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Video: Rhododendron, Azalea And Boxwood In Your Garden
Read the previous part of the article: Junipers in your garden
Rhododendron and azalea
The rhododendron has a myriad of species and varieties - among them there are twenty-meter giants and creeping ground cover plants. Flowers with a diameter of 0.5 cm to 10 cm are cup-shaped, bell-shaped or funnel-shaped. But all these plants have common features. All rhododendrons are characterized by shallow roots, the leaves of almost all species are oval, all plants grow well only on acidic soil and, as a rule, prefer partial shade to direct sunlight. Traditionally, representatives of this genus are subdivided into rhododendrons and azaleas.
Azaleas are usually called species with a more compact form of growth, with small leaves and graceful flowers, but this is not a universal rule - there are azaleas 3 meters high, and there are rhododendrons creeping along the ground. Sometimes these plants are distinguished by the number of stamens, of which there are ten in rhododendrons and fewer in azaleas, but experts consider this classification far-fetched. It is important to remember that not all members of this genus are evergreen. Of the three main groups, only two retain foliage all year round - these are rhododendrons and evergreen (or Japanese) azaleas.
The third group includes deciduous azaleas, which include the Ghent, Knap Hill, Exbury and Mollis hybrids.
Flowers of azaleas and rhododendrons have a wide variety of colors, except for pure blue and, of course, black. Flowering usually occurs in May, but some species bloom in early spring, while others do not flower until August. In autumn, the soil under the plants is mulched with peat; in dry weather, abundant watering is needed. In large-flowered species, faded flowers should be removed, but so as not to damage the buds located at the base of the flower. They need acidic soil. These plants prefer partial shade. Propagated by layering in the fall.
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Types and varieties of rhododendrons
First, let's turn to rhododendrons, among which cold-resistant hybrids are the most popular. The height of the bush usually ranges from 1.5 m to 2.5 m, they bloom, depending on the variety, from April to July.
Red-flowered varieties include Britannia, Cynthia, Doncaster, Kluis Sensation, Vulcan and the late-flowering Lord Roberts and John Walter. There are many varieties with purple flowers - from pale mauve - Fastuosum Flore Pleno to almost black - Purple Splendour.
White and yellow rhododendrons are represented by many magnificent varieties, of which we note Sappho (white flowers with a dark eye) and Odee Wright (yellow flowers).
Many cold-tolerant hybrids are too big for a small garden, so dwarf hybrids are now popular. These are shrubs 0.5-1 m high, strewn with clusters of small flowers in April-May. The lead among them belongs to the Elizabeth variety (red flowers). Other varieties worth noting are the red Baden-Baden, lavender - Blue Diamond, pink Bow Bells, red Carmen, yellow - Princess Anne and white - Snow Lady. For a more unusual rhododendron, choose one of the original species. The most common Yakushima rhododendron (R. yakushimanum) is a domed shrub 1 m high with flowers that change color from pink to white. Look for excellent hybrids such as Surrey Heath, Percy Wiseman, Silver Sixpence, Doc, Dopey and Sleepy.
Other species are presented in the catalogs, for example, the Macabe rhododendron (R. macabeanum), the arboreal rhododendron (R. abroreum), etc. And, finally, there are evergreen, or Japanese, azaleas with a height of 60 cm to 1.2 m, blooming profusely in April-May with bell-shaped flowers with a diameter of 2.5-7.5 cm.These include varieties: Addy Wery (red), Blue Danube (purple), Pino-mayo (pink), Mother's Day (red), Orange Beauty (orange), Palestrina (white), Rosebud and Vuyk's Rosyred (pink).
Rhododendron Catawba cultivar Grandiflorum
Fast-growing, rounded shrub. In the conditions of central Russia it reaches 1.5 meters in height and width. The flowers are light purple with golden brown specks, flowering from late May to late June. The root system of all rhododendrons is flat, sensitive to soil compaction, digging and loosening, as well as road surfaces and flooding
Light shade, partial shade, very thick shade lead to curved, elongated forms of the bush; winter hardiness depends on the original species.
Soil rhododendron prefers cool, fresh or moist substrates rich in humus, sensitive to drought, especially during flowering. And also prefers acidic, acidified soils, avoids alkali, well-drained, sandy loam substrates.
Rhododendron cultivar Kalinka
Plant in the form of a dome-shaped, dense, small shrub, slowly growing. His flowers are conical inflorescences, giving abundant flowering even at a young age. Carmine buds, ruby or light pink after blooming, have a slightly corrugated border. There are brown specks on the petals. Blooms from mid to late May.
The root system of all rhododendrons is flat and shallow, sensitive to soil compaction, digging and loosening, as well as road surfaces and flooding.
Sun, light shade, partial shade is recommended; this rhododendron is winter-hardy, resilient and adaptable
The soil likes well-drained, acidic, neutral.
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A popular shrub for a living fence, including a low one, framing flower beds and parterres. Shoots with small shiny leaves tolerate frequent pruning, which means that this plant is ideal for creating screens and curly haircuts. Not afraid of wind, alkaline soil and some shade.
Types and varieties of boxwood
Mainly two types are cultivated.
The most popular is evergreen boxwood, or ordinary (B. sempervirens) with oval leaves 2.5 cm or more long. If left untrimmed, it grows up to 3m in height, but there are many more compact and colorful varieties.
Look for Aureovariegata (yellow-spotted leaves) and Latifolia Maculata (pure yellow young leaves).
Suffruticosa is good for low picking. Small-leaved boxwood (B. microphylla) has leaves 2 cm long or less.
Compacta is a dwarf variety, while Curly Locks has twisted stems. Any soil and a sunny place or partial shade are suitable for him. Propagated by cuttings in a cold greenhouse in summer.
Read the next part of the article: Pines and yews in your garden
Evergreens in your garden:
• Part 1. Evergreens in your garden
• Part 2. Arranging evergreens in your garden
• Part 3. Growing evergreens in your garden
• Part 4. Eating in your garden
• Part 5. Cypress in your garden
• Part 6 Junipers in your garden
• Part 7. Rhododendron, azalea and boxwood in your garden
• Part 8. Pines and yews in your garden
• Part 9. Thuja in your garden