Rhododendrons: planting, care, use in design
Read the previous part. ← Types of rhododendrons
Landing requirements. When choosing a site for planting, it is necessary to be guided by the fact that the plant must be protected from the prevailing winds and direct sunlight, since most of the wild-growing rhododendrons in nature are hiding under the canopy of trees.
Therefore, the most suitable places in our gardens are the areas directly adjacent to the northern walls of the buildings. Rhododendrons feel good in wooded areas, especially under sparse spruce and pine trees.
Soil conditions for growing. Heavy clay soils, as well as soils with a dense lower horizon, where stagnation of rain and melt water is possible, rhododendrons cannot stand. This plant prefers leafy soil, peat and coniferous litter. The optimum soil acidity for normal growth is pH 4.5-5.0.
Rhododendron planting technique. The best time to plant rhododendrons is spring. To do this, dig a hole about half a meter deep, on the bottom of which a drainage of broken brick and sand is laid with a layer of 20 centimeters. When planting plants, you need to ensure that their root system is not buried, but is 2-4 centimeters higher above the soil level. After planting, mandatory watering is required, and mulching material - peat or pine needles must be poured around the planted bushes, which will stop the growth of weeds and save moisture.
The main care measures include weeding of near-stem bushes, watering and feeding. To fully provide plants with nutrients, the soil should be fertilized at least 2-3 times a year.
Fertilizers are used standard, containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in a ratio of 2: 1: 1.5. It should be noted that large doses of superphosphate are dangerous, as they create an iron deficiency.
It is also necessary to avoid fertilizers containing lime and chlorine, and it is better to feed them with low concentrations of mineral fertilizers in liquid form (especially young plants).
The next necessary activity is watering, it must be carried out regularly, especially in dry and hot summers. Requires at least 10-12 liters per plant. To determine the need for watering, you need to pay attention to the leaves: if they become dull and wilted, watering is necessary. After watering, you need to loosen and weed the weeds.
For the first few years after planting, it is better to cover young and immature plants with spruce branches, and it is better to completely cover undersized forms. You can bend the branches to the ground, thereby avoiding their freezing. And in late March - early April, the shelter is removed, sometimes leaving a part of the spruce branches for a short time on evergreens in order to avoid spring sunburn.
Pests and diseases
Rhododendrons often infect and damage such pests and diseases: rhododendra bug, spider mite, root rot and rust. Measures to combat them are generally accepted.
Reproduction of rhododendrons
This plant, like most of its kind, propagates by seeds and vegetatively (by dividing the bush, root suckers and green cuttings).
Seeds sown in the spring in boxes and lightly sprinkle with clean washed sand, sprinkling abundantly with water. Then the boxes are covered with glass or foil. When the first leaves appear on the seedlings, they should be transferred to a room with a lower temperature.
In summer, the seedling crates can be taken out into the garden and placed in a sheltered area, sufficiently lit but out of direct sunlight. The emerging seedlings are usually very tender and small, and they must be watered, otherwise they will die. Due to their rather slow growth, seedlings dive first into boxes, and are transplanted into the ground only in the third year after sowing.
Reproduction dividing the bushis perhaps the easiest way of vegetative propagation. It consists in digging up the entire plant and carefully dividing it with a sharpened pruner into two or more parts. After that, all the separated parts are planted in a permanent place.
Breeding method root suckers slightly different from the first and more complex. It consists in neatly separating them and transplanting them to a permanent place. But the most difficult is the method of propagation by green cuttings, which is as follows: in June-July, young, but rather elastic shoots are chosen, of which cuttings 4-6 centimeters long with one or two internodes are cut.
Then they are planted in a greenhouse under a film in a substrate of fertile soil, on top of which sand is poured with a layer of 5-7 centimeters. When planted in June, roots form in September. The resulting rooted cuttings should be immediately transplanted into the ground, and only next fall you will receive a full-fledged planting material.
Use of rhododendrons
The most effective rhododendrons look in group, freely located plantings. For greater effect, it is better to place them along the edges of lawns, near paths and paths.
