Growing rhododendrons is not easy, but exciting. Having once enjoyed the splendor of rhododendrons in full bloom, you remain an ardent admirer of these plants for life. From year to year, they never cease to amaze and enchant us with the bounty of flowering and the unsurpassed variety of shapes and colors of their flowers.
Scottish plant collector Robert Fortune brought these evergreen shrubs to Europe from East Asia 150 years ago. Since then, thanks to the tireless work of breeders, much has changed. Rhododendron varieties have never been so numerous as today. Thanks to a wide variety of varieties, rhododendrons, with proper care, can enrich any garden. The most impressive - large-flowered hybrids. In group landings, she creates unique colorful fireworks. Growing up to three meters in height, they form evergreen screens, behind which you can hide any part of the garden from prying eyes. And separately growing bushes place spectacular accents in it. For small gardens, stunted, compact hybrids based on the Yakushiman rhododendron, whose flowers are distinguished by an incredible variety of shapes and colors, are ideal. These rhododendrons can be used in a low hedge. Planted in pots, they will feel great on the balcony or terrace. Numerous wild species presented varieties that bloom especially early.
Graceful bell-shaped or funnel-shaped flowers with a pleasant aroma, represent the color palette of rich blue and red tones.
Rhododendrons of various types and varieties are perfectly combined. Garden compositions of simultaneously flowering varieties - an unforgettable sight in the game of colors! But, in order to get the opportunity to enjoy the flowering parade as long as possible, it is worth adding one of the early and late flowering varieties to the composition. Thanks to the evergreen foliage typical of many species, rhododendrons do not lose their decorative effect even after flowering, especially if they are planted next to conifers.
Harmoniously fit into the picture of the garden will help the Far Eastern exotics appropriate support from tree-shrub crops - dogwood, turf, witch hazel, viburnum, fan maple, as well as shady grass-like perennials like hosts, geranium or astilbe and numerous bulbous flowering plants. By the way, before the seductive flowers of rhododendrons growing in your garden, bumblebees and bees will not stand. And with their help, you can taste such exotic delicacies as rhododendron honey.
Proper care of rhododendron
Planting site: in the light shade of trees, many varieties endure and sunny place.
Planting dates: the best time for planting rhododendron and azalea is from early March to mid-May, and also, from September to November. You can replant plants during flowering. But when the soil is frozen, you can neither replant nor make new plantings.
Depth of landing: shallow!
Soil: acidic (pH 4.2-5.5) by adding peat to planting soil for rhododendrons. The landing pit, which should be 3-4 times wider and twice as deep as the size of the earthen seedling, is filled with the mixture: soil and peat soil removed from the pit in a 1: 1 ratio.
Top dressing: a special fertilizer for long-acting rhododendrons is added under bushes in April and slightly buried in the soil. New plantings are fed in 3 weeks.
Mulching: a layer of crushed bark with a thickness of 3 cm.
Watering: plants are kept wet all year round.
The right choice of planting material
Two or four year old rhododendron bushes are best for planting. When buying, pay attention to the bushiness of the cuttings of the seedling (the most survivable branches immediately near the root collar), and on its leaves (must be without spots and swellings). Also, be sure to inspect the roots of the seedling, it is unacceptable that they were wet blotches and nodes. The place where you purchase seedlings is also important.It is best to buy them in experienced gardeners or special nurseries, and it is not desirable in the markets, since they have significantly less chances (most sellers simply do not know which varieties and types of trade they trade).
Where it is better to plant rhododendron in the areaPlanted rhododendron better in a shady place on the north side of the house. The soil should be loose, acidic, well drained, rich in humus. When the groundwater in your area lies at a depth of less than one meter, the planting is done on a raised bed. When planting rhododendron is also important to pay attention to neighboring plants.
It is undesirable to plant rhododendron close to trees that have a shallow root system, because they will take all the nutrients from the plant. To undesirable neighbors should also include birch, willow, maple, chestnut, linden, alder, and the inhabitants of the site, near which you can plant rhododendron belong to apple, pear, pine, spruce, larch, poplar.
How to prepare the soil and plant rhododendron
- First of all, prepare a pit for landing. The pit is dug about 40 cm deep, and about 60 cm in diameter.
- Then prepare a mixture of eight buckets of top peat and three and a half buckets of loam (loam can be replaced with two buckets of clay). Stir this mixture thoroughly, pour it into a hole, and tamp well.
- After that, dig a hole in the ground the same size as the root ball of the seedling.
- Before direct planting, put the saplings of rhododendron into the water, and keep them there until the air bubbles stop emitting.
- Place the seedling in the hole and sprinkle the pit with the substrate to the very top, so that the root neck is at the level of the surface of the plot, tamping it down to eliminate all voids.
- Liberally water the plant, and grumble the soil around the trunk with peat, moss, sawdust, oak leaves, or pine needles, a layer of about 5-6 cm.
