King of the Shrubs - Rhododendron
Spring comes to horticultural centers a little earlier. Florists and gardeners there and meet her. And all because they really can’t wait to open the season, buy and plant something super luxurious. For example, rhododendron. Do you think that he is too handsome and gentle for these places? In vain. There are many "Spartan" varieties that tolerate frosts at -30 ºC
The marvelous beauty of rhododendron
No wonder botanists consider rhododendron the king of shrubs, and the Japanese call him the "bush of temptations." Translated from Greek, it is "rosewood" (rhodon - rose, dendron - tree), but it is not only pink, but also purple, yellow - depending on the variety. Quite large flowers-skirts are collected in umbrellas and are so magnificent that sometimes leaves are not visible behind them!
It is a magnificent decoration of any garden. Including Moscow Region. Of the 600 naturally occurring species, 18 grow on the territory of the former Union. Almost all are listed in the Red Book as disappearing. So, replenishing the number of rhododendrons is a good thing.
Rhododendron Planting Rules
Rhododendron is a finicky bush. He loves to play only by his rules. Wherever he does not grow.
The first rule of success: variety selection. In the suburbs hardened fortified men can take root. You will find these varieties in the table below.
The second rule of success: choice of place and soil. The royal shrub prefers a place in partial shade, without drafts and stagnation of water. However, deciduous varieties are reconciled with direct sun. But to the soil all varieties are demanding. She must be sour! That is based on peat. If you have clay soils, make a wide and not very deep hole and fill it with a mixture. The base is peat, then coniferous, leafy land and river sand in a ratio of 3: 1: 2: 1. Or peat, sawdust, sand - 2: 1: 1. On sandy soils, the pit is made deeper and filled with the same mixture. It would be nice to add complex fertilizer to the mixture. And sulfur, which acidifies the soil. Otherwise, nitrogen deficiency, drying out of leaves.
Before planting, immerse the container with seedlings in water, soak in water and plant. Water abundantly, making an earthen roller on the surface so that the water does not leave. In early summer, feed with fertilizers. When landing, the neck does not need to be deepened and raised above the previous level!
Rhododendrons do not tolerate drought. If it is not possible to monitor the frequency of watering, it is better not to experiment with them. An adult bush is watered 2-3 times a week for 10 liters. Young - more often, but not so plentifully. During flowering, watering is increased. And in the heat they spray. Water should be acidic. To do this, add oxalic or citric acid - 3-4 g per 10 liters of water or 9% vinegar - 30 g per bucket of water.
Loosen the ground carefully: The root system of this plant is superficial. You can mulch with sawdust with a layer of 5-7 cm, preferably in the fall (additional insulation). Do not plant rhododendrons next to deciduous trees: they take away food from each other. But pines, junipers, arborvitae, larch, heathers are wonderful neighbors. In addition, they acidify the soil.
Stand for the winter!
Many varieties of rhododendrons go into the winter, not afraid of either frost or cold. Especially those in which you are not sure of frost resistance. In autumn, before the cold starts, water the bushes well. Rhododendrons are covered with spruce, matting, lutrasil. Evergreens are not so much afraid of frost as the bright spring sun, which burns sleepy foliage. They need to be shaded.
When the "rosewood" gives the first bouquets, do not leave the inflorescences wilted. It takes a lot of effort to set seeds. It is better if the plant spends them on its growth. Literate gardeners have a rule: in the first year, do not let the bushes bloom, remove all buds. This is beneficial to the plant, and next year it blooms much more magnificent.
|Rhododendron duar deciduous shrub no more than 2 m high||blooms with pink fragrant flowers in April-May|
|Rhododendron Smirnova is evergreen, about 2 m high||dark pink flowers|
|Rhododendron yellow deciduous, height 1.5 m||in a "bouquet" of 7-12 yellow or orange flowers, blooms - May-June|
|Rhododendron Katavbinsky tall, sprawling, evergreen||lilac flowers with a greenish tint, in inflorescence up to 20 pieces|
|Rhododendron "Helsinki University" - evergreen, withstands temperatures up to -40 ° C||light pink and pink red, blooms profusely in early summer|
|Rhododendron Dense low, for alpine slides, blooms in late spring and, possibly, again in early autumn||violet-blue flowers, small|
|Rhododendron "Elite" is also low, drought-resistant, blooms in April-May, can withstand frost to -35 ° C||color - lilac pink|
Materials used: T. Kozlova