Rhododendrons are in full spectacular bloom now. Many many of them are a single variety magenta variety. This is a shame because rhodies come in so many beautiful colors and shades. My friend Jerry (who I wrote about earlier) has been planting rhodies on his hill side for nearly 15 years, and now has a varied collection of about 400 rhododendrons in gorgeous colors. I do not know all the variety names but here is a sampling.
Bees love rhododendron flowers.
Scintillation is a very beautiful and popular rhododendron.
Given the right acidic soil rhodies are not difficult to grow. The main thing to remember is that they are shallow rooted plants. As Jerry says, “Keep it simple, just a dimple.” Do not dig a $50 hole and plant them deeply. Dig a shallow hole and then bring the soil up around the roots and mulch. I have had to transplant half my rhodies because I planted them too deep. They did not die, but they did not thrive, and they did not bloom until they were properly planted.
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