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Wisconsin's Tropical Gardens


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Rhododendron

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Rhododendrons are colorful springtime blooming plants that start their riot of color right around Easter or mid to late spring of the year. It is an outdoor hardy plant which can be planted out after it is done blooming, in a protected location, preferably after the last frost.

LIGHT: This variety likes partial shade. This means it can handle some sun, especially morning sun. If you have it indoors, provide a place near an east or west window, or near a south window with a sheer curtain.

TEMPERATURES: While the plant is in active bloom, keep it on the cool side to keep the flowers longer. When planting outdoors, plant in a sheltered location. It can withstand winter temperatures to -25°F, but to be on the safe side, mulch heavily and plant where it doesn't get full northerly winds.

WATER: Rhododendrons like to be kept moist, but not soggy. They don't tolerate being dried out completely so check often to make sure they stay moist.

OUTDOOR PLANTING: This plant likes to be planted in well-drained, acid soil. Dig the hole twice the size of the root ball. Remove container, loosen soil around roots to stimulate growth. Set top of root ball 2" above ground level. Backfill to top of ball using soil and 50% coarse peat moss mixed in. Firm the soil in and soak with water. Add 2" - 4" of mulch.

FERTILIZE: Feed every 2-3 weeks with food designed for rhododendrons according to directions.

AVAILABILITY: Rhododendrons are available in 7" pots in the spring of the year, usually around Easter.