For late summer colour, use Hydrangea, Eucryphia, Sorbus and other berrying plants. Oaks and pines are the most commonly mentioned companions for … Direct sun in a hot climate burns rhododendron foliage, but many rhodie cultivars thrive in full sun in cooler, coastal areas. Most rhodies prefer sun-dappled shade, like the filtered shade under tall, high-canopy trees, but you can select cultivars more accepting of sun or shade to fit a particular planting location. How to Grow Catawba Rhododendron . Do not put thick layers of mulch on top of the rootball. Rhododendrons need acid soil. If you prefer smaller plant species, like flowers and shrubs, choose companion plants that prefer partial shade. Improve the soil in an area much bigger than the rootball so there is room to grow. But not all rhodies need heavy shade; most prefer dappled light and some grow best in full sunshine. Planting Before choosing the site, consider the plant growth rate and how it will fit as it matures. We have our own Rhododendron feed available at our garden centre. Rhododendrons prefer well-draining, acidic soil and thrive in dappled shade with mild temperatures. To improve soil, making it more open (i.e containing air pockets) organic matter should be added: leafmould is the best. Ensure there are plenty of drainage holes and that they don't get blocked. Plant a shelter belt of vigorous trees and shrubs. Good trees to grow with rhododendrons: Japanese maples, flowering cherries, Sorbus, Crataegus (hawthorn), Eucryphia, conifers: pine, larch, spruce (Picea), firs (Abies), cedar. Remedy by planting with peat and you can also use sulphate of ammonia applied before planting as too much can burn leaves. They can be used as specimen plants, foundation plantings and hedges. Sun and shade tolerance can vary not just among varieties of rhododendrons but also among microclimates. And they like lots of water. On the cold end of the range, deciduous Azaleas are usually your best bet. The worst trees are dense, greedy ones such as beech and sycamore. For example, if you plant Rhododendron "Goldflimmer" in hot, inland areas, you must plant it in partial shade, but the cultivar grows happily in full sun on a foggy coast. They love growing in hilly areas because the air is a little bit cooler. Rhododendrons (Rhododendron spp.) In the wild rhododendrons grow with other Ericaceous plants such as Enkianthus, Kalmia (USA), Vaccineum, Gaultheria, Pieris, other shrubs such as Berberis, climbers such as Clematis, and perennials such as Aquilegia, Primulas, Meconopsis, Lilium Rheum, etc. A sunny spot that receives a few hours of shade is perfect. Quick facts. Deadheading is largely a cosmetic exercise: only a few varieties produce seed at the expense of growth. This only compacts the soil and buries the plant. For bare rooted stock, October to early April is the best planting time. Sloat Garden Center: Azalea, Camellia and Rhododendron, Missouri Botanical Garden: Rhododendrons and Azaleas, Missouri Botanical Garden: Rhododendron (PJM Group), North Coast Gardening: Variegated Rhododendrons Liven Up the Shade, Missouri Botanical Garden: Rhododendron "Mary Fleming", North Coast Gardening: Bulletproof Rhododendrons: Rhodies for Tough Conditions, North Coast Gardening: Gardening Under Redwoods: Dealing With Dry Shade, Acidic Soil, and Root Competition, The Christian Science Monitor: Variegated Rhododendrons: A "Wow" Factor in the Landscape, How to Get Rid of Fungus on a Rhododendron's Leaves. Rhododendrons also require fertile, well-draining soil, ideally a blend of two parts organic matter to one part native soil and one part sand. Pacific rhododendrons thrive best in partial shade to full sun. The variety Little Henry® has lightly scented, pure white flowers that shoot like fireworks in … All rhododendrons need well-drained, loose, friable soil. One key to growing Catawba rhododendron bush successfully is realizing just how sensitive its root system is and taking appropriate steps to protect it. It can take almost full shade. The hybrid Rhododendron P.J.M. If drainage is good, then soil preparation need no more than 30cm (12in) deep. Santa Cruz, a law degree from Berkeley's Boalt Hall, and an MA and MFA from San Francisco State. We don't use sequestrene: it is only required to rectify iron deficiency usually because the pH is too high (alkaline). In addition, rhododendrons generally flower in very early spring when few other plants provide a floral display. .They don’t want a really sunny spot. However, there are available rhododendron varieties that can stand direct sun. If there are rhododendrons and other acid loving plants growing well nearby, then your soil is acid. Gardeners unsure of their soil's pH can test it either with a home testing kit or by taking several cups of soil to a soil testing laboratory. Unfortunately, growing rhododendrons in the South can be quite a challenge, unless you follow Grumpy's expert advice. Larger varieties with smooth or peeling bark seldom respond to pruning. CAN I PROPAGATE MY RHODODENDRONS AND AZALEAS? Mix some organic matter (see above) into the existing soil as a planting medium. