Choosing a place and planting rhododendrons, growing conditions

Choosing a place and planting rhododendrons, growing conditions

Read the previous part. ← Types and varieties of rhododendrons

Requirements of rhododendrons for growth conditions

Rhododendron canadian

The originality of the requirements of rhododendrons for caring for them is due to the peculiarities of their structure. First of all, these plants have thin superficial roots that do not tolerate increased salt concentration, drying out, and strong waterlogging. They lay the buds of the next year early, at the end of August - September.

Rhododendrons should not only overwinter, but also preserve large, well-developed flower buds in unfavorable winter conditions (frosts, thaws, wind, sudden temperature changes in early spring), and evergreens should also have overwintering leaves. These plants grow slowly, recover very poorly after damage, so it is so important to create suitable growth conditions for them and keep them in unfavorable periods.

The requirements for rhododendrons are quite specific.

Shine. Usually, light-loving and shade-tolerant and even shade-loving species are distinguished, however, all rhododendrons grow well in diffused lighting, when shaded from the midday sun. Bright sun is harmful mainly in winter and early spring, before the soil thaws. Too much sunlight, combined with frost and the inability to absorb moisture from frozen soil, burns evergreen leaves and well-developed buds. When planting in more illuminated places in the summer, you need to better monitor the soil moisture, and cover the rhododendrons with covers for the winter.

Temperature. We are only considering cold-resistant rhododendrons. But they also have cold resistance and, in general, winter hardiness of different species and varieties differ. The most cold-resistant are: yellow rhododendron, Japanese, varieties of the Lights series, most varieties of Finnish selection. However, despite the fact that some Finnish evergreen rhododendrons are very cold-resistant (they can withstand frosts down to -40 ° C), their burns are possible in winter. In general, deciduous rhododendrons overwinter better than evergreens.

Moisture. Rhododendrons are moisture-loving and do not tolerate drying out of the roots. Their root system is shallow (usually no deeper than 60 centimeters), highly branched, so the plants need systematic watering. Keeping soil moisture is also of paramount importance to them.

Soil mulching

around rhododendrons is necessary, and it is more important than for most other plants.

Long-term stagnation of water rhododendrons do not tolerate, as this interferes with the respiration of the roots. But groundwater rarely harms rhododendrons, because the roots do not go deep into the ground. Rhododendrons, especially evergreens, love high air humidity, so it is useful to spray them with water in hot, dry weather. They feel good on the shore of the reservoir. In general, the damp Petersburg climate is favorable for them.

The soil. Rhododendrons need a fairly light, moisture-absorbing, breathable soil. The main feature is the acidity of the soil. Unlike most ornamental plants, they can only grow on slightly acidic or even acidic soils. Lime is not only unnecessary for rhododendrons, but also harmful.

On calcareous, alkaline soils, and sometimes on neutral soils in rhododendrons (especially evergreens), leaf chlorosis (yellowing) is observed, which greatly inhibits the plants. Acidic soil is necessary for the assimilation of iron and aluminum, but phosphorus in acidic soil is poorly absorbed, and its introduction in large quantities is useless. There are recommendations to introduce phosphorus not in the form of water-soluble superphosphate, but in the form of phosphate rock, which gradually dissolves in an acidic medium.

Potassium is important for rhododendrons, especially in the form of potassium sulfate. Fertilizers containing chlorine are undesirable for them.

Nitrogen is needed in limited quantities in the spring at the beginning of the growing season and immediately after flowering during the growth of young shoots. In late summer and autumn, additional nitrogen is harmful, as it prolongs the growing season, worsens tissue maturation and can lead to secondary growth of shoots, i.e. to the appearance in the fall of young shoots from the new buds already formed by the fall. Such young shoots weaken the plant and freeze in winter. It is better to fertilize rhododendrons with dissolved fertilizers with a reduced concentration, so as not to burn the roots.


organic fertilizers

you cannot use fresh manure, compost. Well-decomposed humus, leafy earth, pine litter (litter taken from under the pine) are useful. For the successful growth of rhododendrons, the presence of a specific mycorrhiza in the soil is important, which is always present in places where pine trees grow, in a pine litter. Mycorrhiza can be introduced into the soil by taking the soil from under the old rhododendrons. However, there is a risk of infection.

