Rhododendron is a classic evergreen shrub that blooms in april-may in many different colours. The flower is made of several smaller flowers. The color can vary from yellow, white, purple, red, pink to orange. Many flowers even have multiple colors. The hybrid species, which we grow, can grow 3 m high on a period of 20 years. Dwarf rhododendrons and Rhododendron yakushimanum, however, only gow to 1 m. Already in the 19th century, the Rhododendron is grown as an ornamental plant. In order to obtain better varieties, different types were crossed. There are thousands of species of which we grow a nice selection suitable for your garden and terrace.
Substrate: Rhododendrons grow the best in slightly acidic soil with a pH between 4 and 6. Mix the existing soil with peat and keep the mixture airy. The roots of a Rhododendron grow relatively shallow (up to Max. 50 cm). Do not make your planting hole too deep (40 cm), that way the roots can take enough oxygen. Don't use any lime. The best beriod to plant a rhododendron is during the fall (late september-October). This will give the roots the time to develop to have a good start in spring. Spring is also suitable for planting, as long as there is no frost.
Positioning: The best spot to plant your rhododendron is in partial shade, sheltered for the North-East wind. Out of the full sun, you have less chance of burned leaves and water shortage. Your rhododendron needs, of course, sufficient sun but it will bloom longer if it does not spent the whole day in full sun. However, too little sun creates irregular growth and less flower buds. Rhodo's with large leaves can tolerate less sun than rhodo's with small leaves. Do not place a rhododendron next to other shallow rooting plants. That way you avoid 'competition'.
Flowering period: A Rhododendron flowers from april to may.
Pruning: After flowering, in may, you can remove the flowers. This promotes the branching of your plant. Pruning the branches is not recommended.
Fertilization: In the growing season, from april to september, it is appropriate to use slow-acting fertilizers.
Water: Keep the soil moist for good growth, but too much water (saturated soil) makes the roots choke. Use preferably rain water.
Frost: Rhododendron is a hardy plant. However, there is a big difference between the varieties. Sheltered from the cold northern wind and the midday sun, your rhododendron will overcome the winter. Through the winter, cover the root zone with a layer of leaves or tree bark.
Growth: Hybrid species can grow quickly to 3 m. 20 years. Dwarf varieties and Yakushimanum varieties only grow to an average height of 1 m.