|Part of the
You Can Learn Landscaping and Gardening series.
By Ken Brown
Updated: August 7, 2005
The Rhododendron is a beautiful shrub that blooms for two weeks in early
spring. The same time the tulips are flowering. The plant comes in a deciduous
variety or an evergreen variety.
The leaves of a Rhododendron are small and leathery looking. They start the
season as a dark green and then transition to a maroon for winter. They need to
be watered during dry weather and require moist well drained soil. The plant
desires an acidic soil or a neutral or low pH.
The flowers come in pink or lavender and fill the plant with spring beauty.
Some varieties come in colors of white, yellow, orange or red. When the plant
is blooming all eyes are drawn to the many blooms. It is recommended to do very
little trimming and pruning. Winters can be harsh on the plant and some winter
protection is needed. You can wrap it with burlap or plant it where it will be
out of the fierce winter wind.
Recommend amending the soil with peat moss and mulch with oak leaves and pine
needles. I place a heaping mulch of pine bark on mine.