can reach 6 feet high and 20 feet wide; Zones 4 to 7. Prefers protected, shady spots with well-drained, yet moist amended soil. Here's how an inventive redo made an 1830s artifact just right for a 21st-century household, Letting the (Natural) Light In | 2020 Cottage on the Cape. Tall spikes of tiny blue or purple flowers that are best clumped together for a punch of color. "The right foundation planting for most houses is a nice mix of evergreen and deciduous material, with dwarf varieties in order to keep window views open, some repetition of plants for a unified look, and an overall casual, naturalistic feeling.". This foundation plant grows 3 to 4 ft. (1 – 1.2 m) tall and thrives in zones 4 – 8. A good place to start is by enlarging a photo of your house and tracing the outline of it on paper. Reblooming varieties bloom in spring, then again in summer until frost. Rhododendron shrubs can be pruned to show off their sculptural trunks or to give an arched or cascading effect. Flower: Color phases through red and soft pink to white. Wherever soil tests neutral to alkaline (i.e., yielding a pH reading higher than 7), rhododendrons will be hard to grow. 'Yaku Prince' blooms with funnel-shaped pink flowers and grows to 3 feet high and wide with olive-green leaves; Zones 4 to 8. Above all, plan before you plant. 'Henry's Garnet' has 6-inch-long spikes of fragrant white flowers and can grow up to 4 feet high and 6 feet wide; USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 9. The ARS recommends that you avoid planting rhododendrons or azaleas near concrete because it creates alkaline soil conditions that are detrimental to their development. Planting in Warm or Hot Regions (Zones 7 to 11) Plant in a site that receives afternoon shade, especially in hot areas. Look for dwarf varieties that max out at 2 to 4 feet tall for under windows and other tight spots. Place these showy, reliable bloomers under a window where you can enjoy them from inside. Plan for at least 1 foot of space between the house and any mature plant to allow room for maintenance. Grow it in zones 4 to 8. Can grow 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide; Zones USDA Hardiness Zones. To solve that, the American Rhododendron Society recommends either starting with a superbly drained site or amending the soil big-time before … Amending the soil with organic matter such as leaf mulch or fine bark will help both the acidity and drainage. In addition to filtered shade and good drainage, pick a spot with protection from the wind. There are eight different types of rhododendrons to choose from—some are tall like trees, others are more bush-like; some are evergreen, and others are deciduous. Shade-loving plants, Ferns are wonderful companion plants to Rhododendrons and Azaleas. Select a planting space for the rhododendrons with filtered shade and well-drained soil. Plant with shorter 'Snow Lady,' which flowers earlier, for extended color. A compact shrub covered with red flowers from spring until frost. Daisy-like yellow flowers open in early summer on tall stalks with fine, green foliage. Color: Dark pink flowers with variegated green & white leaves, Height/Spread: 2 to 3 feet tall, 1-1/2 to 2 feet wide, Color: Lavender-pink flowers with deep purple-green leaves, Flower: Sweet pink flowers with greenish-yellow markings in throat, Flower: Reddish-purple trusses; heavy-blooming, Flower: Funnel-shaped and lavender-pink with up to 20 blooms per truss, Flower: Pink funnel-shaped blooms form on a large truss, Height/spread: 2 to 3 feet tall, 2 to 5 feet wide. The Center recommends watching children and pets closely when outdoors to prevent this from happening. Choose an area for planting that receives ample amounts of both sunlight and shade — filtered sunlight is ideal. ), offer quite a different texture from broadleaf specimens, such as Rhododendron shrubs. Photo by: Agencja FREE / Alamy Stock Photo. Why does my rhododendron have yellow leaves? Before attempting to plant, test your soil’s pH. Colorful flower clusters, known as trusses, come in many hues: pink, white, reddish-purple, deep crimson, blue, and yellow. An excellent foundation plant or low hedge. Look for slow-growing 'Compacta,' which has dark green leaves and a rounded shape, and grows to 4 feet high and 6 feet wide; Zones 5 to 9. Water well after planting; maintain 1” of water once a week the first year. These 4-inch-wide blooms of white petals with yellow centers appear from mid summer to early fall and need no staking, thanks to ridged stems. Plant it with camellias, gardenias, azaleas or coral bells. Growing rhododendron successfully requires the proper planting spot for the rhododendron bush. The ARS recommends that you avoid planting rhododendrons or azaleas near concrete because it creates alkaline soil conditions that are detrimental to their development. Here are tips to gauge the proper spacing for rhododendrons. But just hiding that juncture with a tight fringe of evergreens isn't the answer. 