Rhododendron, A Spring Shrub Awash in Color

Part of the You Can Learn Landscaping and Gardening series.
By Ken Brown
Editor, YouCanLearnSeries.com
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.

Perennial shrub Partial Shade or full sun
Dark Green leaves in summer to maroon in winter Requires deep well drained soil, acidic soil
Evergreen or deciduous Grows 6 feet tall
Flowers in pink or lavender, blooms early spring Grows 3 to 6 feet wide


Click on plant to see larger photo.
Rhododendron is awash in color early in the spring.
The Rhododendron is awash in color early in the spring.

    

A super size of the same photo.
The Rhododendron comes in a variety of colors from pale pink to lavenders. Depending on the hybrid you choose they can be hardy to Zone 5. The Rhododendron is also a non-allergenic plant as the flowers are pollinated by insects and are not pollinated by the wind.


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