El rhododendron It is a shrub or small tree that is characterized by having beautiful pink, lilac or white flowers that decorate temperate gardens around the world. If you can't put it in the ground, don't worry: due to its own characteristics it can live for its entire life in a pot.
Discover how to care for this magnificent plant.
The rhododendron is a botanical genus that includes about 1000 species belonging to the Ericaceae family. They are native to Asia, where they are planted in oriental gardens together with other very interesting plants, such as Japanese maples or camellias. They grow to a height of about 2-4 meters, but you can always prune them towards the end of winter to control their growth. They have evergreen leaves, lanceolate, simple, with the underside covered by scales or villi. They bloom during the spring, at which time they become a amazing display of color.
In cultivation they are a bit demanding. They need a temperate climate, with the four seasons well differentiated, but without extreme temperatures. It can withstand from -4ºC minimum to 30ºC maximum. In hot climates, or with extremely hot summers (+ 31ºC) it has serious problems to grow, so it is difficult to see it pretty.
So that we can contemplate it in all its splendor, we must plant it in an acid soil (or substrate), with a pH between 4 and 6, with good drainage. Likewise, the irrigation water will also have to be acidic. We will water it 3-4 times a week during the warmer months, and once or twice every seven days the rest of the year. And by the way it is highly advisable to fertilize it during the first and summer with a specific fertilizer for acid plants. In this way, each year more and more flowers will be covered.
If you do not live in a suitable climate for the rhododendron but you want to enjoy its beautiful flowers, as long as the four seasons are differentiated, I recommend that you plant it in 70% akadama mixed with 30% kiryuzuna. It is a 'premium' mix with which you can decorate your patio or terrace with this incredible plant.
Do you have any rhododendrons?