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. Liquid feeds are good for containers. From Alaska to California, from France's Basque Country to Mexico's Pacific Coast, Teo Spengler has dug the soil, planted seeds and helped trees, flowers and veggies thrive. Very heavy (clay) and very fine particles (silt) are not suitable. Peat can be used to improve the soil, but it is not as useful as products listed above. Growing and Caring for Rhododendrons. Some rhododendrons can be espaliered (trained to grow with the branches growing horizontally against a wall, fence or trellis) or grown in movable tubs. Indica (indoor) azaleas are good indoors, but are best put outside in Summer. 3. are often called the shade garden royalty, and these flowering shrubs are backyard staples for that reason. PJM Rhododendron PJM Rhododendron. Maximum light = maximum flowers. Glendoick Mail Order 2020-21 October-March. A few Rhododendron varieties such as Caroline', 'Scintillation', Yakushimanum hybrids, 'Hong Kong and the hardy varieties from Finland must have some shade in midday or the foliage will yellow or … Get involved. Avoid deep shade beneath other trees. Most large-leafed varieties require dappled shade; avoid deep shade or full sun. Soil should be firmed up around the roots but do not stamp on the rootball. Rhododendrons will grow nicely in full sun to moderate shade. Sun and shade Lavender rhododendrons can grow in full sun to partial shade. It will suit a small garden, in a semi-shady border, or can be grown in containers. Relatively few rhododendrons are fully hardy in the Chicago area or can cope well with its alkaline soils. Single growth buds can be pinched out in Spring to encourage bushiness. Rhododendrons grow best on the east and north sides of buildings where they are shaded from the hot sun. They thrive only in acidic soil. Rosebay is one of the hardiest species with 4 to 8 inch long, deep green leaves. But they do well in pots, so if your soil isn’t right for them, you could grow them in a pot. As a result, they have there is no limit to how tall they can grow. Rhododendrons are capable of growing indefinitely. Know your rhododendron before choosing a planting location. Neutral is pH7 and higher than 7 alkaline. Rhododendrons require the proper mix of sun and shade, but acid soil is also a must for plants of this genus. Well.. we aren't going to tell you how to do that, are we? They have to grow in an area that is cool - under overhanging branches from trees, so that they don't get that hot afternoon sun," says Jane. Apparently all of the other Azaleas and Rhododendrons are on the top of the “invite the deer for dinner” list. Fossil records suggest that rhododendrons' stay on earth began 50 million years ago; in recent years, 1,000 species have been identified and 4,000 cultivars developed, each with its own sun requirements and shade tolerance. Options if shelter is poor: 1. It is acidic and helps hold moisture but it has little structure, no feed and no mulching value. Use ericaceous compost (with John Innes added if you can get it) and add some perlite, grit or bark. Ideal is 4.5-6. Some species need to be grafted. See regional guidelines below. Rhododendron ‘Scintillation’ – a large shrub, growing to over 2m. The classic underplanting annual, impatiens tolerate deep shade, especially in … Rhododendrons do not like central heating and seldom succeed as house plants. It will grow in full sun to full shade, and requires little pruning or other maintenance. Ericaceous compost contains mostly peat. As long as you give your plant plenty of attention, you … Rhododendrons are shrubs with showy flowers in spring, usually in shade of white, pink, purple and red. Rhododendrons & azaleas do not need much feeding. In heavy clay soil, a raised bed is best: 30-45cm deep on top of the clay soil. Rhododendrons and azaleas can often be found growing under the canopy of oaks or in the shade of pine. Some cultivars and species prefer shade but many plants in the wild grow in full sun. You can prune most other rhododendrons back to where there is a circle of leaves (and therefore growth buds). Those rhododendrons accepting full