The combination of rhododendron with other plants and use in landscape designRhododendron will find its place in the landscape design of almost any style. The plant looks great in the role of tapeworm, and in group compositions, and in the latter case, it is excellently combined with conifers, and with other types of flowering plants. It is best to select such species with which rhododendron grows in its natural environment - pines, larches, ferns, junipers, and others.
Rhododendron is perfect for decorating rocky gardens and alpine gardens. For this purpose, stunted species of rhododendron with different flowering periods are suitable. Compose them, making out the rocky slopes, you can with gentian, mountain pine, heather.
Sredneroslye types of rhododendron, often used in group plantings in the form of live fences, with the selection of the desired plant shades. For example, rhododendrons with yellow flowers are perfectly combined with those shrubs that bloom with red and bright orange flowers, and rhododendrons with purple and pink flowers with plants that bloom in white.
Shrubs planted on the lawn or along garden paths and curbs look good, especially when decorating parquet lawn, although in this case only adult rhododendron bushes are suitable (for at least ten years).Creating group compositions with rhododendrons, it is recommended to combine evergreen species with deciduous ones, while correctly “mixing” plants of different heights. In the center of the composition look better tall shrubs, and at the edges - stunted.
How to water
Rhododendron requires atmospheric and soil moisture more than other plants, especially when buds are formed and during flowering. It should be watered regularly, and in dry weather should be more, and spray the plants with water. Proper watering affects the tab on the flower buds of rhododendron next year. Water the plant need soft water (separated, thawed, or rain), which can be softened with the help of a handful of high-moor peat, thrown a day before watering.The frequency of making a fluid is determined by the state of the leaves: for example, when they are dull and have lost their elasticity, then the plant is thirsty. When watering the soil should get wet at 20-30 cm depth.
How to feed a plant
The first feeding of rhododendron takes place in early spring, and the last - in late July, at the end of the flowering period, when young shoots start to grow. Can be used for feeding plants half-burnt cow dung, and horn flour. Rhododendron prefers liquid feedings, so the manure is poured with water (1:15 ratio), and left to stand for a couple of days. Before making fertilizer for rhododendron, it should be watered.
If we talk about mineral fertilizers, in order not to disturb the reaction of the medium (rhododendron grows in acidic soils), it is best to use superphosphate, ammonium sulphate, low concentration magnesium (1.2: 1000), and even less potassium fertilizer solution.The optimal mode of fertilizing involves the introduction of organic or mineral nitrogen-containing fertilizers at the rate of fifty grams of magnesium sulphate and fifty grams of ammonium sulphate per square meter (fertilizers are applied to the soil in early spring), and at the end of the flowering period (in early June) it should be accounted for forty grams of ammonium sulfate and twenty grams of potassium sulfate and superphosphate. In July, only twenty grams of potassium sulphate and superphosphate are introduced per square meter.
How to prune rhododendron
Rhododendron requires minimal formation and pruning, because its bushes themselves form the correct shape. However, from time to time it will be necessary to cut too high, frozen or old shoots, which will help to rejuvenate the rhododendron. Pruned shoots of rhododendron in early spring, and the places of cuts are processed by garden pitch (but only where the thickness of the branches reaches 2-4 cm).Within a month, the sleeping buds on the shoots awaken, and the process of renewal begins, which lasts for a year. Strongly frozen or very old bushes are cut at a height of 30-40 cm from the ground - one half of the bush in the first year, and the second - the next.
Preparing for winter and shelter rhododendron
It is necessary to prepare rhododendron for winter in advance. To do this, from the end of the summer, you should stop feeding the plant with nitrogen, and switch to potash fertilizers (this will help the maturation of late growths). You can also add colloidal sulfur to the soil, which acidifies the soil and slows the growth of fungi.
Rhododendron shrubs can be treated with any of the available fungicides. In dry autumn, the plant should be watered before the onset of frosts, but in rainy autumn additional watering is not needed. Especially in moisture need evergreen species of rhododendrons.
As soon as serious frosts come, it is necessary to warm the root zone of the plant. This can be done by mulching with a layer (10-15 cm) of peat, pine needles, or dry leaves. This is done in late autumn. Low frost plant is not very dangerous, but too early shelter of rhododendron bushes can lead to root swelling of the neck and the death of the plant.Now, actually, as for the construction of a shelter for rhododendron. First you need to make a frame of durable wire, and install it before the earth freezes. Its size should be 15 cm larger than the plant itself, so that the rhododendron branches do not touch the arcs.
When the air temperature drops to -10 ° C, the frame should be covered with protective material(polyurethane foam, polypropylene), and if the material is not too dense, then it can be folded in several layers (lutrasil, agrotex, spandbond and others). In the case when the coating starts to pass moisture, you will have to stretch the plastic film on top. The material on the frame is firmly fixed, and the bottom along the entire length sprinkled with soil.
No need to rush to remove the shelter from rhododendron, as soon as the sun warms. In March, the plant is still at rest, and can not independently absorb moisture from the frozen ground, and rhododendron leaves can burn with bright rays of the sun. Therefore, we will have to wait until the ground is completely thawed and the ground warms up, because only then can the shelter be removed from the rhododendron, and it is desirable to do this on an overcast day. In the first days after shelter removal, the plant is best applied to avoid the harmful effects of the sun.
