It is always an event when the rhododendrons bloom in spring: the huge flowers, in colours which can be bold or delicate, are always striking. Due to rhododendrons needing little care they are popular shrubs for the garden.
Rhododendrons belong to the family Ericaceae. There are over 1,000 different types and a vast number of varieties. Most species are native to Asia, though some also have their roots in America and Europe. The large-flowered, later growing species feel most comfortable in the shade of trees and in deep forest humus. The dwarf-growing, often creeping, small flowering types however, belong to high mountain vegetation and thrive in sunny locations. Rhododendrons are ericaceous plants, which is why they need acidic soil to thrive. Only the socalled Inkarho Rhododendrons can tolerate calcareous sites. With a soil tester bought from a garden centre you can quite easily test for yourself the level of acidity in your soil. In addition, rhododendrons need:
- partial shade
- dry, humus-rich soil
- uniform moisture
A few things to consider to get the most out of your plant are:
1. Mulching: Rhododendrons love a mulch layer in the root zone and conifer needles, oak, ash or walnut leaves, composted bark or compost mulch are all suitable.
2. Watering: Rhododendrons need a uniform water supply, ideally from rain water. This also applies to frostfree periods in winter.
3. Weeding: Because of the shallow root system, you should not hack into the root zone with a hoe. It is therefore preferable to fight weeds with our WeedFree Plus+.
4. Dead heading: Directly after flowering, remove the withered flower heads. This will prevent re-seed formation which uses unnecessary energy and will also promote bushy growth.
Rhododendrons are low maintenance plants but like all plants thrive best if they are given adequate nutrition. The huge flowers need a lot of energy in the form of fertiliser if they are to develop properly. Since rhododendrons love acidic soil they also need a fertiliser that works best in this environment. Neudorff‘s Organic Rhododendron, Azalea & Camellia Food with low salinity and specially grown mycorrhizal fungi is ideally suited to these requirements.
|March to April|
Planting is possible if weather is frost free, Fertilise with Organic Rhododendron, Azalea & Camellia Food
|End of May||Combat pests with BugFree Bug and Larvae Killer*|
|June||Remove dead flowers|
|July||Fertilise with Organic Rhododendron, Azalea & Camellia Food|
|August||Combat pests with BugFree Bug and Larvae Killer*|
|September to December||Planting is possible if weather is frost free|