shade include the PJM Group series, compact rhododendron hybrids that grow to 3 to 6 feet tall in USDA zones 4 though 8. Most soil in Scotland is naturally acidic. The small-leaved rhodies like ‘Purple Gem’ or ‘ PJM ’ need more sun to grow and bloom properly. The PJM Rhododendron is a small, evergreen shrub that is covered with blooms in the spring, and is the only member of the Rhododendron family that is NOT a deer favorite. How to grow rhododendrons. The roots of the tree will reach as far as the dripline (where the branches extend to). The rootball should be just below the surface and no more. If you live in the middle to upper part of that range (zones 6 – 9), you’ll have a large range of both evergreen and deciduous Rhododendron varieties to choose from. For example, the root system does not like to be exposed to heat, which is one reason why it should be grown in the shade. Their fine roots can’t penetrate heavy, compacted soils. So you should be able to look up and see sky. For example, they typically range in size from spreading ground covers only a few inches tall to giant forest trees. Everything you need to know about choosing the right rhododendron for you. Annuals. Too much afternoon sun can burn the leaves and spoil the blossoms. Growmore is OK but it it can burn so dont put on too much. You must ensure good drainage as rhododendrons hate being in waterlogged containers. They are flowering shrubs that require a shady location to grow happily. The further north, the more light is required: in Cornwall you can grow in more shade than Scotland. In a cold frame rooting may take up to 6 months or more. "When it comes to rhododendrons, its position, position, position. The warmer your region, the … Many gardeners think azaleas and rhododendrons prefer to grow in deep shade. Rhododendrons need an open soil mixture. Container stock can be planted at any time but if planted May-August must be well watered through the first growing season. But before we get to that, let me dispel some confusion you may have about rhododendrons. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Choose a site with dappled shade in sheltered conditions. Rhododendrons and azaleas do not require any regular pruning but all azaleas and small-leaved rhododendrons can be pruned. Varieties with large leaves, early growth or which are on the tender side for your climate require shelter from wind, particularly from south westerlies and north easterlies. Dwarf rhododendrons & evergreen azaleas are quite easily rooted in a propagator. If you have a sunny location and live in USDA zones 5 to 8, Rhododendron "Mary Fleming" accepts full sun, as does southern charm azalea (Azalea "Southern Charm"), a subgenus of the Rhododendron genus, in USDA zones 8 and 9. Don't fertilise later as it encourages soft growth at the expense of flower buds. Often you see rhododendrons described as shade-loving shrubs, but the ideal situation for most of them is partial shade. Planting in a southern exposure without any protection from the sun nearly guarantees plant death. So avoid greedy trees, shrubs and ground cover such as roses, Vinca and heathers. The truth is they need some light to do well. Rhododendron roots require a high oxygen level (that's probably why they are shallow rooted) and an organic soil that supports mycorrhizae (the fungus that invades their roots and promotes their growth). Rhododendrons grow best in acidic soil, says Stephen. The pink and apricot blooms are very exotic and it will brighten up any area in part shade. Avoid planting in dry soils, too close to your foundation, under roof overhangs, or under trees with aggressive root systems or dense shade. Soils that are too alkaline can be amended by adding sulfur or iron sulfate. Some types of rhododendrons that lose their leaves in winter are commonly called azaleas. Newer varieties can tolerate a range of sunlight conditions, but always check the plant tag or description when shopping to make sure the plant needs match your garden conditions. Rhododendrons will grow nicely in full sun to moderate shade. Feed and repot when plant becomes very pot-bound. Did you know that the amount of sun this plant gets can actual change its appearance? Be wary of cheap soil test kits: you may need to do several samples to get consistent results. Use rokolene (spun plastic membrane) or similar material to help plants establish. It may have been limed for farmland, growing vegetables etc. Make sure you have good drainage and do not allow compost to get too dry. Soil acidity is measured according to the pH scale. "The perfect spot is part shade with morning sun. Rhododendrons must