Rhododendrons, planting and care in the open field
1. Rhododendron is a plant of the heather family. The name rhododendron unites more than 600 species of plants from evergreen to deciduous. There are one-year and perennial rhododendrons. Most often, rhododendrons are small shrubs, but some species are giant trees up to 30 meters high.
The word rhododendron means pink tree. Another name for this plant is alpine rose. Rhododendrons are a very popular plant in horticulture, thanks to large bright inflorescences and dense foliage.
Rhododendrons are heat-loving plants. Therefore, not all species can be planted in our country with its harsh winter. But there are types of rhododendrons that are completely adapted to our climate. In Russia, as a garden culture, this shrub was grown in the 19th century.
The best time to plant rhododendron is spring. But, if necessary, the planting can be carried out during the entire growing season of the plant. The exception is the flowering period and 1-2 weeks after it. The site for the landing of rhododendron should be protected from direct sunlight and gusting wind.
In addition, you should consider the neighborhood with other plants. Rhododendron gets on well with plants that have a deep root system. Undesirable neighbors include plants whose root system of the neighbors lies at the same depth as that of rhododendron. The roots of such plants will interfere with the full development of rhododendron.
When the place is chosen, we dig a hole - its size should be about 60 cm in width and 40 cm in depth. Rhododendron prefers loose, acidified, humus-rich soil. Therefore, we do not recommend using the soil removed from the hole for planting. It is better to prepare a soil mixture for rhododendron yourself. To do this, take 4 parts of peat, take one part of clay and mix thoroughly.
Soil mixture is poured into the hole and rammed. After that, a hole, the size of the plant's root system, is dug in the compacted soil. Now the seedling falls into the hole and filled with soil. The soil must be compacted and poured abundantly with water.
After planting, the pristvolnoye space must be mulched peat, tree bark or fallen needles. Mulching prevents premature evaporation of moisture needed by the plant. If during planting the plant is covered with buds, we recommend removing some of the buds - in order to direct the maximum amount of plant strength to rooting in a new place. If you have planted a single plant and there is a risk that it will be damaged by gusts of wind, install a small support next to the seedling.
Growing and caring for rhododendron
2. Care of the rhododendron in the open field includes a number of routine procedures for caring for shrubs. However, there are features. Since the root system of rhododendron is very close to the surface, it is by no means impossible to loosen the ground near the shrubbery. Removal of weeds is also done manually.
The frequency of watering is determined by the state of the leaves. If the leaves get a matte shade and lose turgor - the plant needs moisture. Turgor (from Latin - swollen) - means a measure of hydrostatic pressure inside the plant. But do not overdo it with moisture. Excessive watering will have the opposite effect - the leaves of the plant will begin to fall and fold. Watering is best done with separated or rainwater.
To soften the water, you can add a handful of peat in a bucket of water the day before watering.
The branches of rhododendron form the correct shape, so pruning is not often done. However, from time to time such a need arises. Old or heavily frozen branches are subject to pruning. Pruning is carried out in early spring before the beginning of the growing season. Places cut branches in the thickness of 2-4 cm and more should be treated with garden pitch.
This plant has noticed the following peculiarity of flowering - if this year the plant bloomed magnificently, then next year the flowering will be much more modest. In order to smooth out the annual differences in the intensity of flowering, it is necessary to cut the inflorescences immediately after they have bloomed. This will allow the plant to save power for next year.
Top-feeding of rhododendrons begins in early spring and ends in late July. After the end of the flowering period, when the plant began to give fresh shoots. Наилучшей подкормкой являются жидкие органические удобрения в виде перепревшего коровьего раствора, настоянного в течение нескольких суток. Удобрение готовиться в пропорции 1 к 15 частям воды.
Что касается защиты от вредителей, то наилучшим средством является восьми процентный раствор фунгицида. Он помогает справиться с наиболее опасными для растения насекомыми. Слизней и улиток необходимо удалять с растения вручную.
In our article we talked about a wonderful garden plant - rhododendron. On how to plant and grow rhododendron in the open field on the garden.
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Origin and Description
Rhododendron, intended for planting in gardens, is represented by both stunted and tall shrubs. The height of the branches can reach seven meters. It can be both evergreen and deciduous. Depending on the variety, it grows both in the southern territories and in the harsh Siberian conditions. There are special varieties that are resistant to cold, they tolerate the harsh Russian winters. In the wild, rhododendron grows in solitary bushes as well as in thickets.
Its name translates as "rose - tree", and he received it thanks to its lush flowers, reminiscent of roses. Flowers are large inflorescences of buds that can reach 25 cm. The shape of the flower looks like a bell with long stamens and a rim of different shades. Rhododendron flowers require minimal care, bad buds simply break off. This procedure will help the plant to bloom in full color every year. And he is pleased with flowers for a long period: from early spring to late autumn.
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