Rhododendron

Rhododendron canadense

Rhodora, rhododendron du Canada

Rhododendron are highly valued in landscaping. Their gorgeous pink flowers brighten up any location. The flowers also attract bees and the rare bog elfin butterfly (Callophrys lanoraieensis) that drinks its nectar after hatching. A favourite because of their explosive, butterfly- looking flowers. Plants in beds and borders, Bog garden, City, Cottage/Informal, Waterside, Woodland. There are…

Rhodora flowers are well adapted to pollination by female bumblebees. These insects, which are active early in spring, are the only pollinators around when this plant flowers.

Despite the toxic properties, Rhododendron species have been widely used in folk medicine systems in Asia, Europe, and North America. These plants have been effective against many medical conditions including gastrointestinal problems, inflammation, pain, skin problems, and the common cold. Rhododendrum groenlandicum has even been used by North American indigenous people to treat diabetes.


Rhododendrons are typically shallow rooted. As a consequence, they are sensitive to competition from other plants, so they should be planted far away from trees that provide shade. You want it in partial shade or full sun for at least part of the day – preferably in the morning. And never put a rhododendron in deep shade.

Its natural habitat is, Acid soils, peat bogs.

Propagation

Rhododendrons are typically propagated by gardeners from stem cuttings, seeds, grafting, and micropropagation. Rhododendrons usually produce hundreds of tiny seeds in their capsules, which are naturally dispersed by wind after splitting of the fruits in the autumn. Seeds lose viability rapidly, but will last if stored dry and cold.

Rhododendron cultivars are mostly propagated by cuttings. Plants sold locally are the most appropriate cultivars for the locality. Be careful of large marketers distributing mass-produced biotypes. It is advisable to search for recently bred attractive cultivars bred in the local climate.

Video on Rhododendron canadense


Planting Rhododendron canadense

To plant a rhododendron acquired in a container, remove the root ball from the container. If dry, soak until thoroughly moist. If pot-bound, score and loosen the fibrous roots. Plant in porous loam soils rich in organic matter. Good drainage is essential. Place top of root ball slightly higher than the top of the hole, meaning higher than surrounding ground surface. Firm-in soil around root ball. Water-in well. If a site has clay or alkaline soil, consider raised beds.

Applying a few inches of organic mulch annually helps maintain soil moisture and suppress weeds.

Caring for Rhododendron

Grow in moist, humus-rich, cool, acid soil in full sun or partial shade. Mulch in spring to maintain soil moisture. Do not allow roots to dry out. Watering should be done only when the soil is moderately dry, but plants should not be subjected to drought. Protect from cold, drying winds. They should be protected from harsh winter conditions.

It is happiest in Adapted to acidic soil, preferring a pH of 4.5–5.5.

In terms of water, Rhododendron needs Plant with good drainage, but water as needed to not let the roots dry out.

Pruning Rhodora, rhododendron du Canada

Pruning is not essential. Nonetheless, deadheading after flowering is not uncommon. And like many plants, diseased and damaged branches should be removed.

Other

Because of their attractiveness, rhododendron species have frequently been chosen as official emblems of political regions. For example, it is the state flower of West Virginia