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Rhododendrons: Planting, Care, Use In Design
Rhododendrons: Planting, Care, Use In Design

Video: Rhododendrons: Planting, Care, Use In Design

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Video: Growing rhododendrons - what you need to know 2023, February
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Read the previous part. ← Types of rhododendrons

Rhododendron
Rhododendron

Landing requirements. When choosing a place for planting, it is necessary to be guided by the fact that the plant should be protected from the prevailing winds and direct sunlight, since most of the wild-growing rhododendrons in nature are hidden under the canopy of trees.

Therefore, the most suitable places in our gardens are the areas directly adjacent to the northern walls of the buildings. Rhododendrons feel good in wooded areas, especially under sparse spruce and pine trees.

Gardener's guide

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Soil conditions for growing. Heavy clay soils, as well as soils with a dense lower horizon, where stagnation of rain and melt water is possible, rhododendrons cannot stand. This plant prefers leafy soil, peat and coniferous litter. The optimum soil acidity for normal growth is pH 4.5-5.0.

Rhododendron planting technique. The best time to plant rhododendrons is spring. To do this, they dig a hole about half a meter deep, on the bottom of which a drainage of broken brick and sand is laid with a layer of 20 centimeters. When planting plants, you need to ensure that their root system is not buried, but is 2-4 centimeters higher above the soil level. After planting, watering is required, and mulching material - peat or pine needles must be poured around the planted bushes, which will stop the growth of weeds and save moisture.

Plant care

Rhododendron
Rhododendron

The main care measures include weeding of near-stem bushes, watering and feeding. To fully provide plants with nutrients, the soil should be fertilized at least 2-3 times a year.

Fertilizers are used standard, containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in a ratio of 2: 1: 1.5. It should be noted that large doses of superphosphate are dangerous, as they create an iron deficiency.

It is also necessary to avoid fertilizers containing lime and chlorine, and it is better to feed them with low concentrations of mineral fertilizers in liquid form (especially young plants).

The next necessary activity is watering, it must be carried out regularly, especially in dry and hot summers. Requires at least 10-12 liters per plant. To determine the need for watering, you need to pay attention to the leaves: if they become dull and wilted, watering is necessary. After watering, you need to loosen and weed the weeds.

For the first few years after planting, it is better to cover young and immature plants with spruce branches, and it is better to completely cover undersized forms. You can bend the branches to the ground, thereby avoiding their freezing. And in late March - early April, the shelter is removed, sometimes leaving a part of the spruce branches on evergreens for a short while to avoid spring sunburn.

Pests and diseases

Rhododendrons often infect and damage such pests and diseases: rhododendra bug, spider mites, root rot and rust. Measures to combat them are generally accepted.

Reproduction of rhododendrons

Rhododendron
Rhododendron

This plant, like most of its kind, propagates by seeds and vegetatively (by dividing the bush, root suckers and green cuttings).

Seeds are sown in spring in boxes and lightly sprinkled with clean washed sand, sprinkling abundantly with water. Then the boxes are covered with glass or foil. When the first leaves appear on the seedlings, they should be transferred to a room with a lower temperature.

In summer, the seedling crates can be taken out into the garden and placed in a sheltered area, sufficiently lit but out of direct sunlight. The emerging seedlings are usually very delicate and small, and they must be watered, otherwise they will die. Due to their rather slow growth, the seedlings dive first into boxes, and are transplanted into the ground only in the third year after sowing.

Reproduction by dividing the bush is perhaps the easiest way of vegetative propagation. It consists in digging up the entire plant and carefully dividing it with a sharpened pruner into two or more parts. After that, all the separated parts are planted in a permanent place.

The method of propagation by root suckers is somewhat different from the first and is more complex. It consists in neatly separating them and transplanting them to a permanent place. But the most difficult is the method of propagation by green cuttings, which is as follows: in June-July, young, but rather elastic shoots are chosen, of which cuttings 4-6 centimeters long with one or two internodes are cut.

Then they are planted in a greenhouse under a film in a substrate of fertile soil, on top of which sand is poured with a layer of 5-7 centimeters. When planted in June, roots form in September. The resulting rooted cuttings should be immediately transplanted into the ground, and only next fall you will receive full-fledged planting material.

Use of rhododendrons

Rhododendron
Rhododendron

Rhododendrons look most effective in group, freely located plantings. For greater effect, they are best placed at the edges of lawns, near paths and paths.

It is necessary to take into account the moisture content of plants and plant them near water bodies, as well as in places where conditions are most favorable in summer. When designing a garden, it is not recommended to mix deciduous and evergreen rhododendrons. It is necessary to place the plants in ascending order, that is, the highest in the center, and the lowest at the edges.

Rhododendrons look great next to conifers, whose monotony will set off bright flowers. Paying attention to protecting plants from cold winds, you should plant evergreen trees or shrubs nearby, or plant them between old trees on the north side of the building. When placing rhododendrons in groups, you should strictly ensure that they are made up of species that are in harmony with the color of the flowers.

It is recommended to plant nearby plants with purple, pink and white, as well as yellow and orange. Among other things, rhododendrons are used to create hedges and rocky hills, and low-growing species in combination with herbaceous plants are suitable for rock gardens.

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