The requirements of almost all considered rhododendrons are close, but they are especially critical for evergreen species and varieties. The most resistant deciduous rhododendrons easily adapt to other conditions: they grow on ordinary garden soil, put up with both bright sunlight and significant shade, and do not require special preparation for winter.

Purchase of rhododendrons and their maintenance prior to planting

Japanese rhododendron

It is better to purchase rhododendrons from reliable companies. Finnish rhododendrons are good. I do not recommend buying Polish or Dutch plants, although good options are possible. Cheaper rhododendrons can be purchased in Russian nurseries that breed the best varieties for our climatic conditions, including Finnish ones.

It is better to buy rhododendrons in the spring, perhaps in early autumn. It is better not to plant the plants purchased in October, but to dig directly in the pot and cover or store in a frost-free room. In the spring, if the soil has already thawed, non-flowering young rhododendrons can be immediately planted in the ground. Planting material from greenhouses, especially those already flowering, should not be planted until after severe frosts.

After soaking the plant in a pot (or you can first remove it), it is advisable to transplant the rhododendron without destroying the coma into a larger pot, fill the gap between the walls with peat. You can soak not just in water, but in a solution of heteroauxin or special bacterial preparations. In this state, the rhododendron should be kept in a cool room or in the shade outside (in the absence of frost). In a dry environment, it is important to spray rhododendrons, especially evergreens.

Seat selection and landing

Finnish rhododendron grade "Tigerstedt"

It is very important to choose the right place for planting rhododendrons. This should always be done on the basis of two criteria: aesthetic and plant compliance with its requirements. The use of rhododendrons in garden design will be discussed at the end of the article.

Despite the fact that different types of rhododendrons have different requirements for illumination, for all these plants the best place is in diffused light, in partial shade. Rhododendrons should be shaded from the midday sun, and most importantly in the spring. Therefore, if the shade is formed by deciduous trees, rhododendrons will not be protected in spring, and this must be taken into account when planting.

You cannot plant them next to trees and shrubs with a powerful, especially spread root system. Good neighbors for rhododendrons -

pine trees

both varietal and wild. They not only can shade rhododendrons, but give pine litter useful for them. Rhododendrons should not be planted in very dry or flooded or windy areas.

The timing of planting or transplanting rhododendrons may vary. Large rhododendrons, especially flowering ones, should be transplanted in early spring before the soil is completely thawed. In such conditions, it is easier to keep the root ball intact. It is "cut down" from the ground that has not yet thawed.

In this way, I was able to replant old very large specimens without prejudice to flowering. You can transplant rhododendrons, especially early flowering, and immediately after flowering before the start of active growth of young shoots. Plants grown in containers can be planted almost all spring and summer until September (not in hot weather).

Rhododendrons have a shallow compact root system, so the pit can be shallow and wider from 50x30 to 70x40 cm. In damp places, it is better to raise the seat and make drainage. The pit is filled with a mixture of garden soil,


, leafy ground or well

decomposed compost

, humus. You can not put manure, a large amount of mineral fertilizers, lime, ash in the pit.

It is good to add coarse sand, especially if the base soil is heavier. An important component is pine litter, pine earth, chopped pine needles or small branches. The soil should be slightly acidic or acidic (this is especially important for evergreen rhododendrons). You can add a tablespoon to the pit without a slide of full

mineral fertilizer

... If it is difficult to create the necessary soil on your own, you can use ready-made soil for azaleas, which is available in specialized stores.

Rhododendron Schlippenbach

Rhododendron seedlings are always sold in containers, and most often they are filled with light air

peat substrate

, therefore, before planting, the root ball must be soaked in water directly in the pot, or after removing it from it.

It is useful to soak the root system in a solution of heteroauxin or special bacterial preparations, for example,


... The root ball taken out of the pot must be carefully examined, cut out areas of dead, dried or rotten roots, if any. The root ball of rhododendrons is usually dense, entangled in roots, often covered with "felt" over the surface.

If such a plant is planted immediately, it most likely will not take root, the roots will not be able to emerge into the soil of the planting pit. This is the main reason for the death of rhododendron seedlings. It is not necessary to completely destroy the lump before planting, but be sure to cut the surface "felt", if there is one, carefully remove it, untangle the surface roots with a sharp stick, so that when planting, the ends of the roots are directed downward and to the sides.

