Plants - Trees and Shrubs

Rhodos revisited

With their unique foliage, these rhododendrons provide beauty year-round

Rhododendrons should be sited where they receive at least half a day of full sun. Being ericaceous shrubs, they require highly organic, acidic soil, which should be moderately moist yet well drained. A good mixture for rhododendrons is one part topsoil, one part course sand and two parts organic material such as a mix of peat and compost.

Pests and diseases are few. Root-rot can be an issue if the soil is not adequately drained, but the main concern tends to be the adult root weevil. At night, these beetles feed along the margins of newly unfolding leaves, resulting in scalloped edges. The product Tanglefoot, applied to the base of the plants just as the leaves unfurl in spring, can help alleviate the problem.

Types of rhododendrons

R. ‘Black Satin’
Zone 5, blooms early to mid spring.
Blooms: Purple-pink, purple winter foliage   
Height: 1.2 m

Bureau rhododendron (R. bureavii)
Zone 6 , blooms mid-spring   
Blooms: Pink to white, rusty orange tomentum and indumentum   
Height: 1.2 m

R. campanulatum
Zone 6, blooms early to mid spring  
Blooms: Pale lilac, glaucous blue leaves, cinnamon indumentum    
Height: 1.2 m

R. ‘Carmen’
Zone 6, bloom early to mid spring  
Blooms: Deep red, wrinkled texture foliage    
Height: 60 cm

R. ‘Crete’
Zone 5, blooms mid spring  
Blooms: Pink to white, silver tomentum, cream indumentum    
Height: 1.5 m

R. ‘Elviira’
Zone 4, blooms mid to late spring
Blooms: Bright red, wrinkled texture foliage  
Height: 60 cm 

R. ‘Goldflimmer’
Zone 6, blooms late  
Blooms: Mauve, yellow-and-green variegated foliage   
Height: 1.6 m

R. ‘Golfer’
Zone 5, blooms mid spring
Blooms: Clear pink, silver tomentum, fawn indumentum   
Height: 45 cm

Labrador tea (R. groenlandicum syn. Ledum groenlandicum)
Zone 3, blooms mid spring  
Blooms: White, silver tomentum, rust-coloured indumentum; wrinkled texture foliage
Height: 60 cm

R. haematodes
Zone 6, blooms early to mid spring  
Blooms: Deep red, silver tomentum, brown indumentum   
Height: 1 m

R. ‘Hellikki’
Zone 4, blooms late
Blooms: Violet-red, silver tomentum, cream indumentum    
Height: 1.2 m

Cloudland rhododendron (R. impeditum)
Zone 5, blooms early spring
Blooms: Purple-blue, glaucous blue-green leaves    
Height: 60 cm

Kyushu azalea (R. kiusianum)
Zone 6, blooms mid to late spring
Blooms: Pink to crimson, orange-burgundy fall foliage     
Height: 60 cm

R. ‘Midnight Ruby’
Zone 5, blooms early to mid spring
Blooms: Purple-pink, purple-red winter foliage   
Height: 1.2 m

R. Northern Lights Series
Zone 4, blooms mid to late spring 
Blooms: Varied; orange-burgundy foliage  
Height: 80 cm

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