'Nikko' blooms in spring with white flowers and dark blue-green foliage. Slow-growing, dwarf, or compact varieties are a smart choice, especially under windows. It can tolerate full sun in certain areas, although windy sites should … However, life-threatening symptoms can occur when large amounts of these plants, or honey made from them, are consumed. The rhododendron bush is an attractive, blooming specimen in many landscapes and is fairly low maintenance when planted properly. If this doesn’t work, try an above-ground growing mix for rhododendrons made from 50 percent well-rotted manure, 40 percent high-quality topsoil, and 10 percent shredded leaves, worked together with a 5-inch layer of peat moss. The average evergreen or deciduous rhododendron expands to a diameter of nearly 8 feet at maturity, so correct spacing in the garden when planting several rhododendrons is essential to their survival. The flowers of P.J.M. Pick a rhododendron variety that has been proven hardy in your area and plant it in a location with an eastern or southern exposure. Can grow to 3 feet high and wide; USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 9. If you are planting multiple rhododendrons, place them between 2–6 feet (0.61–1.83 m) apart depending on the plants' sizes. and cvs., Zones 5–9). It just takes a few minutes to test your soil and if it is less than 5.5 on the pH scale, you are set to go as a rhodo grower. Rhododendrons are susceptible to the following diseases: PERFECTO MUNDO® DOUBLE PINK — Buy now from Proven Winners, Flower: Double-petaled, soft pink flowers (also available in purple), BLOOM-A-THON® RED — Buy now from Proven Winners, Flower: Red (also available in lavender, white, hot pink, and double-petaled medium pink), Type: Semi-evergreen azalea loses some leaves, but not all), DANDY MAN® PURPLE — Buy now from Proven Winners, DANDY MAN COLOR WHEEL® — Buy now from Proven Winners. Failure to bloom is often caused by one of the following two factors: Cold weather kills their flower buds, or they aren’t getting enough direct sun. Proper soil preparation before planting, along with regular mulching with organic material during the growing season means extra fertilizer is usually unnecessary. rhododendrons are smaller than those of Catawba rhododendron. Due to their shallow, fine roots, they require regular watering through dry periods. These bones of a foundation planting provide structure to the flowering specimens around them. Can grow up to 4 feet high and wide; USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 11. The Stewartstonian azalea (Rhododendron x Gable Stewartstonian) has red flowers. Put another way, a successful foundation planting starts with picking the right plants in the right proportion: evergreens to provide the structural bones of the beds year-round, deciduous and flowering shrubs to add texture, and perennials of varying heights that yield long-lasting color. Rhododendron Species Foundation. Michigan-based landscape designer Jeremy Christianson offers this rule of thumb: About 50 percent of the foundation bed's space should be evergreens, 25 percent deciduous and flowering shrubs, and 25 percent perennials. Give rebloomers a light trim after the first bloom fades in spring to encourage new growth and another round of flowers in summer. Add a few key features you want to keep, such as mature trees. Its dark green leaves turn yellow-orange, reddish-purple, and crimson in the fall. The rhododendron looks best as a border or in an ornamental group. This evergreen shrub is hardy in Zones 6-8 and works beautifully as a foundation plant or in a mixed border. Plants do best in partial shade or dappled shade, especially those with large leaves. The low-growing, bushy foundation plant grows in the sun and shade. They are flowering shrubs that require a shady location to grow happily. Here’s how we flooded our coastal Idea House with an abundance of natural light and fresh air. P.J.M. Pruning Shrubs & Perennials. These long bloomers grow in upright mounds with pink or red flowers from late spring to early summer. Here’s how to prepare, select, and plan to plant a Christmas tree in your backyard to keep it alive after the holiday season. “They actually like to grow on top of the landscape, as opposed to deep in the ground,” says Jenkins Arboretum's Harold Sweetman. If you have had problems growing rhododendrons in the past, perform a soil test. Plantings that ring the base of your home should do more than just conceal the foundation. Blooms with violet, pink, or white flowers and green leaves from summer to fall. 'Ostfriesland' is a smaller purple salvia, reaching 18 inches high and wide; USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 8. Wait until azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons have finished blooming before feeding them; then use a formula labeled for acid-loving plants. Rhododendrons (Rhododendron genus) are a large family of deciduous or evergreen shrubs or small trees that are primarily cultivated for their attractive blossoms. They prefer damp climates and mild temperatures, but there are rhododendron plants and azalea bushes suitable for Zones 4-9. Its size is about 5 feet by 5 feet. They will show signs of drought stress much sooner than plants with deeper roots. A versatile landscape shrub for foundation plantings and mixed borders. Give your rhododendron 2–6 feet (0.61–1.83 m) of space. Slender Deutzia is a mound of