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Planting and Care
The rhododendron genus is large and widely distributed. Species are found mainly in North America, Europe and Asia, the eastern Himalayan regions being the centre of the present day distribution.
Hybridising has provided us with a huge selection of rhododendrons suitable for planting in a wide range of situations. Rhododendrons are shallow-rooted and prefer slightly acidic soils.
Remember to provide your Rhododendron plants with porous, well-drained, slightly acidic soil. Raising the planting bed above existing ground level will improve drainage.
To improve soil aeration and moisture retention during dry spells, dig in large quantities of coarse natural materials that will break down to humus, e.g. straw, pine bark, leaf mould. If uncomposted material is used add one handful of Sulphate of ammonia to counteract the temporary depletion of Nitrogen that will occur during the decaying process.
After planting mulch with coarse organic matter, e. g. pea straw, to help conserve moisture, provide a cool root run and at the same time control weeds.
Do not cultivate under the drip line of Rhododendrons, always hand weed to avoid damage to the shallow roots.
Protect rhododendrons from wind — temporary shelter may be necessary.