What do I do with Rhodendriums

Julie JJulie J Posts: 20

Apart from learn how to spell it!!    Just bought a lovely one and going to plant tomorrow.  How deep do I dig, do I fill hole with water before planting or do I just water after planting....plus any thing else I should know.  Thank you.


  • jo4eyesjo4eyes Posts: 2,032

    First of all, check the eventual size of plant & allow enough room for it. Moving any established shrub later on is a pain, literally in the back/neck!

    Seriously, plant it at same depth as it is in the container. If the soil of the hole is dry, then yes water the hole well beforehand & also well water the plant in once planted. I personally also would put some bonemeal into the planting hole beneath the plant.

    I'd also mulch it afterwards- compost, bark chips etc. As with any new planting dont let it dry out during its' first year & with rhodos especially when you see the first signs of new buds forming, usually about early autumn onwards. J.


  • RobotRobot Posts: 137

    You probably already know that Rhodies like their soil on the acid side.  If you don't want to get peat and you don't have an acid soil then mulch up some pine needles and mix that with the soil.  I mulch with pine every year to keep the soil slightly acid.  You could buy some acid loving plant feed too if your soil is on the alkaline side. 

    Immediately after flowering take the flower head between finger and thumb and twist off.  Do it carefully as you'll just see the new leaves developing immediately below the dead flower.  I know in the wild no-one comes along to twist off the dead flowers and the shrubs get along very well, but it does help conserve energy for the new growth and it looks better too.

    They are pretty tough, even through the harsh winters, and a welcome sight in early spring.  Enjoy.

  • Julie JJulie J Posts: 20

    Thank you both.  Just out now to do what you have said.  It has lovely mauve flowers at the moment and I look forward to it establishing over the years.

  • RobotRobot Posts: 137

    No problem.  You are lucky to have it in flower so late.  Mine have finished now for the year and I've dead-headed.  We (S W France) tend to be almost a month ahead of UK in some things. 

    When we lived in Scotland many years ago we had wild Rhodies for free all around us and they were magnificent.  I have promised myself a "Yellow Petticoats" for next year if I can find one here.

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