Rhododendrons are by far the most popular of the evergreen flowering shrubs. Their attractive foliage and masses of brightly coloured spring flowers make them the tried and true favourite amongst gardeners and homeowners. When planted properly and given just a little bit of care, Rhododendrons can thrive in every garden and reward you with a beautiful display of blooms each Spring.
Exposure / Light
Rhododendrons are understory woodland plants best suited for areas of part sun or part shade. They will tolerate more sun if kept evenly moist, but not wet. If planted in a darker area they may become lanky or leggy or fail to bloom.
Soil / Moisture
Rhododendrons prefer moist, but well drained rich acidic soil full of organic matter. As they are very shallow rooted they are susceptible to drying out or becoming water logged when exposed to standing water. A healthy 2-3 inch thick layer of mulch goes a long way to evening out moisture and root temperature. Amending the soil with peat moss is a good way to create acidity.
Apply Arts Garden Pro Rhodo and Azalea Food in early spring when new growth emerges. Apply a second feeding after flowering and a third in early August. Do not fertilize after September.
Rhododendrons are best pruned after flowering. We generally recommend pruning lightly each year as opposed to a heavy pruning. Heavy pruning won't usually harm the plant in the long term, but it will reduce the amount of flowers produced the following year.
Rhododendrons are fairly tough and hardy but are susceptible to Root Weevils. The symptom of these pests is squared notches chewed away from the leaves. Root Weevils can be controlled by chemical sprays, by manually picking them off at night when they feed, or organically using Beneficial Nematodes (Available at Arts Nursery).
Deadheading spent flowers is also recommended to improve a Rhododendrons appearance and overall health.
For More Information
Arts Nursery carries a huge selection of Rhododendrons year round. For more information about Rhododendrons visit Arts Nursery or call us at 604.882.1201. You can also view our online Rhodendron Catalog