It is necessary to take into account the moisture content of plants and plant them near water bodies, as well as in places where conditions are most favorable in summer. When designing a garden, it is not recommended to mix deciduous and evergreen rhododendrons. It is necessary to place the plants in ascending order, that is, the highest in the center, and the lowest at the edges.
Rhododendrons look great next to conifers, whose monotony will set off bright flowers. Paying attention to protecting plants from cold winds, you should plant evergreen trees or shrubs nearby, or plant them between old trees on the north side of the building. When placing rhododendrons in groups, you should strictly ensure that they are made up of species that are in harmony with the color of the flowers.
It is recommended to plant nearby plants with purple, pink and white, as well as yellow and orange. Among other things, rhododendrons are used to create hedges and rocky hills, and low-growing species in combination with herbaceous plants are suitable for rock gardens.
Nikolay Khromov, Candidate of Agricultural Sciences,
Researcher, Department of Berry Crops, GNU VNIIS im. I.V. Michurin,
member of the R&D Academy
Features of catnip
Cattle breeders maintain a stable foliage of the bush, which means they can be successfully used as partners of plants with bare "legs" (roses, geleniums, coreopsis, asters, etc.). They bloom for quite a long time with a break in July-August (for 2-3 weeks) - at this time, faded inflorescences are removed... This pruning stimulates the second wave of flowering and allows for a dense branching bush. After it, the height decreases by a third. For medium and tall catnipes, this loss is noticeable: the plant seems to disappear from the flower garden for a while, forming a hole.
Catnipers at the feet of the peony
So that this departure was less noticeable, and the composition did not turn out to be empty and expressionless, consider the following guidelines.
- As partners, use those plants that bloom in the second half of summer - meadowsweet, penstemon, echinacea, Japanese anemone, etc.
- If there are several catnip arrays in the flower garden, don't prune all plants at once... Interval 1-2 weeks between trimming each "spot".
If there are several catnip arrays in the flower garden, cut them in turn
- If the catnip itself grows as a border or it fills the space inside a trimmed border of shrubs (boxwood, cotoneaster, etc.) or the entire flower garden module, it makes sense to carry out pruning all plants at once and switch the attention of the contemplator to partners or neighboring modules. As a rule, for such design solutions, large varieties of catnip with vigorous growth are used - 'Six Hills Giant', ‘Dawn to Dusk’.
Luxurious catnip border
- Place the catnip in the composition one step closerthan this implies the growth of the plant (the method of "floating contours"). Thus, the loss in height will not look like a failure, and during the flowering period, this technique will create an image of a more natural composition. The ability of the catnip to "lie down beautifully" and hide the true contours of the flower garden allows you to get away from the clear lines of a man-made garden, settling in it some carelessness, which means a mystery and life.
Lying shoots smooth out the clear contours of the path
- Medium (like ‘Purrsian Blue’) and undersized (like ‘Little Trudy’) Catnip varieties are good as an add-on culture - in this case, during the period of calm flowering, the containers are removed to a place hidden from prying eyes.
- Use undersized varieties catnip (‘Cat’s Pajamas’), where it is possible, and does not contradict the design intent, since their reduction in height is less noticeable. For example - in a rocky and spicy aromatic garden.
A short catnip in a rocky garden
- In garden design, the most commonly used Fassen's catnip (Nepeta faassenii),to. semi-sedentary (N. subsessilis), K. Transcaucasian (N. transcaucasica), K. Musina (N. mussinii), K. Siberian (N. sibirica), K. large-flowered (N. grandiflora) and K. feline (N. cataria). The last two types are less effective, therefore they are mainly used in spicy aroma compositions. A rare species with yellow flowers - Govan's catnip (Nepeta govaniana) is weakly winter-hardy, therefore, in central Russia, it is grown as a supplementary crop.
Planting rhododendrons in spring
First of all, we recall that spring is a great time to plant new rhododendrons in the garden, if you are ready to update your collection or to settle these plants for the first time on your site. How to do it correctly?
