The pink rhododendron bush in front of our house is beautiful when it's in full bloom!
Rhododendrons are members of the azalea family. Their beautiful, large flowers and full, evergreen foliage make them an excellent choice for landscaping. They typically bloom from May into June, depending on the plant species and location.
Although rhododendrons are fairly easy to grow, proper care is essential for healthy plants. They require a fairly acidic soil condition in order to grow properly and to produce their amazing blooms. Adding composted oak leaves to the soil can lower the pH in alkaline conditions.
Rhododendrons thrive in moist, well-drained soil. Some foliage droop is normal in dry weather, especially on warm afternoons. When leaves still show signs of drooping in early morning, the plants are showing a need for water and should receive a good soaking. However, to prevent root rot, rhododendrons should not be allowed to sit in standing water.
Mulching is an essential part of caring for rhododendrons. These shallow-rooted plants need the protection that mulch affords against extreme heat and cold and to protect the roots from drying out. The best type of mulch to use is one that is acidic, such as pine bark mulch.
Pruning should be done immediately after rhododendrons finish blooming.Pruning them later than that may risk interference with the development of next year’s buds. Begin by removing dead or injured branches, which will prevent future disease and insect problems. Also, prune back taller limbs shooting out of the top of the bush. This will promote a more attractive shape.
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I’m also linking with Tootsie’s Fertilizer Friday.