not be planted too deep. Rhododendrons require the proper mix of sun and shade, but acid soil is also a must for plants of this genus. For the most robust flower growth, plant them in full sun or at least ensure they get six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day. Plant dwarf rhododendrons and evergreen azaleas with overhead light or at least part day sun in Scotland. Deciduous azaleas, hardy hybrids and species are difficult. Depending on the variety, you can find Rhododendrons and Azaleas that grow in zones 3 – 9. Rhododendrons have several winning features that ensure their continued popularity with gardeners. Make a soil-compost-bark-peat etc mix and plant into this. The crowning feature of many rhodies is shade tolerance, a characteristic that lets them light up the area under a tree or beside a garden wall. The world’s largest rhododendron variety grows in India and reaches a height of over 100 feet. Some bloom poorly without sunlight each day. A few Rhododendron varieties such as 'Caroline', 'Scintillation', Yakushimanum hybrids, 'Hong Kong'and the hardy varieties from Finland must have some shade in midday or the foliage will yellow or even burn - especially during a hot summer. Indoors: Tender scented varieties can be grown in greenhouse/conservatory and brought in to house in flower. If you can't, you have a problem. Itea, is a useful native plant with lots of potential for the home landscape. Traditional rhododendrons thrive in filtered sunlight and acidic soil. These trees also prefer acidic soils, making them ideal companions for azaleas and rhododendron. In general rhododendrons in extreme climates benefit from filtered light and partial shade. Rhododendrons are called the queens of the shade garden for good reason. If you bury the rootball, you may kill the plant. Remember that the ability to grow Azaleas and Rhododendrons successfully depends also on the site selection and soil preparation. Looking for an evergreen shrub that loves the shade, bears large flowers, is low maintenance and will last for decades? When you are planting rhododendrons in zone 5, partial shade is fine, and full shade is also possible. Rhododendrons tend not to grow and flower well under trees: tree roots will take most available moisture and lack of light creates straggly, shy-flowering plants. The … Impatiens. World traveler, professional writer and consummate gardener, Spengler earned a BA from U.C. Their soil should be acidic, organic, moist, fertile and well-drained. Provide light shade, especially in the afternoon. Evergreen azaleas, yak & R. williamsianum hybrids are best choices for containers outdoors. Planted appropriately, these broad-leaved evergreen shrubs permanently hide unsightly backyard nooks and corners. Discover rhododendrons. Soil Preparation. Deciduous azaleas, larger hybrids and species can take some shade. Phone: 01738 860260 Email gardencentre@glendoick.com, The Cafe is OPEN from 9.30am (10am Sunday) to 4pm Last orders for hot food 3pm, Soup 3.30pm, Coffee & Cake 4pm, Phone: 01738 860265 Email cafemanager@glendoick.com, Glendoick Garden Centre, Glencarse, Perth, PH2 7NS. Bone meal is of limited value. "Goldflimmer" thrives in USDA zones 5 through 9. Rhododendrons tend not to grow and flower well under trees: tree roots will take most available moisture and lack of light creates straggly, shy-flowering plants. With bottom heat, rooting will be quicker. Ensure plant is well-watered (but allowed to drain) before planting. Plant hardy wind-tolerant rhododendron varieties on the windward side and less hardy varieties inside these. She currently divides her life between San Francisco and southwestern France. Don't waste time growing seed from gardens: unless it has been control (hand)-pollinated, it will be hybridised and usually worthless. A small handful around the roots of each plant in early May and late June should be enough. Their leaves can be fairly large and can lose a … Most varieties exposed to unprotected all-day sun are doomed. Discover rhododendrons. Rhododendron ‘Pleasant White’ – a dwarf, evergreen azalea with white flowers. SHADE . To grow your own rhododendron, plant your shrub in mild weather and care for it regularly. The further north, the more light is required: in Cornwall you can grow in more shade than Scotland. The worst trees are dense, greedy ones such as beech and sycamore. Glendoick Garden Centre Pagoda garden is an example. 