First, choose a suitable plant variety - in open ground in the middle lane with a capricious climate, it is better to plant proven frost-resistant varieties of rhododendron, which are guaranteed not to freeze in winter. Then, among these options, choose specific varieties that are suitable for your site in terms of the height and volume of the bush, the size, color and shape of the flowers, the degree of foliage foliage, and even the intensity of the aroma - believe me, among the huge variety of these plants you will certainly pick up those that will come. to your liking and will perfectly fit into any of your landscape design ideas.
Rhododendrons (both garden and dwarf indoor forms) are one of the few plants that do not require neutral or alkaline, but acidic soil (pH 4-5). This feature is due to the fact that almost all heathers are characterized by symbiosis with fungi - mycorrhiza. With such a connection, the filaments of the fungal mycelium entwine the roots of plants - thus, heathers receive substances from humus from fungi (water, macro- and microelements). In return, mushrooms receive substances produced by plants (amino acids, simple carbohydrates, etc.). At the same time, fungi require an acidic environment for normal development. Thanks to this symbiosis, the plant can receive much more nutrients and feel better. The importance of mycorrhiza is especially great on poor soils.
So, you have bought a suitable rhododendron seedling. How and when to plant it in the ground?
This can be done already in March, provided that the soil is sufficiently warmed up and does not contain frozen lumps.
As we have already said, the soil of the rhododendron needs acidic, peaty, while it must be fertile, and also loose and not heavy. A soil mixture consisting of:
- leafy soil, high peat and fallen needles (3: 2: 1)
- garden land, high peat and pine bark (3: 1: 1)
- peat land, coniferous land and fine sand (1: 1: 0.5).
But dolomite flour, ash or lime should not be among the soil components for rhododendron.
As for the place for this plant on the site, rhododendrons do not like cold drafts and high groundwater levels, but they tolerate partial shade well - in direct sun they will not delight you with lush flowering. If it is not possible to plant a shrub, for example, under the crowns of trees or in a small shade of buildings, you will have to regularly spray it with water and constantly artificially shade it during the hottest hours.
There are several types of rhododendron bred specifically for sunny areas - if you need just one, be sure to inform a consultant in a store or garden center before buying.
Dig a planting hole about 1 × 1 m in size (estimate the size of the root of the seedling, the volume of the hole should be at least twice, and preferably three times). If you are planting several bushes, leave a distance of 1-1.5 m between them. Prepare the soil mixture for the rhododendron as described above. Place a drainage layer on the bottom of the pit, and then fill it halfway with prepared soil.
Place the rhododendron seedling vertically in the center of the hole, gently straighten the roots (this applies to plants with an open root system). Water the seedling lightly so that the roots go deeper into the soil. Fill in the remaining space with the remaining soil and tamp it lightly - the root collar of the seedling should be located at the level of the soil. Water the seedling again and cover it with pine bark. Plant a seedling with a closed root system together with an earthen clod using the transshipment method.
At first, until the shrub grows stronger in a new place, shade it on hot days and water it regularly, especially if the spring is too dry.
Basic rules for planting and caring for rhododendrons
Rhododendrons belong to heather, and their genus has a huge number of varieties. These are deciduous or evergreen shrubs or trees of various sizes and shapes. They can be tall, low, or generally creeping. They are also called "pink trees" for the similarity of inflorescences. In natural habitat, rhododendrons are usually distributed in areas of the northern hemisphere. It should be noted that garden and indoor azaleas are referred to as rhododendrons.
Since plants are quite capricious and require certain conditions for proper development, special attention should be paid to the initial choice of a planting site. Compliance with the rules of further care is also important. Only then will rhododendrons bloom for a long time and profusely. It is advisable to plant rhododendrons in the Urals in the spring.
For rhododendrons, you need to choose a slightly shaded place, they should not be in direct sunlight for a long time, but a strong shadow is contraindicated for them, since in this case flowering may not occur.
If possible, it is recommended to plant them under the pines, near which they grow well. Neighborhood with maples, alder or birch is undesirable, since their superficial root system greatly dries the soil. If it is not possible to choose another place for disembarkation, then the planting hole must be laid from the inside with covering material. But it is not worthwhile to overmoisten the plants too much, as decay of the root system can occur.