Rhododendrons have a pronounced root collar, which should not be buried. After planting, the seedling should be at the same level as in the pot (unless the roots in the pot protrude outward, which sometimes happens). The place of transition of the aboveground part to the underground (neck) is very useful to cover with coarse sand.

This will prevent stagnation of water in this place and prevent the neck from podoprevanie, reduce the likelihood of root rot. Before planting, water should be poured into the hole so that the soil in it settles and its lower part is moistened. After planting, the plant also needs to be watered and, after absorbing water, the trunk circle should be mulched. Mulching is useful for all plants, but it is especially important for rhododendrons due to the fact that they have shallow roots, and they are very afraid of drying out the soil.

You can mulch with different materials

: peat, leaf humus, pine needles, and for decorative purposes - crushed bark (special colored bark mulch is also sold). Mulching has to be systematically renewed. Rhododendrons, like other plants, are best planted in cool, damp weather, but in any case, it is advisable to shade them after planting by wearing a newspaper cap, a cloth cover or something similar.

Depending on the weather, after a week or two, the shading can be removed. In the first summer after planting, rhododendrons do not need to be fertilized, but it is important to systematically water, spray, especially in hot, dry weather. Rhododendrons should be watched to determine when they will take root and begin to grow, or to notice signs of trouble.

Read the next part. Rhododendron care in spring, summer and autumn →

Tatiana Popova, gardener
Photo by Vladimir Popov

Tel .: +7 (904) 631-55-57

Read all parts of the article "Growing rhododendrons in the Northwest"
- Part 1. Species and varieties of rhododendrons
- Part 2. Site selection and planting of rhododendrons, growing conditions
- Part 3. Caring for rhododendrons in spring, summer and autumn
- Part 4. Reproduction of rhododendrons, diseases and pests
- Part 5. Using rhododendrons in garden design

Rhododendron planting and care in the suburbs

To grow a beautiful and amazing plant called rhododendron in your summer cottage in the Moscow region, you need to know what subspecies of this tree exist and how to properly care for them. In this matter, the study of the origin of the exotic shrub and its natural habitat will help.

Linden (lat.Tilia)

Linden is from the genus of Woody plants. About 45 species of this plant are known, not counting more than a hundred bred hybrids. The leaves are heart-shaped, light green above, and gray-gray below.

Rhododendron is a plant that is magnificent in its decorativeness and variety of species. Many gardeners believe that it is very difficult to grow it due to its exotic origin. In fact, if you follow fairly simple and straightforward rules, you can become the owner of a handsome man even in zones with a rather harsh climate, for example, in central Russia, namely in the Moscow region.

Step-by-step instruction

It is recommended to start planting with children and tubers of the most valuable varieties of gladioli in order to accelerate development, and in the shortest possible time to be able to reproduce them. The step-by-step instructions are given below:

Initially, small pits or trenches are prepared, the depth in each case is determined individually and depends on the size of the bulbs. Usually it is about 10-12 cm, but with high soil moisture or the predominance of a sandy structure, the depth can be reduced to 7-9 cm. The depth of the children is carried out no more than 3-4 cm, otherwise they may not germinate.

The soil at the bottom of the prepared recess is carefully dug up, but just before planting it must be leveled using a rake.

Planting fertilizer is introduced into the soil, nitrophoska is most often used, the dosage is about 1-2 grams. for each onion planted.

The soil is watered abundantly, as dry soil will begin to take moisture from the planting material, which can cause it to dry out.

Inside one trench, planting material can be placed both along and across.

A layer of clean sand is poured inside the prepared hole or trench, its thickness should be no more than 1-2 cm

This is a protective measure that minimizes direct contact of the planted bulbs with the soil for some time, which will simplify the adaptation process and ensure safety from the effects of various microorganisms.

The bulb is carefully placed in the hole, after which it must also be sprinkled on top with a small layer of sand. After that, the garden soil is filled up to the very top.

The distances between planting sites are determined by the individual characteristics of each variety, the purpose of growing gladioli and the size of the planting material

In most cases, the distance between sufficiently large tubers within one row should be at least 15 cm, and between adjacent rows about 20 cm.For children, the distance is reduced to 5 cm, and the rows can be placed at a distance of 15 cm from each other.

After planting is complete, the topsoil must be watered again with abundant water.



The genus of rhododendrons (emphasis on the third syllable!) Is large and varied. It includes evergreens,.

