Thursday, May 20, 2010

What's Blooming Now: Rhododendron

In the south, where I live, Azaleas are king!  But their "cousins", the Rhododendron, comes in a close second.  This year as been an awesome year for both of these spring bloomers! Everywhere I go, the Azaleas and Rhododendrons are completely showing out!  But its the Rhododendron's that I have loved looking at this year.

A little about Rhododendrons....

Rhododendrons are shrubs of the genus Rhododendron which is in the heath family (family Ericaceae) which includes heathers, mountain laurels, blueberries and cranberries. Since almost all of these plants require acidic soil, they are often referred to as the family of acid-loving plants. Rhododendrons are found in the wild, chiefly in mountainous areas of the arctic and north temperate zones. They typically have large, shiny, leathery evergreen leaves and clusters of large pink, white, or purplish flowers.  The Rhododendrons found in the landscape are hybrids of these wild varieties. 

Rhododendrons have large bloom heads with many single blooms in a large cluster, while Azaleas only have one to three bloom clusters.  This is why I really love Rhododendrons.  When they bloom, they BLOOM! 

In Zone 7 and higher, Rhododendrons need to be planted in a shady area.  They will have to be supplemented with water in dry summers.  My Daddy planted Rhododendrons by the air conditioning unit.  This keeps them watered through out the dry summer months due to the unit's water run-off.
Another thing to remember about Rhododendrons (and Azaleas) is that they are acid-loving plants.  They require acidic soil.  Before planting Rhododendrons, get a soil sample from your local extension service.  To keep the soil pH acidic, use Rhododendron fertilizer annually after the plants have finished blooming.  This will insure that your plants will continue to be beautiful for years to come!


  1. Hello Tractor Mom!

    Greetings from Malaysia again! Just want to say thank you for dropping by my blog on my SITS day. You can read the aftermath of my whole day SITting episode

    at this link:

    Thank you again and hope to see you back here sometime! :D

    Warmest Regards,
    Jenny aka I'm a full-time mummy

    Btw, thanks for the follow! I've just returned the favor and am your latest follower now! :D

  2. That is absolutely beautiful! I just love the bright color. You are one lucky woman...

  3. I love rhododendrons. Thanks for the pix and sharing...I miss mine at the old house and will be planting some here, very soon. Come visit when you can...


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