Rhododendrons are moisture-loving flowers, so they are best placed near bodies of water, ponds, streams or pools. If they are absent, then you need to spray the plants in the morning and evening with warm water. After the formation of buds and flowers, you need to make sure that moisture does not get on them. From this, spots of brown color can form on them, which will lead to the loss of their decorative effect.
Before planting rhododendron seedlings in the garden, you need to dig up the selected place.After that, holes should be made to a depth of forty to sixty centimeters, depending on how developed the root system of the plant is. A drainage layer must be poured onto their bottom, and then filled with a specially prepared soil mixture. The soil should be loose, nutritious and acidic. In order to cook it yourself, you need to take:
- Sod land - two parts
- Coniferous sawdust - one piece
- Peat - one piece
- Coarse sand - one part.
It is impossible for the soil to contain wood ash, chlorine and calcium!
Sapling pots should be well shed with growth stimulant solution and left for twelve hours. After that, the plants are removed from the containers and placed in the holes, trying not to deepen the root collars. At the end of planting, rhododendrons need to be mulched with sawdust or peat to protect them from weeds. This will allow avoiding frequent weeding and loosening, which can damage the root system located close to the surface.
Although rhododendrons are picky plants, it is not very difficult to care for them. If you follow all the rules for planting and caring for a rhododendron, then this beautiful plant will always delight with its flowering, regardless of the climate: in the Urals and in the middle lane.
As you know, care begins with watering. In the spring and summer, watering the plants should be done frequently and regularly so that the soil is always slightly damp. Periodically, the water needs to be acidified so that the soil does not alkalize and saline. Rhododendrons do not tolerate this well and lose their decorative effect. To do this, just add one tablespoon of citric acid to ten liters of water. You can also mix forty milligrams of vinegar into one liter of water. After flowering ends, watering the plants is somewhat reduced.
Rhododendrons are rarely fed so that soil salinization does not occur. With the right soil, it is enough to do this in early spring and after flowering. For this, liquid complex fertilizers or humus are used.
In order for rhododendrons to have a dense and beautifully formed crown, you should prune the plants in the fall. You need to cut out broken and dried shoots, and cut off the remaining ones by one third. You should not do this in the spring, at this time you can pinch, it will contribute to more branching of the bushes.
In order for the plants to overwinter successfully, they should be properly covered. This should be done after the onset of the first frost. If this is done earlier, then rotting of the root collar may occur. First of all, you need to mulch the soil with peat or dry foliage. Then the bushes are closed with arcs tightened with covering material and plastic wrap, which are well fixed. In winter, you can additionally cover the structure with a layer of snow.
In the spring, it is not recommended to rush to remove the shelter. This should be done after the soil warms up well. It is advisable to choose cloudy days for this, so that aggressive spring rays do not cause sunburn to the plants. If the wintering of the rhododendron is carried out correctly, then next season it will respond with a beautiful crown and abundant flowering.
Rhododendrons are propagated by cuttings, green layering and dividing bushes. Seed propagation is used much less often. An adult plant that can bloom will have to wait about three years. At the same time, they need to be carefully cared for, otherwise they grow deformed and weak.
To carry out grafting, at the beginning of summer, cut stems about fifteen centimeters in size from rhododendrons, removing part of the lower leaves from them. The planting material is placed in a growth stimulator solution for several days. After that, it is planted in pots with a nutrient substrate prepared from:
- Coniferous soil - two parts
- Peat - one piece
- Coarse sand - one piece.
The seedlings are covered with glass jars and placed in a well-lit place with an air temperature of about twenty-five degrees. The plantings take root for about three months and after that they can be planted in the garden.
To propagate rhododendrons with green layers, you need to make a hole about fifteen centimeters deep next to an adult bush in the spring. After that, a young plant stem should be placed in it and its middle should be fixed in the soil, and the top should be tied to a stick. By the fall, the shoot will take root, and in the spring it can be separated from the mother plant and transplanted.
For reproduction by dividing the bush, you need to choose an adult, well-developed plant in the spring. Dig it out carefully, cut it into pieces with a sharp knife and plant it in individual holes. With proper care, they will give many new shoots for the next season and bloom profusely.