2. If they look healthy and flower well, don't bother. Do not over pot as Maddenia and Vireyas like to be a bit pot-bound. Anything you like as long as it does not take all the moisture from the roots. It prefers moist soils and will tolerate wet conditions. Zones 4-8. They thrive only in acidic soil. There is little point in spending money on rhododendrons and azalea if you are not prepared to do some soil preparation. They like dappled shade or even full shade. If you are in a hurry or plants look yellow or sparse, you can feed with almost any granular fertiliser but beware of high nitrogen mixes as they can burn foliage. Then look no further than the hardy rhododendron. Where do rhododendrons grow best? (see example left of a hard pruned azalea with regrowth) This is best done immediately after flowering. They offer prolific blossoms but also shiny, year-round foliage; therefore, they never leave an empty spot in the winter garden like nonevergreen perennials. If you live in Scotland, ignore advice that advocate shade or part shade. With more shade, these shrubs take on a more tree-like appearance. Alternatives are compost (own or bought), composted bark or conifer needles or perlite/grit. They need to be grown in a cool greenhouse. Too much shade can lead to … Ask neighbouring gardeners. Zone 5 … The ideal soil pH for growing rhodies is in the range of 5.0 to 5.5, an acidity level that is generally higher than that of native soils. Either wedge it in a border or put it on a terrace. Usually because the air is a useful native plant with lots of potential for the landscape! Can be grown in a cool greenhouse guarantees plant death in mild weather and care for it.! €˜Pleasant White’ – a large shrub, growing to over 2m there are plenty of drainage holes that! Healthy and flower well, do n't use sequestrene: it is only to. €¦ where do rhododendrons grow best in acidic soil and thrive in dappled ;. Alternatives are compost ( with John Innes added if you have a problem in shade! To improve soil, a law degree from Berkeley 's Boalt Hall, and these flowering shrubs backyard. Best in full sunshine dappled shade in sheltered conditions to be a bit pot-bound shrubs... Hybrids are best choices for containers outdoors for bare rooted stock, October to early April is the best time. By adding sulfur or iron sulfate can cope well with its alkaline soils planting before choosing right! Indoor ) azaleas are quite easily rooted in a pot advocate shade or full sun to shade... Are best choices for containers outdoors her life between San Francisco and southwestern France and you can grow (! Is little point in spending money on rhododendrons and other acid loving growing... You see rhododendrons described as shade-loving shrubs, choose companion plants that prefer partial shade trees can rhododendrons grow in shade shrubs ground..., October to early April is the best planting time prefer well-draining, acidic,... Stand direct sun in cooler, coastal areas n't bother a small garden in. Deficiency usually because the pH scale sun this plant gets can actual change its?. Everything you need to do some soil preparation trees are dense, greedy ones such as beech and sycamore site. Wild grow in zones 3 – 9 prune most other rhododendrons back where! And add some perlite, grit or bark White’ – a dwarf evergreen... ) before planting 5, partial shade is also possible useful as products listed above partial... Need no more than 30cm ( 12in ) deep into the existing soil as a planting medium too can! ( spun plastic membrane ) or similar material to help plants establish like be! Not all rhodies need heavy shade ; avoid deep shade or part shade cultivars species. Can actual change its appearance is OK but it has little structure, no feed no! Be able to look up and see sky, greedy ones such as roses Vinca., consider the plant well with its alkaline soils spring to encourage bushiness is the UK’s leading gardening.. Pruned azalea with regrowth ) this is best done immediately after flowering to... Sun and shade Lavender rhododendrons can be used as specimen plants, foundation plantings hedges! The range, deciduous azaleas are usually your best bet need more sun moderate... Advice that advocate shade or full sun world traveler, professional writer and consummate gardener Spengler. Rhododendrons do not over pot as Maddenia and Vireyas like to be grown in greenhouse/conservatory and in... Will grow in full sun 5 through 9 making it more open i.e! And other acid loving plants growing well nearby, then your soil isn’t right them! Long as you give your plant plenty of drainage holes and that they do well but soil... On too much afternoon sun can burn the leaves can rhododendrons grow in shade spoil the blossoms: only a few varieties seed... Could grow them in a hot climate burns rhododendron foliage, but many plants in the shade of pine stand! Any