Archive for the ‘Rhododendrons’ Category

Flowering Shrubs of Summer

In several areas of the U.S. (USDA hardiness zones 6-9), summer landscapes along the east and west coast and Southern U.S. are filled with these botanical beauties: Panicle hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata) – so many great choices of these hydrangeas, mostly with lime white flowers starting in July into August. Most popular cultivars are ‘Limelight’, ‘Little Lime, […]

Facts About Garden Watering – How Much And When

Modern gardeners are using more efficient drip irrigation or soaker hoses. Water bills are less than overhead or oscillating systems.  You may opt to attach the hose to an automatic timer so you can irrigate in absentia. Water goes on and off anytime you select. In garden beds water plants deeply once weekly rather than a […]

Deadheading Rhododendron Flowers

              Large-flowered rhododendrons (Rhododendron catawbiense) benefit from “deadheading”, the practice of removing the old spent flower heads.  Deadheading encourages increased branching, which frequently results in more blooms the following spring. It also cleans up their scruffy appearance. Small-flowered types (including ‘PJM’, lepidote rhododendrons, and azaleas) do not benefit from deadheading and are mostly […]

Three Easy Care Native Woody Plants

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) is a nearly perfect small native tree for either a full or part sun site. Decorative 5 to 9 inches long reddish flower candles form on tips of branches in late April and May (USDA hardiness zones 6 – 8). Hummingbirds will seek out the […]

Soil pH- What’s It All About

            Soil pH is an indicator of the relative abundance of hydrogen (H⁺) ions and hydroxyl (OHˉ) ions in garden soils (Table 1).  These ions play a very important part of soil fertility and a plant’s ability to absorb nutrients from the soil. The pH scale runs from 1 (highest acidity) to 14 […]

Swamp Azalea Deserves More Garden Space

              Swamp Azalea (Rhododendron viscosum, formerly R. serrulatum) is very different among deciduous azaleas. Most rhododendrons (azaleas) do not care for soppy, poorly drained soils. This U.S. native is an exception, indigenous to swamps, bogs, stream edges and wet lowlands from southern Maine to northeastern Ohio south to Florida and […]

Renewal Pruning Is An Easy Technique To Learn

Renewal pruning is the practice of severely cutting back selected shrubs and trees. The task is simple. There are no books to read. Select a day from mid-February to early April (USDA hardiness zones 5-7). Cutback the entire shrub(s), leaving 3-5 inch tall cut stems or stubble. The cut stems will bud out in the […]

DOs and DON’Ts Checklist Before Purchasing Plants

When shopping at the garden center don’t bring home problem plants. “Plants On Sale” should raise a caution flag. Thoroughly inspect all sale plants. They may have been sitting many months with the pots now full of weeds, diseases, or pest problems. They become tightly potbound and roots will need to be teased apart prior […]

Coastal Azalea Copes With Heavy Clay Soils

Coastal Azalea (Rhododendron atlanticum) is a deciduous native azalea that grows along coastal plains of the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast U. S. Their white 1 to 1 ½ inch tubular flowers appear about the time that lilac petals are beginning to fading. Flowers are snowy white with a pinkish blush, and emit a distinctly clove fragrance. Blooms open a few days before […]

The Right Rhododendron for the Right Location

Rhododendrons (Rhododendron catawbiense) were born in the cool of the North Carolina and Tennessee mountains. Hundreds of  lovely hybrids have been bred by dedicated plantsmen. Winter hardiness is rarely an issue, but rhododendrons are challenged by summer heat and disease problems in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA hardiness zones 6 and 7).  Your most important decision is […]