Rhododendron cultivation. All rhododendrons need well drained loose friable soil. This is especially true of the smaller alpine species. Compost or decomposed pine bark are very effective. They come in many flower colors including pink red white yellow and purple.
Since they are not tap rooted they are the first plants to suffer in drought or flood. Rhododendrons are shallow rooted plants that require water twice per week during the first growing season. When youve finished watering fill the rest of the hole with soil. Their fine roots cant penetrate heavy compacted soils.
Proper soil preparation is also necessary for the health of this acid loving plant. Growing rhododendron successfully requires the proper planting spot for the rhododendron bush. With thousands of varieties there are rhododendrons and azaleas for just about every landscape situation. Rhododendron and azalea roots also need oxygen for healthy growth.
Once plants are established though you should only have to water during dry periods 2 to 3 weeks without rain. There are low growing ground cover azaleas plants that grow from 1 to 2 feet as well as plants that can grow up to 25 feet tall. How to start rhododendrons from cuttings mix a sanitizing solution containing 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. They must have good drainage and will not tolerate waterlogging or being planted directly into heavy soils.
Planting the rhododendron below soil level can cause root rot. Rhododendrons require a soil that is not alkaline though not all varieties need a very acid soil and if your soil is near neutral it is worth experimenting. The rhododendron bush is an attractive blooming specimen in many landscapes and is fairly low maintenance when planted properly. Many materials can be used to amend the soil.