slender, flower-filled branches. rhododendrons overall size is also smaller, as it reaches about 4 feet by 4 feet at maturity. Grows best in partial shade and cool, moist, well-drained, acidic, rich soil. Plants thrive in acidic soil (pH 6 and lower) that are light, well drained, and rich in organic matter. Your foundation planting can also include shrubs whose forms are less dense, such as fothergillas (Fothergilla spp. Their form and texture also tend to reduce the legginess of your Azalea shrubs and handsome effects can be created by choosing the perfect leaf shapes that complement and contrast beautifully to the growth habit for your Azaleas and Rhododendrons. Here are a few tips for incorporating them into your garden: According to the National Capital Poison Center, serious poisoning is unlikely when small pieces of rhododendron or azalea are eaten. This pushes the bed farther from the house, which is what most designers want, with front-of-the-house beds 6 to 8 feet deep. Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey explains what foods should and should not go into garbage disposers. When using rhododendron in a foundation planting, avoid southern exposures. Larger varieties make great hedges, screens and foundation plants whilst dwarf alpines are highly effective in rock gardens and compact hybrids look excellent in containers positioned in a shaded spot of the garden. More about the newsletter. Azalea 'Delaware Valley White,' a subspecies, has tubular white flowers and gets about a foot bigger; USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 8. Highly popular in North America and exceptionally cold hardy, Rhododendron 'PJM Elite' is a vigorous and showy evergreen shrub. Mulch with compost, bark chips, or pine needles to prevent weeds, since hoeing can easily damage the surface roots. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Visit the following gardens to see rhododendrons at their finest: Best Flowering Shrubs Mulching also helps retain moisture. 'Rozanne' is one of the longest-blooming varieties, with violet petals around a white center that continue all summer. From tools to furniture, these garden products are sure to delight. video for What Can and Can't Go Down a Garbage Disposer, Easy to Maintain Siding with a Modern Spin | 2020 Farmhouse in Fairfield County. Ideal for planting in front yards in zones 5 – 8. Rhododendrons prefer acidic soil with a pH of about 5.5. Rhododendron ‘Dora Amateis’ —This spectacular small shrub blooms with masses of white flowers every spring. The foliage of elliptic, glossy, dark green leaves turns reddish-purple in fall and winter. Copyright © 2020 This Old House Ventures, LLC. When you are planting rhododendrons in zone 5, partial shade is fine, and full shade is also possible. 5 RI is an online journal distributed free to everyone that contains articles of broad interest. Common Poisonous Plants for Dogs and Cats, The 24 Best Plants to Attract Hummingbirds, Elepidotes (meaning leaves without scales), Loosen the root system prior to placing the plant in the ground to stimulate new root growth, Position the crown of the root ball a few inches higher than the surrounding soil, Space plants according to their mature size. With thousands of varieties available, there's one to suit just about every garden. Photo by: John Swithinbank / Alamy Stock Photo. Can grow up to 2 feet high and 5 feet wide; USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 8. Thrives in cooler regions but benefits from protection from winter winds. Copyright Among the more compact boxwoods, 'Green Velvet' has pale green leaves and a mounding habit that can grow to 4 feet high and wide; zones 5 to 8. Read these foolproof planting tips to boost your curb appeal. 'Walker's Low' has fragrant lavender-blue flowers on 24-inch-tall stems that can grow to 3 feet wide; USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 8. video for Easy to Maintain Siding with a Modern Spin | 2020 Farmhouse in Fairfield County, The old farmhouse had dark rooms, dead ends, and no place to park the kids' boots. Drainage is improved by planting on a slope – a northern slope is preferable to a southern slope. Soil: The soil for these woodland plants … Learn how to plant, prune and care for rhododendron and azalea plants, Sign up for weekly gardening inspiration and design tips. Look for the PJM series, an excellent garden performer and medium sized between the Azaleas and Rhododendrons. The 24 Best Plants to Attract Hummingbirds Furthermore, don't plant rhododendrons or azaleas near other surface roots that compete for space, water and nutrients. Neither is a one-scheme-fits-all formula. . A compact evergreen shrub, highly valued for its large ball-shaped trusses of beautiful, canary yellow flowers that create a beautiful contrast to the rich green foliage. When deadheading, be careful not to remove the buds or shoots below the flower cluster. Bell-shaped deep-red flowers hang in loose clusters late spring. Read our top foundation plants and flowers that will increase the curb appeal of your home. Female 'Densa' has dark needles with red berries in winter. * Required FieldsWe will never sell or distribute your email to any other parties or organizations.