Rhododendrons are rarely affected by diseases and pests. But with frequent overflows or lack of moisture, sunburn, improperly selected soil or insufficient nutrients, they can become infected with rust, stains or chlorosis. In this case, the affected leaves and other parts should be removed from the plants, and then treated with a fungicide.
If snails or slugs appear on the bushes, they will have to be collected by hand. Spider mites, mealybugs, weevils and scale insects are destroyed with an insecticide solution. In the future, it is necessary to adjust the conditions for keeping plants.
Named after the Russian physician and nature lover M. Smirnov. Wildly grows in the Caucasus, in the forests of the lower and middle belt of mountains, at an altitude of 700-2500 m above sea level.
Rhododendron Smirnov evergreen shrub or small tree up to 3 m tall with white pubescent young shoots with short petiolate, oblong-elliptical leaves, up to 15 cm long, glabrous above, green, whitish-tomentose below (old leaves below are light brown, tomentose).
Reddish-pink flowers bell-funnel-shaped, up to 6 cm in diameter, collected in compact, multi-flowered heads at the ends of the shoots. Fruits are densely tomentose.
Life form: Rhododendron Smirnov deciduous shrub
Crown: Widely spreading, medium.
Growth rate: Fast. Annual growth is 20 cm in height and 30 cm in spread.
Height 2 m., Crown diameter 3 m.
Durability: 60 years
Flowers: Funnel-shaped, regular, purple-pink, 6 cm.
Leaves: Ovate, leathery, shiny green, 10 to 15 cm.
Decorativeness: Rhododendron Smirnov decorative due to abundant and long flowering.
Using: Single plantings, decorative groups.
Growing conditions Rhododendron Smirnov
to temperature: frost-resistant
The planting depth is strictly to the level of the root collar, sometimes 2-4 cm higher (taking into account the further plant settling), deepening is not allowed.
Sod land, peat and coniferous litter - 3: 2: 1.
70 g of mineral fertilizer is added to the planting pit.
Drainage is required: a layer of rubble and sand 15-20 cm.If the planting pit is deep, the drainage layer should be 30-40 cm.
The optimum acidity is pH 4.5 - 5.
It is advisable to apply acidic fertilizers twice a year.
In early spring, during the period of activation of shoot growth, a dry mixture is used:
30-40 g ammonium sulfate, superphosphate, potassium sulfate in a ratio of 2: 1: 1.5.
Sometimes in spring 30 and 70 g of urea and double superphosphate are added, respectively.
In mid-June, you can carefully feed with slurry (0.5 liters per bucket of water).
Trace elements (Chesnokov's mixture) are added simultaneously at the rate of 1-2 g per 10 liters of water. One bucket is used for two plants.
It is better to feed young plants with mineral fertilizers with a low concentration of salts in liquid form.
After flowering, you can add a mixture of phosphorus and potassium - 2: 1, in July 30 and 15 g.
Fertilizers should not be applied at the end of summer, lime and chlorine should be avoided.
Regular, plentiful in dry and hot seasons, 1-1.5 buckets for each plant 2-3 times a week.
Young plants in dry seasons require more frequent and abundant watering.
Shallow loosening after watering. Loosening is often not recommended, as the roots are at the surface.
Around the bushes, mulch is poured in a layer of 4-8 cm (peat, chips, pine needles, larch, sawdust - optional).
If seeds are not needed, the faded inflorescences are removed.
In the spring, pruning or shortening individual shoots to form a crown. Removal of dry branches.
- Spider mite
- Rhododendra bug
- Hole spot
Preparing for winter:
Successful wintering requires abundant watering of the bushes before the beginning of winter, until the soil is frozen.
Rhododendrons in the first 2-3 years after planting, it is recommended to cover it with spruce branches or burlap.
The shelter is removed in March - early April. To avoid spring sunburn, a part of the shelter is sometimes left on evergreens for a short time.
Garden rhododendron: growing and care, photos of popular species and varieties
Rhododendron (Rhododéndron) is a genus of flowering plants of the Heather family (Ericaceae). Some of them are tropical sissies (indoor azaleas), others are well suited to harsh climates. There are about 18 species in Russia, and we have made a selection of frost-resistant rhododendrons for growing in gardens.
