Rhododendron - planting and cutting

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azalea blossom

Rhododendrons are a genus of the heather family. The common term for rhododendron is also Rosenbaum. Predominantly, rhododendrons are shrubs that are evergreen. Exceptions are the deciduous shrubs and trees. Rhododendrons bloom in April to May.
Many species of rhododendrons are poisonous shrubs. The toxins are not only in the leaves, but also in the nectar or in the pollen. Some cases of poisoning in humans and also grazing animals are already known. The grazers eat the leaves, which causes the poisoning to continue. In humans, the symptoms of poisoning manifest with slowed heart activity, weak heart rate to coma and in very serious cases of poisoning and death. This may be the case with the rust-leaved alpine rose.
Cultivate and plant Rhododendron
  • If rhododendrons are placed incorrectly, this can lead to diseases of the plants, such as fungal infection, browning of the leaves or pest infestation. Rhododendrons should be planted in semi-shade, with too little sun they bloom weakly or not at all and with too much sun they dry up fast. It is best to place these plants next to shrubs or trees.
  • In the case of soil quality, care must be taken that the pH is between 4.5 and 6, and that an acidic, lime-free and loose soil should be used. Reinforced magnesium-rich and ferric fertilizer should be used for fertilization.
The rhododendrons can be planted in two seasons, once in March to the end of May and the second in mid-October to the end of November. The planting hole measures the size of the root ball. The hole should be three times as wide and twice as deep dig, and put into this hole a three-centimeter layer of bark. The excavated material should be mixed 1: 1 with moorland or rhododendrons soil and put back into the hole until the plant sticks out only a little bit. After that, it is essential to water immediately, as root bales can not withstand dryness. Nor can they tolerate waterlogging, hence the condition that the soil is loose. The plants must be watered regularly.
The best soil and the best neighbors for your rhododendron
The vast majority of rhododendrons need an acidic soil, ie a soil that has a pH between 4 and 5.5. When planting such a rhododendron variety, you may need to turn a part of your garden into a moor-bed with great effort, and if you want to buy your rhododendron, you may also want to sell as many sacks of abundant peat-containing potting soil to plant such a bed,
As an environmentally conscious gardener, you would first have to be thoughtful - does not it always mean that you should absolutely avoid potting soil with peat because of the associated destruction of bogs? This is exactly how it is, in 2013 the German Nature Conservation Association e. V. even called nationwide for the "peat-free garden season". Information on this action and why peat degradation damages our environment and our climate can be found on the page nabu.de/oekologischleben/balkonundgarten/gartengrundlagen/torffrei.
  • Soil with slightly acidic pH can be mixed very well without peat, to be precise much better, because the ancient peat with acidic pH is practically nutrient-free.
  • The crafty gardener takes nutrient-rich substances as peat substitute and can therefore refrain from artificially adding to his soil the missing nutrients in the form of synthetic fertilizers.
  • Peat substitute is ready to buy, z. B. at the W. Neudorff GmbH KG 31860 Emmerthal, neudorff-handel.deHowever, the soil for the rhododendron bed can also be assembled cheaply by yourself.
  • There are numerous materials that can be mixed under the soil in the bed until the pH is perfect for the rhododendron, coffee grounds and needle compost, grape esters and other soil improvers that lower the pH.
But you do not necessarily have to, even if you want to plant a rhododendron - it depends a little on what else is in your garden, an acid soil loving rhododendron may even be a disadvantage of another planting advantage to let. Because if you are one of the classic gardeners who want to see the conifers on their property, you usually have to struggle with the fact that these conifers undesirably lower the pH in the soil, which then z. B. makes noticeable by moss in the nearby lawn. You could now exploit this acidification of the soil by planting the rhododendrons between turf and coniferous trees, which get along well with the acidic soil values.
If you have equipped your garden with a natural planting, so z. B.with native deciduous trees and fruit trees and berry bushes, it looks different again. Because then you can hardly hope that a part of your garden soil has an acidic pH, but certainly do not want that at all. For most of the time, you will be very satisfied with such a feature with your garden floor and what it produces.
You may not only observe how well everything is growing, but know through a soil sample that the pH of your garden soil, between 5 and 6.5, will allow your plants to absorb nutrients optimally. You certainly do not want to acidify this soil for a rhododendron, and you do not have to. Because the rhododendrons have developed (almost) around the world, some of them in our country and some on other soils that are not particularly sour. So you just have to find the right rhododendron Rhododendron hirsutum, the cowered alpenrose, grows z. In nature on calcareous soils, and there are specific cultivations for soils of normal pH, e.g. For example, the Inkarho rhododendrons, information below inkarho.de.
The cut of the rhododendrons...
... is pleasingly easy, because if you do not want to force your rhododendron into a specific shape, you can be quite restrained while cutting. If you do not need to slow down your rhododendron growth (depending on the variety), you can limit yourself to removing withered flowers so the rhododendron can form new flower buds. When the rhododendron becomes too big, it is pruned, and as radically as desired, even at places that have already been blasted, a rhododendron drifts again when light comes there after the cut.

Video Board: How to Propagate Rhododendrons with a Nearing Frame; Taking Cuttings in the Hoop House.

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