Rhododendrons – Spring Colour
Every spring, rhododendrons and azaleas produce one of the most spectacular displays possible in the garden. They bloom in May and June, in colours ranging from vibrant reds, oranges and pinks to cool violets, purples, and cream-yellows and whites.
This spring we have a large selection of rhododendrons and azaleas, including some evergreen dwarf hybrids that grow no taller than about 60cm, making them ideal for containers. ‘Pintail’ produces masses of pink flowers. If you prefer yellow, then go for ‘Princess Anne’ or ‘Wren’. Or if you want violet/blue then ‘Lavender’ or ‘Moerheim’ (featured picture above) will give you that.
We also have larger rhododendrons that grow up to 2 metres, again in all colours. ‘Virginia Richards’ will produce gorgeous pink/peach flowers as will ‘Furnival’s Daughter’, while ‘Polamacht’ will grow velvety deep purple flowers. If you prefer red, then ‘Red Jack’ will provide you will ruby red blooms. Like the dwarf hybrids, these are perfectly suitable for containers.
We also have a selection of azaleas available. Azaleas are generally smaller than rhododendrons and with many, smaller flowers. ‘Mary Helen’ is an evergreen azalea with snow white flowers that appear in early June and grows in a spreading habit, up to 1.2 metres wide and 75cm high. ‘Johanna’ is also evergreen, grows to a similar height, and produces intense scarlet-red blooms in May, while in winter the dark green leaves turn a gorgeous dark red. Or, if you prefer bright pink blooms then ‘Conny’ will provide that.
All rhododendrons and azaleas grow best in acid soil or ericaceous compost, and as they are essentially woodland shrubs they like to be kept moist, either in full or partial sun. They do not require much pruning except to remove dead branches. If growing in a container, remove the top 2 inches of old compost every winter and replace with fresh compost, and feed through the summer with a liquid ericaceous fertiliser.