Rhododendron: description of some species
This ornamental crop is a shrub or small tree that can be evergreen, deciduous, or semi-evergreen. Bare or slightly pubescent branches are covered with harsh and dense leaves.
Quite large flowers, resembling bells, are arranged one by one or in inflorescences such as a shield or an umbrella. The color of the inflorescences can vary from snow-white and yellow to brownish-purple. Below are frost-resistant types of garden rhododendrons that are used in landscaping and landscape design.
Deciduous species. In natural conditions, it can be seen in the North Caucasus. Cultivated since 1972. The height of this sprawling beautiful shrub varies from 2 to 3 meters. The dense, elongated leaves, painted in a bright green hue, turn dark red or orange-red with the onset of autumn.
Very fragrant yellow flowers bloom at the tops of the shoots in multi-flowered inflorescences such as a scutellum or umbrella. Flowering takes place from April to May, at the time when the leaves are blooming. It lasts three to four weeks.
This species has a large number of varieties, the flowers of which are painted in a variety of attractive shades. Hybrids with double inflorescences have also been created.
Rhododendron yellow reproduces both by seeds and by cuttings. It has its most spectacular appearance during lush spring flowering and in autumn, when the leaves change the color of the leaves.
In natural conditions, it grows on the Caucasian coast of the Black Sea. Beautiful elongated harsh leaves with a glossy surface are painted in a dense green color. They are located at the ends of the branches of this evergreen shrub in the form of cuffs.
Violet-pink large flowers with showy yellow dots can be almost 5 cm wide. They bloom in scutellum-like inflorescences, consisting of a large number of flowers. During the flowering period, which lasts almost 4 weeks, you simply cannot take your eyes off this original shrub.
This species reproduces by seeds, cuttings and cuttings, but propagation with leaf cuttings is considered the easiest way.
Rhododendron Ledebour (maral)
In nature, it grows among heaps of stones and talus. It can be found in the Sayan Mountains and Altai. The crown of this semi-evergreen shrub (height about 2 m) is formed by numerous thin branches. Small oval leaves mostly hibernate on the shoots.
Attractive pinkish-lilac flowers with open petals (about 5 cm wide) are located almost at the very tops of the branches, one or several pieces together. Annual profuse flowering occurs in the month of May. At this time, the bushes are almost completely covered with flowers.
This fast growing species of rhododendron tolerates transplanting well at a young age. With the help of seeds, it can be easily propagated.
On the territory of our country, only high in the mountains of the Caucasus can you find this type of garden rhododendron. On the northern sides of the mountains and on the slopes, the bush quite often forms continuous thickets. Caucasian rhododendron bushes about one and a half meters high are formed by thin shoots, some of which lie on the ground.
Leathery leaves, painted in a dense green, have an oblong shape. Creamy white flowers with a greenish tinge in the form of a funnel bloom in inflorescences, consisting of 5-7 pieces. By the end of flowering, they acquire a pinkish color.
Daurian rhododendron (wild rosemary)
Many forms of this species are difficult to distinguish from Ledebour's rhododendron. It grows in Asia east of Altai to Korea, the Far East and Japan. In Siberia, on crushed stone soils, there are whole thickets, creeping into a pink carpet. Shoots branch densely, directed upward, the bush reaches 0.7-2 m.
Leathery leaves are first colored green, then turn brown. By autumn they curl up and fall off. The corolla of the flower is lilac-pink or white, flower buds are located at the ends of the shoots. Shade-tolerant and super-frost-resistant: tolerates frosts down to -45 ° C well. Propagated by root suckers and seeds.
In natural conditions, it grows in the Far East. The bush, whose height varies from one to three meters, is formed by a large number of branched shoots.
The green oval leaves have a glossy top surface. Pinkish-lilac flowers (3 to 4 cm wide), resembling a wide bell, are located on the branches one or several pieces. Abundant flowering, lasting almost three weeks, occurs during the period of leaf emergence (April). Sometimes the spiky rhododendron blooms a second time in August, but this bloom is much weaker than the first.
