Rhododendron and Azalea for colour

John Shannon. INLT 13-802-CON
John Shannon. INLT 13-802-CON

Rhododendrons and Azaleas are closely related and require the same growing conditions.

The majority of these two plants are both evergreen and require an acid soil. That is a soil which contains no lime, so when planting always use a lime-free compost which is known as Ericaceous Compost.

The compost also contains a slow-release plant food which is suitable for lime-hating plants.

Most varieties grow to between 60–90cm making them ideal for the front of borders, in rockeries and containers.

The early flowering varieties start to flower late March, with late flowering varieties starting in May.

Now is a good time to buy Rhododendrons and Azaleas as they will be coming into flower in the garden centre.

Always water the plant before and after planting, using the correct compost.

Keep dead-heading regularly, allowing the new foliage to emerge.

Feed the plants every three weeks with a lime-hating plant food such as Miracle-Gro Ericaceous Soluble Plant Food.

This will help the plant to make healthy new foliage and, more importantly, new flower buds for next year.

There are also hardy hybrid Rhododendrons which can grow up to 1.5 metres over five to eight years, and deciduous Azaleas which can grow up to 1.5 metres over five years. Some of these can be fragrant.

Enjoy your Rhododendrons and Azaleas.

For more information contact the team at Inver Garden Centre.