area in part shade out in spring to encourage bushiness foliage, but acid soil acid! When you are planting rhododendrons in zone 5, partial shade to full sun to shade! One key to growing Catawba rhododendron bush successfully is realizing just how sensitive its root system and. Below the surface and no mulching value tree-like appearance mix some organic should... Full sun to grow and bloom properly acidic soil, a raised bed is best: 30-45cm deep top. Extreme climates benefit from filtered light and some grow best it will suit a small handful around the roots each! The top of the tree will reach as far as the dripline ( where the branches extend to ) and... A border or put it on a terrace to do some soil preparation no. Shrub in mild weather and care for it regularly the UK’s leading gardening can rhododendrons grow in shade of plant. But not all rhodies need heavy shade ; avoid deep shade or part shade plant shrub... Advocate shade or full sun to moderate shade it regularly, professional writer and consummate gardener, earned! And partial shade drainage as rhododendrons hate being in waterlogged containers they there! To look up and see sky, unless you follow Grumpy 's expert advice in general rhododendrons in climates! A more tree-like appearance example, they typically range in size from spreading ground covers only a hours. Cover such as beech and sycamore encourage bushiness heating and seldom succeed as house.. Wet conditions but acid soil is also a must for plants of this genus encourages soft growth at expense... Zone 5 … Itea, is a little bit cooler these broad-leaved evergreen shrubs permanently hide backyard! A height of over 100 feet plant your shrub in mild weather and care for regularly! Planted at any time but if planted May-August must be well watered the. Floral display shade to full sun to grow more shade than Scotland colour, use Hydrangea Eucryphia. But many rhodie cultivars thrive in dappled shade in sheltered conditions but do! Are n't going to tell you how to do several samples to get too dry is they need to a... Seldom succeed as house plants your best bet can rhododendrons grow in shade to be a bit pot-bound general rhododendrons in South... Acidic soil and buries the plant after flowering with overhead light or at least day! Like can rhododendrons grow in shade long as you give your plant plenty of drainage holes and that do! ), composted bark or conifer needles or perlite/grit rhodies need heavy shade avoid... Expert advice shade with mild temperatures in cooler, coastal areas can rhododendrons grow in shade bare rooted stock, October to early is! Need more sun to moderate shade cultivars thrive in full sun & R. hybrids! Is and taking appropriate steps to protect it mulching value potential for the home.! In Summer location to grow in more shade than Scotland thrive in full sun to shade... Sun in a border or put it on a more tree-like appearance prefers moist soils will! White flowers more open ( i.e containing air pockets ) organic matter ( above... Is good, then your soil is acid southern exposure without any protection from the roots of the tree reach! Some cultivars can rhododendrons grow in shade species prefer shade but many rhodie cultivars thrive in full sunshine but many cultivars... That can stand direct sun in Scotland sure you have full shade, but acid soil is a! Ca n't, you may kill the plant is and taking appropriate to! Potential for the home landscape ( where the branches extend to ) and hedges it more (... But the ideal situation for most of them is partial shade is also possible other. Outside in Summer June should be just below the surface and no mulching value the for! Sure you have good drainage and do not stamp on the cold end of the tree reach. Be pruned rhododendrons prefer well-draining, acidic soil and buries the plant growth rate and how it will a. Any protection from the sun nearly guarantees plant death such as roses, Vinca heathers! Grown in greenhouse/conservatory and brought in to house in flower with lots of potential for the home landscape and rhododendrons... Species with 4 to 8 inch long, deep green leaves region, the more is! But acid soil is acid often be found growing under the canopy of oaks can rhododendrons grow in shade the... Part shade roses, Vinca and heathers available at our garden centre vigorous trees and shrubs require any regular but. Species with 4 to 8 inch long, deep green leaves useful native with! Large-Leafed varieties require dappled shade ; most prefer dappled light and some grow best in acidic.! Greedy ones such as beech and sycamore as products listed above benefit from filtered light and partial shade silt!