Of course, the specificity of flowering gives an impetus for the breeding of more and more new forms, many hybrids have been obtained, which surpass natural species in their decorative qualities:hybrid rhododendron Nova Zembla hybrid rhododendron Roseum Elegance
Rhododendron Hybrid Libretto rhododendron hybrid Midnight Mystic
Place and time for planting, soil requirements
The best place for planting rhododendrons is in slightly shaded areas located under the crowns of tall trees, where there is no excess moisture and high groundwater levels. But it is worth remembering that some varieties and varieties of deciduous rhododendrons are well planted in well-lit areas, but the soil must be moistened. Adequate light allows the plant to show its spectacular bloom in full glory.
But it is advisable to plant evergreen rhododendrons so that in very hot daytime hours some shadow falls on them. The best neighbors for this shrub are various conifers.
Do not plant rhododendrons next to tree crops that have a shallow root system. These are such trees and shrubs:
It is also undesirable to choose a planting site next to maples and lindens, which quite quickly entwine the root system of rhododendrons and take all the moisture.
It is also worth noting that rhododendrons grow well along walls facing north. Most often, in such places, the bushes are protected from strong winds and do not come under the influence of direct sunlight at noon, but are only illuminated in the morning and in the afternoon.
The planting site for this ornamental shrub must be protected from powerful air currents, not to mention winds, as they can quickly dry out the leaves of the plants. Evergreen species are especially damaged in winter.
Soil for rhododendrons
One of the main factors affecting the growth and development of bushes is the composition and acidity of the soil. The optimal pH level is between 4.5 and 5.5 units. Also, the ground should be loose, breathable and sufficiently moist.
It is possible to determine the pH level of the soil quite accurately for various crops that grow on it. Plants-indicators of acidic soils - field mint, horse sorrel, popovnik, ivan-da-marya and creeping buttercup. On lands with neutral and slightly acidic pH, nettles, field bindweed, quinoa and coltsfoot are most often found.
If, where the rhododendrons will grow, the land is of an unsuitable quality, then it must be replaced with a mixture that consists of high moor peat with sand. Moreover, they take two parts of peat, and only one part of sand.
In autumn, the following organic fertilizers must be applied to the soil poor in nutrients: rotted manure, straw, fallen needles and leaves, sphagnum high peat and hay. And next year, in spring or summer, you can already plant rhododendrons.
Rhododendron: planting and care in the open field
The best planting time is spring, before the growing season begins, or when the buds just burst. This period falls in the second half of April - the first ten days of May. Planting can be carried out in September, but the seedlings for this must be grown in the open field, thereby preparing them for wintering. In case of urgent need, rhododendron bushes can be planted at any time, but this cannot be done during flowering and immediately after it, since shoots begin to grow intensively. Container plants can be planted throughout the warm season.
A planting hole is dug about 40 cm deep, and the length and width should be from 50 to 60 cm.If the soil is very damp, contains a lot of clay or lime, then a drainage layer (about 10 cm) is poured onto the bottom, consisting of gravel or gravel. Where there is a lot of sand in the ground, a layer of clay is poured onto the bottom of the pit to retain moisture.
To fill the pit, a mixture of peat (horse), sand, completely decomposed manure (cow) is usually prepared. If peat is not at hand, then you can use a combination of heather and sod land, as well as coarse sand. In this case, sod land is taken 2 parts, heather - 2 parts, and sand - one part.
When planting, the bush is placed so that the place where the roots begin at the stem is slightly above the surface of the soil, since then it will settle and will be at ground level. After planting, a hole is made around the plant and watered with plenty of water. It is advisable to mulch the land near the bush with rotted manure, leaf humus, peat or tree bark.
For planting, container plants are usually chosen at the age of three years. Also used bushes aged one to two years or 4 years and older. Before planting, rhododendrons are watered. In this case, the plants tolerate transplanting better. If the earthen lump with roots has dried up, then it is placed in water so that it is completely nourished.
If the purchased bushes have flower buds, then before planting, most of them must be removed so that unrooted rhododendrons do not spend all their strength and nutrients on flowering. Plants can be transplanted at any age, but these works are carried out only in spring or autumn. At the same time, it is worth knowing that after transplanting large evergreen varieties must be protected from strong sunlight for some time.