Growing and Maintaining Rhododendrons

Here in Southwestern PA I think we take for granted the ease and abundance of the lovely rhododendrons. Just about every other home from the suburbs to more the more rural areas have them growing in the landscape.

Rhododendrons are a good choice for the landscape with showy flowers in the spring and beautiful large dark green leaves even in the winter.

However brief, this easy to grow shrub puts on an amazing show in May and early June.

Rhododendrons are a good choice for the landscape with showy flowers in the spring and beautiful large dark green leaves even in the winter.

 

Rhododendrons are a good choice for the landscape with showy flowers in the spring and beautiful large dark green leaves even in the winter.

The rest of the year, even in winter, the rhododendron maintains pretty green leaves. Something a little different from your typical evergreen trees and shrubs.

Rhododendrons are a good choice for the landscape with showy flowers in the spring and beautiful large dark green leaves even in the winter.

 

Rhododendrons are a good choice for the landscape with showy flowers in the spring and beautiful large dark green leaves even in the winter.

The majority of the rhododendrons I see are shades of purple, pink and white. Although with hybridization there are hundreds of varieties, including dark red, yellow and coral colors.

Rhododendrons are a good choice for the landscape with showy flowers in the spring and beautiful large dark green leaves even in the winter.

One of the interesting facts about this pretty shrub is that even though it is a common place foundation plant for many homes, you will also find it growing wild in the forests. Here’s an example of blooming rhododendrons in Sproul State Forest in north central Pennsylvania.

Rhododendrons are a good choice for the landscape with showy flowers in the spring and beautiful large dark green leaves even in the winter.

photo by Nicholas A Tonelli

Like many plants you can buy dwarf varieties at local nurseries which will only grow to around two feet tall. Regular shrubs can get over 20 feet tall but are easily pruned to keep them in line. The best time to prune is just after they bloom. This will give the shrub plenty of time to form new flower buds for next year’s show.

Rhododendrons are a good choice for the landscape with showy flowers in the spring and beautiful large dark green leaves even in the winter.

You can read more about Rhododendrons at The American Rhododendron Society and  The Rhododendron Species Foundation & Botanical Garden.

So if you are looking for something new to plant close to the house or even something that makes a nice year round statement in your landscape consider a lovely robust rhododendron.

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Rhododendrons are a good choice for the landscape with showy flowers in the spring and beautiful large dark green leaves even in the winter.

 

About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Garden Matter, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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Comments

  1. Did not know that they grew wild anywhere! That would be kind of cool….to be walking through the woods to find this beauty.

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