How to choose a variety of rhododendron

The right choice of rhododendron variety is the main guarantee of success.

Soil mix for planting rhododendron

For growth and development, rhododendrons need a special substrate. Therefore, it is more convenient to plant them not.

Rhododendron care

Correctly planted rhododendrons take root well. If the soil substrate has been made with good quality.

Wintering rhododendron

Wintering is the most important stage in the life of rhododendrons. The flowering of the next year depends on it. what kinds.

Planting rhododendrons. Master Class

Rhododendron feels good near water bodies where the air is humidified. Therefore, it is planted near.

Making bonsai. Master Class

In natural conditions, ficuses often grow on stones, rocks, while forming a large number.

Planting material

People who have been growing rhododendrons for many years are advised to take frost-resistant varieties, since in 80 percent of cases they give strong shoots. You can buy flower seeds either in nurseries or in agricultural complexes. You can buy already acclimatized seedlings from gardeners you have known for a long time. At the same time, you will find out the details of the care.

Try to choose the species, not the varieties. Yes, sometimes it is the varieties that give beautiful flowers, but the species diversity is not much to compare with. The species is usually much more hardy than the variety that is bred from it. Of course, the best place to buy is a garden center, but here you can also find disadvantages.

Plants are usually brought either from Holland or Poland.

Yes, they bloom very beautifully and will decorate the garden with their pale pink color, but such flowers will not live long - about one season. The fact is that in European nurseries, growing conditions are much milder, and hydroponics is also used - growing plants not in the ground, but in a nutrient solution. Many new developments are being used in the cultivation of rhododendrons, but they do not make the plants more resistant to bad climatic conditions. Flowers can die in winter. They also cannot be kept in the apartment, since the water is too hard, and the air is very bitchy.

Buy a bush that is at least 4 years old - this is the key to good survival.

Pay attention to the size of the seedling! If its height does not exceed 15 centimeters, then the seedling was grown from seed in the open field, and not in a greenhouse. Plants, which are about 25 centimeters tall, are grown by cuttings. They start branching from the roots.

Examine the leaves of the seedling. There should be no swelling or suspicious stains. Sometimes it is possible to examine the roots. No knots or wet spots should be present.


Plants usually do not exceed a height of 15-20 cm. Therefore, they should be planted in the foreground on flower beds or on the edge of a pot so that the bushes are not drowned out by other, taller species.

The large-flowered type of purslane is used in the garden as follows:

  • for dry beds, flower beds
  • as a complement to other ornamental plants
  • on borders, strokes
  • for containers on the balcony, terrace
  • for rockeries
  • for alleys with gravel
  • for green carpets.

The surrounding stones are ideal for the plant, the purslane will absorb the heat coming from them.

In shady conditions, the plant loses its beauty, the flowers close, opening only in the rays of the sun. Therefore, it is better to plant it on the upper floors of rock gardens or on the walls, from where the water flows easily and the sun illuminates easily. Hanging containers and balcony boxes on covered sun terraces are also great places for purslane.

This flower can be planted in the company of other plants with similar soil and climatic requirements, for example:

  • gomphrene spherical,
  • california poppy,
  • gatsaniya.

It is recommended to plant white flowers nearby, for example, white alyssum. Their whiteness will contrast well with the colorful purslane flowers.

Garden purslane contains useful substances:

  • vitamin C,
  • potassium,
  • iron,
  • magnesium,
  • calcium,
  • various biologically active substances that have a positive effect on the human body.

However, the plant can be harmful! It should not be consumed by pregnant women and children.

The plant has found application as a vegetable. In our country, it is little known, but the seeds are already offered by producers. Purslane properties were used in ancient times. It cleanses the body and has a positive effect on digestion. It can be used for making salads, soups, pastas, sauces. The garden purslane gives the dishes a more pronounced taste and is worth trying because there are never too many vegetables on the menu.

The leaves and shoots of the garden purslane are harvested before flowering. The flowering period of a plant depends on the sowing date. In its natural environment, purslane blooms from June to September.

Interesting and rather hardy purslane flowers have been gaining popularity among fans of balcony and garden ornamental plants in recent years. This plant copes well with lack of water, scorching sun and high temperatures, is relatively resistant to diseases, most pests, blooms beautifully all summer, starting in June. It will survive where the sun burns the leaves of other plants.

Watch the video: Fall Planting: Rhododendrons